A man who pleaded guilty to three felonies and two misdemeanors for torturing a dog will not be imprisoned or otherwise punished for his actions.
According to New York's Nassau County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Reginald Smith, the man who mutilated a puppy by slicing off her ears and legs without anesthesia, was conditionally discharged, reports Examiner.com.
Smith was one of three people who were arrested for the dog's abuse, reports CBS New York. The former owners of the pit bull already had a pending case against them after they reportedly poured bleach on another dog in March. Smith was a friend of the owners and worked as a veterinary technician, reports Examiner.com.
Because Smith was preparing for an out-of-state move, Judge Angelo Delligati did not want to "upset his plans" with prison time or probation. The charges Smith were facing could have mandated up to two years behind bars.
The Nassau SPCA, shocked by Delligati's ruling, released a statement asking to people to write and call the judge. The group believes he has a responsibility to show that animal abuse will not be tolerated, and that those who mistreat animals need to be held accountable for their actions.
"The judge also was 'abhorred' by the defendant's actions but gave him 'slight credit' for not being an abuser of animals!" wrote the SPCA. "Completely cutting off the ears and half of a leg without an anesthetic, without any medical training or expertise qualifies for what?"
On the National Dog News Examiner Facebook page, many people expressed outrage at the sentencing.
"The judge didn't want to ruin his plans ... funny, I don't think the poor dog planned on having his ears and leg removed without anesthesia and going through his life with difficulty and pain," a Facebook user commented. "We all need to be thankful we aren't a pet that belongs to this judge."
"Well that sends a nice message to animal abusers everywhere ... Go ahead and abuse an innocent animal, you'll just get a mild slap on the wrist and you can walk away free ... Smdh," a woman remarked.
The dog, named Miss Harper, has reportedly physically recovered from the ordeal and has been adopted into a new home.