News website www.cbs4.com reports that A Ft. Pierce man has been charged with animal cruelty after he reportedly killed his dog by stabbing it more than two dozen times.
Animal cruelty that results in the deprivation of food or shelter to an animal is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a fine of $5,000 by statute.
In the State of Florida, animal cruelty which results in the serious injury, great suffering, or death of an animal is a 3rd degree felony punishable by a maximum of up to 5 years in prison.
Specifically, Florida law makes it a felony to "intentionally commit an act to any animal which results in the cruel death, or excessive or repeated infliction or unnecessary pain or suffering..."
Many State Attorney's Offices have specialized prosecutors who handle cruelty to animals cases.
Cruelty to animals cases are often taken very seriously. They also attract a lot of media attention, which may make the prosecutors seek harsher penalties than normal to appear "tough on crime" in the eyes of the public.
As a criminal defense attorney and former Miami-Dade prosecutor, I have handled cruelty to animals cases.
If you or a loved one are under investigation or are facing charges, contact me to discuss your case. I handle criminal matters in Broward and Miami-Dade.