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Animal Cruelty in Fort Pierce

animal_cruelty-south-florida-lawyerAnimal cruelty laws in Florida are getting stricter. More and more animal sanctuary owner-operators are being charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty throughout Florida as law enforcement attempts to crack down on the crime. Animal cruelty is the deliberate harm or death of an animal cause by the intentional abuse or neglect of its owner or caregiver. Depending on the severity of the crime, animal cruelty can be charged as a felony with penalties including several years in prison.

Animal Cruelty in Fort Pierce

A former owner-operator of the Sanctuary Animal Refuge west of Fort Pierce is feeling the full extent of the law after being arrested Thursday and charged with 157 counts of animal cruelty.  While this number is incredibly high, anyone can understand why her sentence is so severe after reading the report by WPTV News.

According to WPTV News, Palena Rae Dorsey was initially booked into the St. Lucie County Jail in February on first-degree grand theft charges. She is accused of using $262,000 from a trust intended for the care of the animals at the shelter to buy a home, two vehicles, electronics and several items from the Home Shopping Club and QVC, according to the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office.

An additional 103 third-degree felony and 54 misdemeanor animal cruelty charges were added Thursday morning. On April 18, 2011, deputies responded to the Sanctuary Animal Shelter after being notified of possible animal abuse by animal control.

“Animals were found to be malnourished, had little to no vet care and were infected with numerous diseases including heart worms, hair loss, open and unhealed sores, dehydration, mange, diarrhea, flea infestation, bad teeth, root exposure and extreme weight loss,” Mascara said in a release. According to the sheriff’s office, 16 dogs were unable to recover their condition and had to be euthanized.

Each of Dorsey’s 103 felony charges is punishable by five years in state prison. If convicted on these charges alone, that would add up to a maximum of more than 500 years in prison.

Animal Cruelty Defense

No matter how severe your charges, if you have been accused of animal cruelty, you need to speak with a criminal defense lawyer immediately. It is critical to the outcome of your case that you have a criminal defense lawyer investigate the situation in order to best represent you in court. Have an experienced criminal defense lawyer help you deal with your animal cruelty charges as soon as possible.

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