There’s no punishment harsh enough…

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I’d like to think that I’m a fairly tolerant person. But there are some things for which I have absolutely no tolerance whatsoever.

I have no tolerance for bullies. I have no tolerance for ignorance. I have no tolerance for anyone who preys upon or otherwise exploits, children, the elderly or animals. Especially animals.

Eli, the In Brief Legal Writing Services mascot.
In Brief Legal Writing Services mascot Eli catching up on the latest news. Photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic

As far as I’m concerned there’s no punishment harsh enough for the owner of an animal shelter in Monroe, Connecticut, who was recently convicted of animal cruelty. Especially because he’s got prior convictions.

According to one news account, Frederick Acker “was convicted of 11 counts of animal cruelty in Ansonia-Milford Superior Court on July 26 and faces up to 11 years in prison at sentencing on Sept. 6.”

To make matters worse, Acker was reportedly convicted on 15 counts of animal cruelty in Litchfield Superior Court last year. He got off with a slap on the wrist.

The good news is that Connecticut politicians — some of whom have been aware of Acker’s exploits for sometime — are now planning on joining forces to close the legal loopholes that have allowed Acker to continue operating an animal shelter.

“We need to change our laws and our regulations to make sure that not only they are strict enough, but to make sure our judicial system is enforcing them,” said Connecticut State Rep. Themis Kalrdies, who learned about Acker’s exploits after she tried to adopt a kitten from the shelter. “We don’t want to stop anybody who is a good and caring person from taking care of animals, we want to make sure people who are clearly taking advantage of the system are not allowed to.”

Speaking as someone who loves animals and as someone who has devoted a considerable amount of time and energy to volunteering at a local animal shelter for the past few years, I hope Connecticut lawmakers follow through on this.

Allowing Acker and those like him to continue working with animals is a slap in the face to everyone who works tirelessly to help unwanted cats and dogs find forever homes.

More importantly, it is unfair to all of the animals who count on people for help.

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