Target: Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez
Goal: Ensure that a woman who abused and abandoned an alligator receives maximum punishment
A woman has been arrested and charged with animal cruelty after she left a helpless baby alligator at a busy Chicago airport. This weak reptile was frightened and malnourished when he was found hiding underneath an escalator. Authorities say that he was even suffering from soft bones due to an improper diet.
According to the Chicago Tribune on Jan. 22, 2014, Alexis T. Prokopchuk was charged with animal cruelty and reckless conduct for leaving a baby alligator at the O’Hare International Airport last November. Prokopchuk was found after surveillance footage of Prokopchuk and the baby alligator riding on a Chicago Transit Authority train surfaced. Prokopchuk admitted to being “so [high] on crack cocaine and heroin and had taken some pills” that she lost the alligator at the airport. Not only is this behavior reckless and cruel, but it is also illegal to own an alligator in Illinois without a permit.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) addressed the topic of owning alligators as pets in a letter to NFL player Darnell Dockett, who purchased a baby alligator back in 2012. The letter states, “Alligators in the wild roam freely with members of their own kind, travel long distances, and thrive in the rivers and lakes that they call home. When confined, wild animals will exhibit neurotic and self-destructive behaviors because of extreme boredom, stress, and frustration at being unable to engage in natural behaviors. Keeping an alligator as a pet is simply unfair to the animal.”
The baby alligator is currently in the care of the Chicago Herpetological Society where experts are nursing the animal back to health. Alexis T. Prokopchuk grossly neglected this animal, and if authorities had not found him, the results could have been deadly.
By signing the petition below, you will encourage Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez to convict Alexis T. Prokopchuk of animal cruelty and sentence her to the maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $2,500 fine.
Dear Anita Alvarez,
I was pleased to learn that police had captured Alexis T. Prokopchuk, the woman who left a helpless baby alligator at a busy Chicago airport last November. This weak reptile was frightened and malnourished when he was found hiding underneath an escalator. Prokopchuk admitted to being high on drugs when she lost the animal.
According to PETA, “when confined, wild animals will exhibit neurotic and self-destructive behaviors because of extreme boredom, stress, and frustration at being unable to engage in natural behaviors. Keeping an alligator as a pet is simply unfair to the animal.”
Prokopchuk’s actions were not only unfair, but they were also abusive. I am asking you to do everything in your power to see that Prokopchuk is charged and sentenced to the maximum penalty.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Jonathan Lidbeck via Flickr