Target: Barron County District Attorney, Angela L. Beranek
Goal: Ensure animal abusers are appropriately punished rather than simply sentenced to probation
A man in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, was charged with animal abuse after officials found 20 dead, decaying cows on his property, some still tethered to their stalls. The man, John Nelson, did not even bother properly disposing of the cows, and had absolutely no regard for the lives of the other cows on his property. Instead of serve a lengthy prison sentence for this horrific crime, however, Nelson was only sentenced to probation and 30 hours of community service. The cows that he unashamedly killed deserve justice.
Nelson was arrested a few months ago after a concerned person reported him and his farm to the authorities. Upon investigation, the police found the dead cows decaying in piles of their own feces. Originally, Nelson was faced with felony animal abuse charges. However, Nelson pleaded and convinced prosecutors to charge the animal abuse as a misdemeanor offence. He is now only required to serve 30 hours of community service and is on probation. He has also been ordered not to own any more animals.
Plea deals such as the one Nelson arranged should not be allowed in animal abuse cases. Leaving cows to slowly die, chained to a manure-filled stall, is appalling and calls for felony charges, with no plea considered. Nelson’s sentence is already concluded, but there will inevitably be other animal abuse cases handled in Barron County, where Rice Lake is located. Sign this petition to urge Angela L. Baranek, Barron County District Attorney, to rule animal abuse as a felony charge and rightfully punish abusers in the future.
Dear District Attorney Baranek,
A man by the name of John Nelson recently stood before a jury on animal abuse charges. He is guilty of leaving sick cows to die, tethered to their manure-filled stalls. Nelson left 20 of his cows this way, most of them decayed when officials arrived to investigate the situation. Initially, Nelson was charged with felony animal abuse. However, after a plea deal with prosecutors, Nelson walked away with 30 hours of community service and probation.
Nelson is forced to serve the sentence of a misdemeanor offense, when he clearly committed a felony. He is a terrible man who deserves to serve time in prison and be treated as a violent, dangerous abuser. The way that Nelson treated his cows is appalling and unforgivable. He will not learn any lesson unless he is forced to.
District Attorney Baranek, I urge you to ensure that animal abusers be sentenced appropriately in the future. The next time Barron County is faced with an animal abuse case, please charge the person responsible with felony animal abuse and insist that they serve time in prison. Animal abuse should not be taken lightly. Please make decisions in favor of animals, rather than against them.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Eli Duke via Flickr