Apart from the obvious fact of the maximum sentence currently being a sick joke there’s another aspect to the law which I think could be looked at. At this moment in time animal cruelty is treated as one giant block with no real distinction made for severity and other circumstances. If you are found guilty of it then the sentence you get will be more or less the same, regardless of severity and other circumstances.
Someone would presently get the same sort of sentence as Andy and Dan Frankish regardless of the fact that their incident was self-evidently less severe, not pre-meditated and not filmed for amusement. As much as I want to see the sentences increased I also want to see more of a sliding scale, dependent on factors such as pre-meditation, severity, etc.
The more severe and planned, the longer the sentence. That’s really not the case just now. They could have been found guilty of doing what they did to ten dogs but their sentence would still be about the same as one dog. Or you could have a situation where a dumb kid throws a stick at a cat. Not great, but by no means in the same zone as the four bratlets in the ‘Chunky’ case. Yet as things stand it’s probable that both instances could carry a near identical sentence.
I don’t think it would take a massive effort to factor in severity, pre-meditation and motive. Rather than just throw out a blanket sentence (more or less what we have now), take such aspects into account. They are important. In the case of the brothers any half-decent prosecution could determine their motive. I saw myself how severe it was. And it was patently pre-meditated. They would then tick all the boxes and get the maximum. Like I said, had it come to light that they’d done this to ten dogs then you’d want the extra nine reflected in the sentence, would you not? Yes you would, so you’d then have to give them additional time for each case. Why not?
I can see why authorities will resist it though. It causes them to do more work. They’d actually have to think about the evidence presented to them and they wouldn’t be able to just hand out a similar lazy sentence to all.
They do not want to do work if they can get away with it. Public officials are well known for inventing new ways to avoid real work if they can. You need to hold their feet to the fire.