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Cruelty to Animals Must Be Deterred

Making it clear Belmont County residents will not stand for cruelty to animals could deter some people from engaging in the practice. Last week, county Common Pleas Judge Frank Fregiato sent an unmistakable message in that regard.

Fregiato sentenced Shania Wells, 24, to a year behind bars on an animal cruelty charge. She will begin serving that sentence next year, after she completes a jail sentence on a related charge.

Wells is a repeat offender. In 2017, she escaped jail time for animal cruelty charges. Then, in 2019, she pleaded no contest to 10 animal cruelty charges and she was placed on probation. Less than a year later, she was found in possession of mistreated animals again.

Wells was given plenty of chances. In effect, it took three strikes for her to be sent to jail. Fregiato was right to take that action. In view of it, others involved in animal cruelty should expect harsh, swift punishment.

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