Call Out Judge Who Failed to Deliver Justice for Massacred Dogs
A Mississippi man who boasted about gunning down four defenseless dogs has been handed the ridiculous sentence of only thirty days in the county jail. We must call out this judge who failed to deliver justice for the innocent victims of this cold-hearted killer and ask that she give out maximum sentences for animal abuse in the future.
After witnessing two of his sister-in-law Carie Gatlin's dogs fighting, Elijah Gatlin went into his residence, retrieved his gun, and returned to shoot one of the dogs named Patches and then threw her lifeless body in a creek. Elijah later returned to shoot his sister-in-law's remaining dogs, three of whom were hiding in terror beneath the trailer-house in response to witnessing Gatlin fatally shoot Patches.
Adams County Sheriff's Lieutenant Cal Green reported that Gatlin lead responding deputies to where he had thrown Patches' body. Carie also recovered the body of a second dog, Duke, over a day later. The bodies of the other two dogs who were shot have not been found. One of the five dogs escaped Gatlin's killing spree without being shot.
On February 14, 2019, Elijah Theodore Gatlin of Natchez, Mississippi was sentenced for the slaying Patches and was charged with only one count of aggravated cruelty to animals. Lt. Green had added that if the other dogs were found, there could be further charges, however this is inaccurate.
Although Gatlin admitted to shooting four dogs in court, the Mississippi Dog and Cat Pet Protection Law of 2011 limits a single incident of cruelty to a dog or a cat, or multiple dogs or cats affected in one instance to count as just one count. If the assailant has no prior conviction of animal cruelty within the past five years, the crime is a misdemeanor no matter how many animals were harmed and no matter how badly. A first offense charge of aggravated cruelty is punishable by up to a $2,500 fine, up to a six-month jail term, or both.
What YOU Can Do:
We must not be silent when our elected judges fail to impose sentencing that could deter individuals from committing heinous acts of violence against animals. Please join us in writing to Justice Court Judge Eileen M. Maher to share how dismayed we feel over her incredibly lenient sentencing of Elijah T. Gatlin. Please complete the form on this page to send the letter.