MEDIA RELEASE: Retired Veterinarian Convicted of Killing Neighbor’s Dogs
Carrollton, Miss. (August 13, 2020) – In Defense of Animals, the international animal protection organization that operates Hope Animal Sanctuary and the Justice for Animals Campaign in Carroll County was represented in Carroll County Justice Court District 1 today, August 13, for the trial of Nicholas “Nick” Milazo. Milazo, of Greenwood, is a retired veterinarian from Louisiana who was today convicted of killing two of his neighbor’s dogs, Cardi and Max.
Carroll County Justice Court Judge Jimmy Avant found Milazo guilty of trespassing, and aggravated animal cruelty under the Mississippi Dog and Cat Pet Protection Law of 2011, which carries a maximum penalty of a $2,500 fine and/or six months incarceration in the county jail. Judge Avant handed Milazo a sentence of six months in jail, which was suspended owing to COVID-19, and the maximum fine of $2,500. He will also have to pay $300 in restitution, and $423.75 for the trespassing charge.
Milazo was represented by Attorney Jacob Michael Jenkins of Greenwood. County Prosecutor Lori McRory Bell presented the State’s case.
Nick Milazo arrives at Carroll County Justice Court. Credit: In Defense of Animals
On January 14, Officer Tyler Murphy, Carroll County Game Warden and Deputy, arrested Milazo for aggravated animal cruelty, for intentionally killing Cardi and Max, two Great Pyrenees dogs who were family members of his neighbors, Mary Gregg and Trey Vance. Officer Murphy investigated the case.
Milazo’s neighbor, Chris Walker, who was an eyewitness, told Vance that he saw Milazo speeding from his residence on the morning of January 13, turning into his field, and running down Cardi, the younger of his neighbor’s dogs — presumably crushing her beneath his vehicle. Later, Vance found their dog Max dead in Milazo’s field. Max was taken to Greenwood Animal Hospital, where Dr. Andy Johnson determined that Max died from a single shot from a .22 caliber weapon.
“I am glad Milazo was given the maximum sentence but it doesn’t make up for what he did to my dogs,” said Mary Gregg, the former guardian of Cardi and Max. “Nick Milazo took away two beloved members of my family and there is a hole in my heart that will never heal. Veterinarians are supposed to care for animals. I am grateful to Judge Jimmy Avant, County Prosecutor Lori McRory Bell and In Defense of Animals for supporting me to get justice for Cardi and Max.”
Senator Angela Hill has again championed the cause of animal victims with her introduction of SB 2658, which passed this legislative session. This bill amends the Mississippi Dog and Cat Pet Protection Law of 2011 to increase penalties on a first offense from a misdemeanor to a felony, and allows for a separate charge of cruelty for each dog or cat harmed. Since Cardi and Max were killed before the amendment passed, Milazo was tried for a misdemeanor with one single count of cruelty.
“The Milazo case is a glaring example of why the Dog and Cat Pet Protection Law needed to be amended. How can a civilized society accept that only one individual should be given justice when two or more are so brutally victimized,” said Doll Stanley, In Defense of Animals’ Justice for Animals Campaign Director. “While it’s too late to seek increased penalties to get justice for Cardi and Max, future offenders caught abusing animals will now face much harsher penalties.”
In Defense of Animals has served animals and communities in the Deep South for 27 years. The organization carries out educational initiatives and directly rescues and rehomes abused, neglected, and homeless animals through its Hope Animal Sanctuary in Mississippi. Its Justice for Animals campaign aids law enforcement and courts to prevent, investigate and prosecute animal cruelty, and works with legislators to both create and improve animal protection laws.
Contact: Doll Stanley, firstname.lastname@example.org, (662) 809-4483
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