Court Fines Man $327.50 for Torching Dog

Court Fines Man $327.50 for Torching Dog

IDA’s Justice for Animals Calls Court Ruling Profoundly Disturbing

Man Given Less Punishment for Torching His Live Dog than Imaginable

Winona, Miss. (October 29, 2015) – In Defense of Animals (IDA), the international animal protection organization that operates Hope Animal Sanctuary (HAS) in Grenada, Mississippi recently announced IDA’s new “Justice for Animals Campaign”. “JAC” will expose the inadequacies of animal cruelty laws and has already initiated a grassroots coalition to gain meaningful ordinances and statutes citizens, law enforcement, and judges are clamoring for.


The October 27, 2015 sentencing of Jonathan Thompson, of 302 Cade Street, Winona, Miss for the heinous act of burning his dog alive astounded court attendees, and animal advocates. Thompson, who works at Anel Corporation of Winona, Miss., pled guilty to two citations issued following the September 28, 2015 investigation by Winona City Animal Control Officer Jim Smith regarding the report of a burnt dog on Thompson’s property.  ACO Smith confirmed the report that there was a burnt, but intact canine carcass in Thompsons’ yard. Smith’s investigation led to the arrest of Thompson for cruelty to an animal and violating the city’s ordinance, not banning, but restricting the keeping of pit bulls and kind, as defined by the American Kennel Club. Thompson was given a $100 fine for failing to comply with the city breed ordinance requiring insurance and compliant confinement for listed canine breeds and a $327.50 fine for burning his dog alive.

By request of ACO Smith, IDA was asked to join in the September 28, 2015 investigation. HAS Director Debbie Clark, Operations Manager Sharon Stone, and Justice for Animals Campaign Director Doll Stanley responded.  Though the dog’s carcass had been disposed of, the photos taken in the preliminary investigation supported the allegation that the dog had been burnt alive.

“When Judge Donald W. Bond imposed his sentencing of a $327.50 fine for the brutal burning of Thompson’s dog the shock and disbelief of attendees was audible,” said JAC Director Doll Stanley.

The group of citizens representing the City’s Winona Animal Advocacy Group, “WAAG” gathered with JAC Director Stanley to ask why such a travesty of justice occurred. Stanley advised them that judges, no matter how they feel, must follow the law and sentencing guidelines. Stanley, who has worked closely with WAAG since its inception, reiterated that it is not the failure of law enforcement officials who respond to reports of brutality to animals, or the judges who are compelled to rule within the limitations of ordinances and statutes. It is the simple fact that a public that abhors the cruel treatment of animals doesn’t voice its will for “just laws” loudly enough to resonate with law makers. Voters need to hold their elected officials accountable to represent them, rather than the special interests which gain from their losses. JAC intends to give citizens a grassroots platform for their voices.


In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization headquartered in San Rafael, California dedicated to protecting animals’ rights, welfare, and habitats through education, outreach, and our hands-on rescue facilities in India, Africa, and rural Mississippi.

3010 KERNER BLVD. – SAN RAFAEL, CA 94901 – 415-448-0048 – WWW.IDAUSA.ORG

Justice for Animals Campaign Headquarters Winona, MS (662) 809-4483


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