LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Animal rights activists are calling for a change in Kentucky law after a man received two years probation for animal torture because of a plea deal.
Jai Hamilton, a cruelty investigator with Lexington Animal Control said she was hoping for a more severe punishment for Damien Crump, the man who shot his dog in the head last month, but after taking a plea deal, his charges were reduced and he received two years probation. This means he will spend no time in jail.
Hamilton says something needs to change.
"We are very disappointed in the outcome of the case and we wish that they would have prosecuted it to the fullest extent of the law," said Hamilton. "Animal abuse will always happen but it's important to have laws where we can stop that."
Without strict laws, Hamilton says it makes it difficult for her to do her job well, and she isn't the only one upset with the prosecution of animal abuse cases in Kentucky. Remy SImpson, with Paws 4 The Cause, believes animal abuse is a gateway to other more serious crimes and therefore, it needs to be taken much more seriously.
"Animals need to be protected and if you don't care for animals, look at it in terms of people, because people who hurt animals always hurt people, there is a very strong link there," said Simpson.
LEX 18's Eleanor Buckley spoke with the Crumps Thursday. They say they are pleased with the reduced charges and they claim that they shot the gun in self defense after the dog tried to attack their son.
Simpson said he doesn't believe that explanation.
"This was a family pet, this was not a bear coming out of the woods, if you want to protect your child then you separate your child from the pet and you rehome the pet," said Simpson.