Help Get Justice for Tortured Cat in Virginia|
2003-04-24, 6:10 p.m.
On April 28, 2003, Virginia Beach resident Jason T. Portock will be sentenced for fatally beating his wife’s cat in November 2002. According to news reports, Portock—convicted of felony cruelty to animals—told police that “he became aggravated by the cat while his wife was away on a business trip … [and] threw the cat against the wall of his home four times and then kicked [her] against the door.” Portock’s wife reportedly returned home several hours later, at which time the severely injured animal was taken to an animal hospital where Portock allegedly became verbally abusive with the staff, then threatened to “finish off” the cat in the parking lot. Sources close to the case have informed PETA that the cat had suffered five broken ribs, a broken sternum and front leg, and head trauma. The cat was also apparently missing claws—torn out when Portock allegedly dragged the animal from the carpet to which she desperately clung. She died from her injuries soon after.
Under Virginia’s recently strengthened anti-cruelty law, Portock should face up to five years in prison and $2,500 in fines. News sources report that the presiding judge, Stephen C. Mahan, told prosecutors “to look into the possibility of programs which could be an alternative [to] jail time.”
Thirty-seven U.S. states have added felony provisions to their animal-protection statutes. But such laws are useless if law-enforcement officials, including judges, are unwilling to utilize them. For the Virginia Beach SPCA, which—through tireless research, lobbying, and more—was integral to the passing of Virginia’s new felony provision, Judge Mahan’s suggestion is a slap in the face. To the animal victim in this case, it’s yet another indignity suffered.
Please remind Judge Mahan why cruelty to animals must be taken seriously and why animal abusers must be punished to the fullest extent of the law (click here, for more information).
The Honorable Stephen C. Mahan
Circuit Court Judge
2425 Nimmo Pkwy.
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
E-Mail: [email protected]
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