In February of 2019, Roxie, Mississippi was the scene of a brutal and bloody massacre
. The crime left four innocent beings dead, all four shot and killed by a deranged man who had no empathy for other living things and boasted about his crime.
The killer, 69-year-old Elijah Gatlin, had apparently been set off when he saw two of his sister-in-law, Carie Gatlin's, dogs fighting. Instead of pulling them apart, or calling for his sister-in-law to break up the fight, he decided to take matters into his own hands. He grabbed a gun, aimed straight at a dog named Patches and pulled the trigger. He then tossed the body into a creek. But he wasn't done. He later returned to kill three more of Carie's pups.
According to reports, the three other pooches were cowering underneath the trailer home in an attempt to avoid Elijah's bullets.
At his trial, the case seemed open and shut. Mr. Gatlin admitted to murdering four of Carie's five beloved dogs, and Carie, as well as animal rights activists, expected swift and harsh justice. But that wasn't what happened. Despite the fact that Gatlin killed four dogs, he was only charged with one count of animal cruelty and he walked away with a pathetic 30-day jail sentence
The negligible sentence is due to a nearly ten-year-old law Mississippi law called The Mississippi Dog and Cat Pet Protection Law. As World Animal News reports, the legislation "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..."
That means, that an offender could kill one or 100 dogs or cats at the same time and, if it was their first offense, it would still just be considered as one count. Imagine if that same logic applied to people
who committed violence against people. A person could kill one or 100 people and they could potentially only be on the hook for one count of murder. Does that sound like justice to you?
The Mississippi Dog and Cat Pet Protection Law, in its current form, gives people who commit gross abuses against multiple animals the ability to avoid real punishment and justice. This law must be changed. Each animal life is precious and should be taken into account when a punishing an abuser. Demand that the Mississippi Legislature amend the 2011 law to include real punishment for animal abusers. Sign the petition.