Dog Abuser Posing as Rescuer Sentenced to Prison
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November 2020

Kittrell was brought to justice in what is likely Mississippi’s first ever sentencing under new animal welfare laws.

white Puppy
Image: Southern Pines Animal Shelter

Convicted animal abuser Miranda Kittrell of Jones County, Miss was found guilty of 38 counts of animal cruelty. She was sentenced to 114 months in prison with 108 months suspended, reported WLBT 3.

Kittrell claimed to run an animal rescue, but her pups endured “heartbreaking” conditions, said officers at the scene.

When law enforcement arrived at her property along with the local Southern Pines Animal Shelter, they saw flea-ridden dogs, sick and starving, dehydrated and in desperate need of veterinary care.

Dogs suffered in Medieval metal cages with nothing to drink but dirty rainwater and no air conditioning in the brutal summer heat.

At least five dogs died.

Kittrell was brought to justice in what is likely Mississippi’s first ever sentencing under new animal welfare laws, according to the nonprofit, In Defense of Animals.

The new law, which passed in July, pressed for charges of separate counts of cruelty per animal, plus added fines.

Banned from living with a companion animal for 15 years, Kittrell will pay nearly $4,000, complete almost 400 hours of community service, and undergo a $3,500 psychological evaluation at her own expense.

Without the more expansive law, Kittrell may have only been charged for one count of cruelty with limited fines, despite the numerous animals she hurt.

Kittrell’s sentencing is one positive step toward preventing torture of this kind in the future.

Mississippi doubles fines, adds prison time for animal cruelty with new law:

In a welcomed win for animal rights, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves has signed into law a new bill increasing penalties for abuse against dogs and cats.

Effective immediately, SB 2658 makes acts of aggravated cruelty — such as the burning, mutilation or intentional torture of a dog or cat — felonies rather than misdemeanors, and each act of abuse against more than one animal will be a separate offense.

The new law has also doubled the fines for each act of cruelty up to $5,000, added prison time for animal abuse, and introduced mandatory psychological counseling for perpetrators, who will also be placed on an FBI watch list. Those convicted of aggravated cruelty will be banned from caring for or living in a home with a dog or cat for five years, with a $1,000 fine per animal if they don’t comply.

“For too long, criminals have been getting away with a slap on the wrist for some of the most heinous acts of cruelty imaginable,” said In Defense of Animals’ Justice for Animals Campaign Director Doll Stanley. “Now, Mississippi finally has an animal cruelty law with teeth that gives law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges the authority to hold animal abusers accountable for their unspeakable acts of cruelty.

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