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PETA Calls for Vigorous Prosecution
TIOGA CO. (WENY) -- PETA, the animal rights organization, has a request for the attorney prosecuting the man accused of leaving a dog in an empty crate in freezing temps.Matthew Stone was charged earlier this year for leaving a dog locked inside this crate in Farmington Township. PETA has asked that if Stone is convicted, he serve prison time, be outlawed from owning or keeping animals as long as possible, and undergo psychological evaluation.
The animal advocacy group sent a letter to the Tioga County District Attorney, George Wheeler, calling for a vigorous prosecution. The letter in its entirety is posted below.
March 10, 2014
The Honorable George Wheeler
Tioga County District Attorney's Office
118 Main St.
Wellsboro, PA 16901
Dear Mr. Wheeler:
PETA is an international animal-protection organization with more than 3 million members and supporters, thousands residing in Pennsylvania. This letter concerns an extremely disturbing case that your office is handling involving Elkland resident Matthew Stone, who on October 3, allegedly abandoned his brother's dog, Charlie, in a locked plastic crate, 100 feet from a rural road in Farmington Township. A passerby reportedly found Charlie's frozen body inside the overturned, snow-covered crate almost four months later, and we understand that experts have concluded that Charlie died of starvation. The defendant is scheduled to appear in court on March 11.
Mental-health professionals and top law-enforcement officials consider the blatant disregard for life and desensitization to suffering evidenced by all forms of cruelty to be a red flag. In fact, the American Psychiatric Association identifies cruelty to animals as one of the diagnostic criteria for conduct disorders, and the FBI uses reports of these crimes in analyzing the threat potential of suspected and known criminals. Experts agree that it is the severity of the behavior, not the species of the victim, that matters.
We respectfully ask that, if convicted and in addition to serving a period of incarceration, Stone be required to undergo a thorough psychological evaluation followed by mandatory counseling at his own expense. Because repeat crimes are the rule rather than the exception among animal abusers and given the heinous nature of this case, we ask also that, if convicted, Stone be prohibited from owning animals (a common provision in such cases) for as long as possible.
Thank you for your time and consideration and for the difficult work that you do.
Cruelty Investigations Department