What a sorry state of affairs in Cookeville, Tennessee! This guy shoots dogs just because he is “mad” and gets off with what amounts to not much of any sort of fine or punishment. Granted, he gave up all rights to the dogs he shot (wow, that’s a no brainer) but what else happened to mister-I-have-no-ability-to-control-my-anger? 24 hours of community service, a little fine and oh, he can’t have dogs for a year! Oh yeah, that’s a deterrant! That really sends a strong message to impressionable youth!
Is there any question as to why these kind of areas where dogs are given less consideration than a fifteen-year-old car are the worst for dog fighting rings! And I can say that having grown up in Tennessee. If we want a truly better world we have to let misbegotten miscreants like this one know that he has gone way over the line. How about a ban on him EVER having another animal in his possession? How about making him pay EVERY penny of what it cost to heal these dogs, including boarding costs at standard rates for every day they have to stay in the shelter? How about some SERIOUS community service time spent say at the shelter cleaning out kennels?
And what about the judge? Why is he being so lenient? Does he, like some footbal players, feel that what a man does in his own home with his own dogs is nobody’s business?
Thanks to the Herald Citizen for this article.
Man shot shot dogs gets community service
PUTNAM COUNTY — A Baxter man who was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals several months ago has been granted pretrial diversion in exchange for community service and an order to not own any dogs for a year.
Jimmy Mark Goff was arrested in February after he allegedly shot three of his own dogs and later pulled down the fence to a kennel that injured another dog.
Reportedly, Goff told sheriff’s deputies that he admitted shooting the puppies because he was mad.
Three Great Pyrenees mixed puppies and the mother of those dogs survived the attack, and two of those puppies and the mother have been kept at the Cookeville-Putnam County Animal Shelter since Goff was arrested.
The other puppy lost its eye and underwent surgery by a Cookeville veterinarian and is now in foster care, according to Laurie Green, director of the Cookeville-Putnam County Animal Shelter.
Assistant District Attorney Beth Willis said Goff was granted pretrial diversion on Wednesday in General Sessions Judge John Hudson’s court under the conditions that he completes 24 hours of community service and does not own any dogs for a year.
He also cannot reclaim the dogs that are at the shelter and must pay $203 in restitution to the shelter, although the shelter’s bill for caring for the animals for several months is close to $1,500.
“He has to comply and stay out of trouble,” Willis said. “If he messes up again, we can prosecute on the original charge.”
Aggravated cruelty to animals is a Class E felony.
Green said she was pleased with the outcome of the case.
“I’m happy he won’t be allowed to own dogs during pretrial diversion for a year, and he gives up all claims to the dogs,” she said. “They belong to the shelter now.
“I think as a community we have to realize that this type of animal cruelty is a precursor to what that person will do to another human being,” Green said. “Violent crimes against people usually begin with animal cruelty. These are dangerous people, and we need to make sure they know this will not be taken lightly.”
Green also noted that now that the case is resolved, those surviving dogs at the shelter may now be adopted.