State v. William Congress, a case we prosecuted for the Cleveland APL in the Cleveland Municipal Court.
On Christmas Day, 2013, Congress sent a disturbing Facebook instant message to his roommate, who was out of town visiting family over the holidays. He admitted to beating the roommate’s dog, Caesar, because the dog damaged the floor of the apartment. The dog sustained bruises, cuts and a broken leg, requiring surgery.
Unfortunately, the roommate, a key witness in the case, fled to California without a forwarding address, and could not be summoned for trial.
Congress entered a plea of no contest and was found guilty of one count of companion animal cruelty, a first degree misdemeanor. If he commits another such offense, it will be a felony. Congress is prohibited from possessing or owning any animals for 5 years, must complete a course in anger management and 200 hours of community service, and must pay $1500 restitution for veterinary costs. Congress may serve 6 months in jail if he violates these terms.
Caesar recovered fully and has been placed in a permanent home.