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article imageFarmer Shoots Cat And Goes Unpunished By Judge

By Laura Trowbridge     Apr 6, 2007 in Crime
A New Jersey flower farmer was acquitted on animal cruelty charges earlier this week for an incident that happened in 2005.
Tom Van Wingerden, owner of a flower farm, found a newly born kitten under his porch with a deformed leg. He cut the leg off, himself, with a razor blade.
Once the kitten healed it was allowed to live at the farm, amongst the green houses and play with the Van Wingerden children.
When the kitten was only 10 months old Van Wingerden shot it for scratching his kids. He said the cat had "fits". Well, maybe it was just a playful kitten or maybe his kids were cruel in their "playing" with the cat and the cat was defending itself!
"The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals learned of the shooting while it was investigating a separate complaint of a dog being kept outside at the farm. The SPCA charged Van Wingerden with animal cruelty, and he was indicted in September 2006."
So he was being investigated by SPCA for being cruel to a family dog as well! He then blurts out how he hacked off this kitty's leg and then later shot it for having "fits"! This guy sounds like a sick animal abuser to me.
So he's standing before the Judge earlier this week, facing five years in jail for animal cruelty, and the judge decides there's not enough evidence to support the charges and lets him off.
"The judge said the state's case was weak because it relied almost completely on Van Wingerden's own statements."
Well, he said he did it, never denied it, so why isn't that good enough for the judge? There was no reason to shoot this cat. He could have given it away or taken it to the shelter if he didn't want to have it on his farm anymore. It just sounds like an obvious case of another abuser who gets off by another uncaring judge!
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