Animal abuse happens in neighborhoods throughout the country. The people we pass in our apartment building could be guilty of such a horrendous crime, and we would never know. This was the case with 30 year-old Cherika Alvarez of Bronx, who kept her pit bull Alize, in her apartment and effectively starved him to death, in 2009.
According to authorities, he ate garbage, razor blades, wood chips and ketchup packets to attempt to stay alive before dying after a month and a half alone in the apartment. He was so malnourished and emaciated that animal welfare workers had to literally scrape him off the floor of Ms. Alvarez’s apartment.
Ms. Alvarez was originally sentenced with only 1 year in prison (which seems pretty light considering she was guilty of murder). However, her attorney decided to appeal the case, and after Bronx judge, Robert Sackett, heard her heartfelt sobbing apology just yesterday, he lowered her sentence to only 20 days of community service. She claimed she was sorry and that she would never hurt another animal as long as she lived. But the fact remains, that she did hurt Alize, and due to her mistreatment he is dead. He will never know the joy of having a loving family and a safe home to call his own. Animal abusers never seem to stop after one incidence, and the fact Judge Sackett let Ms. Alvarez go with little more than a slap on the wrist means she is free to do it again. What’s to stop her, since she is not face a stricter punishment, like the original sentence of 1 year in jail, which is still mild for such a crime?
Judge Sackett should withdraw his order for community service and reinstate the original sentence, while although light is still better than community service. Prosecutors in the case even requested she serve 30 days behind bars and 30 days of community service, but Judge Sackett did not feel such a harsh punishment was called for since she was sorry, and promised she would never do it again.
Ask the NYS Commission on Judicial Conduct to investigate this case further and put a different judge on the case. Alize will never get his life back, so why should his killer walk free?