NY Mother Pleads Guilty in Pet Torture Case

You might remember the 2009 story of the Long Island mother who forced her children to participate in torturing pets to death.  We’re not talking a couple of unfortunate family pets here – we’re talking dozens of dogs and cats, probably stolen from area residents.  Since she never made bail from her December 2009 arrest, Sharon McDonough has been in jail all along.  This week, she pleaded guilty to 13 counts of animal abuse and child endangerment.  The details are too graphic to post here but suffice to say, the punishment will not fit the crimes, and I am not sure what punishment would:

McDonough faces two years on the animal cruelty charges, but only a one-year term for the child endangerment offenses because they are misdemeanors, prosecutors said.

With time served, Ms. McDonough is expected to be out in a couple of months.  Prosecutors will seek an order of protection at sentencing to prevent the mother from contacting her seven children.  The article does not mention if she will be legally prevented from owning pets again.

Ms. McDonough’s defense attorney supposes she will not win any popularity contests within the community once she returns.  I can imagine it would be nearly impossible for a notorious animal abuser to remake her image with the public.  Maybe her handlers can strike up a deal with HSUS and get things turned around for her.

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9 Comments

  1. Maybe she will be chosen “Comeback Mother of the Year.”

    Reply
  2. I do hope that they say she can NEVER own another animal. Did they give her any mental help?

    I would also be worried about her children. I hope they are given mental help after that. More studies need to be done to figure out why some people do things like that — brain wired wrong?

    And what about her parents have they been checked out? Do they own animals? Have any of their neighbors’ pets disappeared? Or maybe they dropped their baby girl on her head?

    Does jail time really do anything for people that hurts others?

    Reply
  3. One year for what she did to those children?

    As PC just said, another case of seriously effed up, but effed up in the direction that one does not expect in a case involving animals and children.

    There’s a difference between a mentally ill person and a sociopath. A mentally ill person needs treatment, and should be entitled to have that at least attempted.

    A sociopath is missing a piece that makes him or her a moral being. (I was about to write “that makes him or her human,” but that’s not right. Because most higher animals have inhibitions that sociopaths lack.)

    What you do with a sociopath is confine him somewhere where he can’t hurt anyone anymore. Forever.

    Reply
  4. alice in LALA land

     /  February 26, 2011

    if all sociopaths were locked up forever.. where wold we get our politicians..?? LOL.. just kidding.
    seriously.. it is very frightening to see that animal abuse gets a higher charge than child abuse..
    she should be very carefully monitored when she returns to society.. but probably won;t be.. in fact I bet she has another child.. you can keep her from having animals.. but not from having children..a very sticky situation

    Reply
  5. Morgana

     /  February 26, 2011

    Alice..why kid about those politicians? lol…ok, back OT…maybe she can go live with OCtomom and help her with her kids…I hope those children get real serious help, b/c they will grow up otherwise as sociopaths, hurting other living beings because their Mom included them in her nastiness. ANd she should be barred from ever being within 5 feet of another animal, wild or domestic.

    Reply
  6. Erica

     /  February 26, 2011

    “Ms. McDonough’s defense attorney supposes she will not win any popularity contests within the community once she returns. I can imagine it would be nearly impossible for a notorious animal abuser to remake her image with the public. Maybe her handlers can strike up a deal with HSUS and get things turned around for her.”

    That comment got me thinking. HSUS did take notorious Vick and make him a LEGEND in most young men’s eyes. While the HSUS thinks that having Vick talk to them is going to make them want to NOT fight pits….yet they continue to say that anyone who disagrees with them is an animal abuser – BUT they use the most notorious animal abuser of our time and make him a poster child for dog fighting! Do you think they are going to begin to make it a habit of taking people that are obviously sociopaths and make them poster children…..That is almost as sick as the people doing the ‘deed’ in the first place!

    Reply
  7. Jeanne

     /  February 26, 2011

    Hard to believe but 2 yrs. is the maximum sentence for animal cruelty in NY State, even though it IS a felony.
    I found the info here–
    http://www.pet-abuse.com/pages/cruelty_laws.php

    She faces 2 years for animal cruelty and 1 year for child endangerment. But may be released as early as May because of time already served. Info from news story in SF Gate at this link (warning–graphic details)–

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/02/24/state/n102059S66.DTL#ixzz1Hp9Puj6f

    Can’t believe how lenient these laws are. She should be locked up for life. Some of the animals came from shelters according to the Suffolk Co. SPCA; she apparently bought others and may have stolen some from neighbors.

    When her son tried to get help from Suffolk Co. SPCA, they didn’t take him seriously. He finally contacted Rescue Ink who got an investigation going.

    It’s hard to have any sympathy for this woman on grounds of insanity. According to the article in the SF Gate, she buried some of the animals because they had microchips and could be identified.

    Reply
  8. These stories make me worry about every foster animal I ever place. Maybe this psychopath will get hit by a truck on her way out of jail.

    Reply
    • Erica

       /  February 27, 2011

      You, know I feel the same way everytime I hear of a dog fighting bust….thank goodness none have been around me, or I would be more worried than I already am about the pit types that I have placed….but it DOES worry me about kitties that I have placed because even though I have done follow up for the first year and try to attempt to stay in touch with people…I hear of cats running off all the time and around here a stray cat is considered fair game – I’ve seen idiots with pellet guns shooting at them! – thankfully MOST of the animals I have placed have been with people that I know or that know people I know so I ‘stay in touch’ through our mutual contacts.

      I hear all the time about how guys in jail are treated that are mean to kids…wonder if it’s the same with women?!?! ‘Cuz if it is maybe she won’t be coming out in the same condition she went in….retribution by other prisoners is a common occcurance among men, so maybe it’s that way with women too????

      Reply

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