Regular readers may remember the cruelty case against the owners of Purple Hearted Puppies in AL (see the original post, update #1 and update #2). This was a private “shelter” operated out of the home of mother and daughter Roberta and Sharon Dueitt. In January 2012, the Dueitts reportedly left town for 2 weeks while 200 animals were left starving on their property. Having solicited donations from the public, they had the means to care for the animals, they just left them to suffer and die in cages, surrounded by bags of food they could see but not touch. At the time of their arrest, authorities indicated there would be hundreds of felony and misdemeanor charges filed against the Dueitts.
Yesterday the Dueitts pleaded guilty to one felony and one misdemeanor count of animal cruelty. They received a year’s probation and a $100,000 fine payable to a local HS. They have never spent a day in jail and never will, at least for these crimes. They can start up their “shelter” again in 5 years.
I will never forget the video taken during the raid which showed officers frantically pouring food into the cages and cats desperately reaching their front legs out the bars and mewing. Purple Hearts are medals awarded to soldiers who are wounded or killed in the line of duty. The Dueitts wounded or killed many. They were rewarded with a monetary fine. Shame on the Baldwin County District Attorney’s Office for agreeing to this unjust plea deal.