Cat Torturer Ordered to Volunteer at Utah Animal Shelter

Screengrab from the Standard-Examiner depicting convicted cat torturer Donald Aaron Hawes
Screengrab from the Standard-Examiner depicting convicted cat torturer Donald Aaron Hawes

On May 4, 2013, Donald Aaron Hawes hauled a cat belonging to his girlfriend’s daughter out from under a bed. He then attempted to kill the cat by strangling her. When that failed, Hawes attempted to kill the pet by squeezing her stomach. And when he failed at that, Hawes threw the cat against a wall in a final attempt to kill her. The daughter had a phone in the room which recorded the violence.

Mercifully, the cat survived and Hawes was charged with third-degree felony torture of a companion animal. But in court last week, Hawes pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of attempted torture of a companion animal. He received a $450 fine, two years of informal probation and will not have to serve one day in jail.

The judge also “ordered Hawes to complete an anger management course and then also ordered him to complete 48 hours of community service.” And where would a judge want to send a violent, abusive freak like Hawes to perform his service to the community? The county shelter. Because yeah, what community wouldn’t want a cat torturer on duty at the local shelter?

Fail, six ways from Sunday.

I sincerely hope no animal shelter in the state will accept this convicted animal abuser for volunteer work. Let him clean toilets at local rest stops or scrub floors at the sewage plant. Keep this scumbag away from animals at all costs.

23 thoughts on “Cat Torturer Ordered to Volunteer at Utah Animal Shelter

  1. That’s insane. Why would they do something so stupid as to put an animal hater/torturer at an animal shelter?!It’s just beyond comprehension. Might as well start putting pedophiles to work at child daycare centers!Makes no sense at all.

  2. The charge should not have been reduced and he should be in jail. It may have been the first time he was arrested and charged, but I’ll bet it was not the first time he abused an animal. Shame on the judge.

  3. I know the intent of the judge was to instill some compassion upon this man, however its a bad idea all the way around. I hope this man is supervised or better yet gets to shadow a shelter worker. Maybe one wont deck him when he gets there. I cant believe he was charged with attempted torture, when clearly it was torture. The fine and the time is unreal, the laws in this nation really need to change. Thumbs up to Michigan for starting it.

  4. Cleansing cat poop will definitely bring him closer to the cats. Brilliant, although I’ve heard of similar punishments for animal abusers.

  5. I think this guy shoul have to live and work at the judges home for 2 years! This is what’s wrong with our criminal system, they walk among us and are allowed to do harm. This decision shows the lack of compassion for pets!

    Next, we will hear that he has assaulted or killed the girlfriend, he’ll probably walk free for that too! History shows that violence towards animals progresses to humans.

    This ridiculous decision, I’m sure is only one of many from this court. If I lived in this area I’d be doing research, expose all these decisions and make some changes in that court!!

  6. NO NO NO! You cannot “teach” compassion to a person that so clearly had none. You just cannot. It’s scary to think that the judge would assign him to community service at an animal shelter. If the local animal shelter is one that allows abuse and neglect of animals in its care, then this man will only learn about getting along with the “good ole boys” and how to cheat the system and torture animals even more. He needs a humbling community service assignment with a lot of structure and he needs to be very closely watched. He might be helped to where he could be a functioning member of society. Or he could be enabled to hurt animals and people and will continue this dark path until someone else is injured or killed.

  7. that judge is just as stupid as this abuser is, why on earth would he sentence an animal abuser to be with animals, and the a- hole should spend time in jail. we should do something about this, can it be protested ?

  8. I agree that this man has to be punished but to allow him to work in animal shelter for free or not, I don’t think this is appropriate punishment. I think he should serve time in prision or be psychiatric assessed to see what was the motive behind what he did. In any case to me no motive will be acceptable. He needs to be away from society for a while to dwell on what he has done.

  9. Every time I see a judge give a ‘sentence’ like this, I WANT TO GET VIOLENT!!!! The judge needs a brain transplant. I wonder if he would put a rapist in a rape crisis center or a child molester in a daycare? I doubt it, and if he did, there would be such an outcry that they’d pull this numnut from the bench! Maybe if he thought of it that way, he’d never do this again. As for the rest of the ‘sentence’— HE SHOULD BE IN JAIL!!!!!!!!!!!:

    1. Some judges do not take animal cruelty seriously. Whereas it seems ludicrous to place a child molester in a daycare for community service so that he can learn to value children appropriately, the same logic does not appear to hold true when judges sentence people who hurt animals. Both crimes represent violence against defenseless victims who can not speak for themselves but when an animal is the victim, the assumption seems to be that the offender can be “cured” with a bit of litter box scooping.

      On Wed, Nov 20, 2013 at 10:55 AM, YesBiscuit!

      1. I think it also shouldn’t be forgotten that the cat was not the sole victim of this crime – it was also a crime against the girl and her mother. I would not be surprised at all if that were the actual intent: assault by proxy, a threat, intended to cause distress and fear even as the cat suffered cruelly.

        I have no proof; it’s not in the articles. But these sorts of crimes follow patterns, and this is a very common one. So, I think there’s a likelihood that the judge in this case not only trivialized pet abuse with this sentence – which IMHO treats Mr Hawes as if he were a boy – but also a very common form of domestic abuse.

    1. I cannot imagine what kind of facility would even allow him to be there, much less have any contact with the animals.

  10. This MAN is DANGEROUS and deserves punishment for his heinous crime, not a slap on the wrist nor should he be any where near animals or people for that matter! What is wrong with this judge????????????

  11. Isn’t anyone in the community complaining? Need a petition to get that judge OFF the bench he is a complete idiot. I do hope the GF and her daughter have kicked this guy out permanently or they will both pay a heavy price as this is the makings of a serial killer. Please this is why we have so many animal abusers because they are not punished severely. This guy will probably do this and more with all the cats he’ll have at his disposal in the shelter(s). I do hope no one will let him in their doors.

  12. What we need are judiciaries willing to do the ‘right’ thing…you know, the reason they are in the position of enforcing what is ‘right’. It is ‘never’ right to abuse an animal. And to ego the comment of having an animal abuser serve time in a shelter? What is wrong with that judge? How do such people get into these positions of power in the first place? People are consumed by their own ego and greed that they are unable to fight for what’s right. Karma…it works both ways.

  13. This is my step dad and that was my sisters cat. This had been going on for years when my sister and I finally decided it was time to put phones in our room to record him. She showed me the video and I told her to call the cops. We were headed to a soccer game when we went home to grab our stuff and a cop was waiting for him. Aaron’s parents bailed him out of jail that night and he came and slept in the same bed as my mom. He still lives in our home. My sister was kicked out for “causing problems” she was only 15 at the time and turned to drugs. He has lived with us for 7 years now and there isn’t a day in my life that I feel safe.

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