Rep. Robert Nardolillo III (R-Dist. 28 Coventry) is upset over the recent court case involving an Exeter man convicted on two counts of animal cruelty.

Police raided the home of an Exeter man in December and found nearly 100 animals living in unsanitary conditions including dogs, chickens, ducks, rabbits, and goats. Last week the man in question was convicted of two charges including overwork, mistreatment or failure to feed animals and unnecessary cruelty to animals. He was only fined $200 for his actions leaving many animal advocacy groups upset over the court’s decision.

The Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RISPCA) feel this punishment does not go far enough and that judgements like this will only encourage animal abuse because there are no serious consequences.

Rep. Nardolillo agrees stating, “This ruling is very disappointing. I have no tolerance for animal abuse and I have worked hard as a legislator to put laws in place to prevent these heinous acts. All of that effort was undone when the court chose to issue a $200 fine instead of a real punishment. What kind of message does it send when the penalty for being so cruel costs less than a speeding ticket?”

Rhode Island has seen a number of similar animal abuse cases in recent months and Rep. Nardolillo feels that something must be done to protect the rights of animals in Rhode Island.

He went on to say, “The kind of leniency applied to this case is outrageous. Rhode Island should strive to set an example for the rest of the nation but rulings like this have the opposite effect. We must do more to protect our animals but that can only happen if everyone does their part. The courts need to do more in the future to ensure that these crimes are dealt with consistently and appropriately.”

Rep. Nardolillo has long been a supporter of animal rights. He has cosponsored legislation in the past that increased the penalties for those convicted of animal abuse and called for the courts to impose harsher sentences on abusers.