After beating and dumping a cat in a sealed box outdoors in the freezing cold, a man has been sentenced to twelve months of prison — the maximum possible in Ashland County, Ohio.

The innocent animal was found in a sealed litter box in a dumpster and brought to a veterinarian by concerned citizens. The cat appeared to have been beaten, shot in the head with a pellet gun, and was suffering from hypothermia, according to the police investigation. Tragically, the cat’s suffering was so severe that euthanasia was determined to be necessary.

Christopher Ferrell, 51, was arrested shortly after and then pleaded guilty. In addition to receiving the maximum prison sentencing of 12 months, Ferrell was ordered to pay $1,000 to The Cat House Feline Sanctuary — the shelter that funded the cat’s veterinary care in attempt to save the innocent animal’s life.

Ashland County Common Pleas Judge David Stimpert invoked Goddard’s Law during sentencing. Goddard’s Law aims to deter people from harming animals by making cruelty against companion animals a violent offense in addition to a fifth-degree felony offense — and allows for up to twelve months of prison time for those found guilty under the law.

Sentencing Ferrell with the maximum penalty possible under the law sends a message: Animal abuse will not be tolerated.

“I’m finding it to be one of the worst forms, if not the worst form of that offense,” Judge David Stimpert said. “The court is imposing the maximum potential prison term that I have available to me under that offense.”

This innocent cat did not deserve to be shot, beaten, taped in a box, and left for dead in freezing weather. Lady Freethinker applauds the prosecution, judge, and authorities for treating this case with the severity it deserved.