PETITION TARGET: New Jersey Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and Majority Leader Louis Greenwald
UPDATE (6/27/2023): We sent our petition, signed by more than 38,000 people, to the New Jersey Assembly. Thank you to everyone who signed our petition! Unfortunately, we’ve not heard of any changes to this policy of allowing diversion for violent crimes against animals, but they are now aware that there are thousands of Americans who oppose this practice! We will keep advocating for animals in New Jersey and everywhere! —Lady Freethinker Staff
Four months after her guardians allegedly decided to give her away for free to a “good home,” Tori the pit bull starved to death beside a brand new, empty food bowl — her heartbreaking last moments videotaped and posted online.
Police arrested Matthew C. Wydrinski, of East Windsor, N.J., in February. He faced a single count of animal cruelty for causing “serious bodily injury to a living animal or creature by failing to provide the living animal or creature with necessary care,” according to a probable cause affidavit obtained via a public records request.
But in May, a Mercer County Judge allowed Wydrinski to enter a diversion program rather than do jail time for this atrocious act that resulted in the death of an innocent dog through starvation, according to the county prosecutor.
Wydrinksi, who pleaded not guilty, will only have to complete 40 hours of community service, pay minimal fines, and report to a probation officer for three years (during which he will not be allowed to have animals) for this heinous crime.
This sentence does not do justice for this innocent life lost forever, and the four months of agony and suffering Tori experienced while slowly starving to death.
New Jersey doesn’t currently consider animal cruelty as “crimes of violence.” But Tori will never again have the chance to roll in the grass, feel the sunshine on her face, or wag her tail.
It’s time for New Jersey to start taking seriously all acts that result in the death of living beings — including animal cruelty.
Sign our petition urging the New Jersey Legislature to amend the state’s current laws to recognize animal cruelty for the act of intentional violence that it is, saving countless innocent lives.