SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Nineteen-year-old Roberto Hernandez will not serve jail time after he was convicted of setting a cat on fire and feeding the corpse to dogs in Southwest Miami-Dade.
Hernandez stood before a judge on Friday morning facing an animal cruelty charge.
The initial crime took place on July 10, 2016, but details and video of the crime were recently released.
The incident took place at the suspect’s home, on the 16600 block of Southwest 174th Ave.
Police said Hernandez was caught on video footage pouring some sort of combustible liquid on a cat trapped in a cage before setting the animal on fire.
He then allegedly stood by and watched as the animal burned alive.
Hernandez was ordered to 100 hours of community service and five years of probation.
“I think it’s disgusting,” activist Regina Vlasek said. “It seems as though unless we, the animal advocates, go to court, demand these penalties, people are continuously getting just a slap on the wrist. I hope that the judges are not re-elected because they obviously are ignorant, and they don’t see the connection between abusing an animal and to go on to abuse people.”
Vlasek said getting light sentences in animal abuse crimes is a recurring problem, and she advocates a broad approach to solve it.
“It would be law enforcement working together with our judicial system to make sure that they’re going by the guidelines. That these people are punished,” Vlasek said.
The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office issued the following statement:
“It is our sincere hope that this young man who brutally caused the torture and death of a defenseless caged cat, will adhere to any suggested psychological or psychiatric treatment imposed by a duly-qualified physician. Animal abuse cases have been a long-standing priority of the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office. We will continue to pursue the prosecution of all animal abuse cases as far as the evidence and Florida Law will allow.”
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