Last year during Ohio’s Deer gun season, Michael Chedester killed two dogs while deer hunting in Belmont County. He says he shot the dogs because he just wanted to kill something. He now is going to jail.
Chedester was sentenced to 6 months in jail and given 3 years’ probation. He was also ordered 500 hours of community service at the county animal shelter, or the choice of a $5,000 donation to the facility. He also agreed to pay an additional $200 toward the reimbursement of the dogs, along with a $2,500 fine. He already was fired from his job at AEP just after the incident.
After sentencing Judge John Vavra says although Ohio has upgraded some animal cruelty crimes to felonies, the legislation is lacking teeth.
“I own dogs, rescue dogs myself, and while the legislature has toughened the laws, they did not change the sentencing criteria,” Vavra said. “And unless I can find one of those factors, I do not believe in this Court of Appeals Division District there is basis to impose a prison sentence.”
The dogs’ owner Pete Byers said he’s received a ton of support.
“I can’t go anywhere without somebody saying I’m sorry for what he did to your dogs or I’m sorry for what happened to your pets. Everybody has a pet. Everybody can relate. I’m just sorry that it was mine that got killed,”
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