Animal Cruelty Crimes Spread to Hoarding in Jacksonville Area

Jacksonville is a place full of animal lovers and animal enthusiasts. However, this city can also be a place with the occasional animal hoarder. No matter which category fits the accused, if someone is accused of animal cruelty, they should contact an experienced attorney to defend them and their rights.

According to the Sun Sentinel, Virginia Louise Robison has been charged with three counts of causing cruel death and suffering to an animal and three counts of unlawful confinement and abandonment of an animal. The charges came after a report of three “emaciated” cats living in Robison’s home Jupiter Ridge. sad_cat-atyg3%281%29%281%29.jpg

Jacksonville Animal Cruelty Crimes can range from the more common reports of dog fighting to the now more common hoarding practice of more than a healthy number of pets, be it cats, dogs, birds, or other household pets. No matter what the particular pet one hoards, the penalty for the practice can be staggering.

Animal Cruelty is covered in Florida Statutes 828.12. Animal Cruelty, under this statute, is when a person unnecessarily deprives, overloads, overdrives, or torments animals, or, in Robison’s case, causes the death of the animal. However unfortunate the case may be for the animals, Robison still has rights that should be protected.

Robison fits the definition of an animal hoarder, or someone who collects in massive amounts pets that they cannot take care of by themselves. Law enforcement officials knew this of Robison before her arrest. A search warrant had been served at her home previously, where the 18 emaciated cats were found. When questioned over the phone about the cats, Robison said that she was trying to find homes for the cats.

Most hoarders, like Robison, have good intentions when it comes to the hoarding of these animals; however, they do not have the means of taking care of them like they should be. Unfortunately, the law does not take into account good intentions. The law sees these matters in black and white, particularly when it comes to punishment for animal cruelty.

Animal cruelty under 828.12 is a first degree misdemeanor offense which carries up to a year in jail, and fines of up to $5,000. However, penalties such as these do not fix the problem. People convicted of animal cruelty cannot be helped through sitting in jail. Hoarders need psychological rehabilitation rather than jail-time, which will only improve the person convicted of hoarding, as well as society.

With an experienced Jacksonville animal cruelty lawyer, the accused, like Robison, will have options. An attorney with experience in this area will be able to work with the Judge and prosecutors to figure out a rehabilitative method for helping the hoarder, the animals, and society, rather than merely postponing a possibly recurring pattern of animal cruelty.


The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for more than a decade and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.

Additional Source: Jupiter woman charged with animal cruelty over emaciated and dead cats, Cynthia Roldan, The Palm Beach Post