ASPCA Announces Sentencing of Queens Resident Following Conviction in Cat Abuse Case

<p>Cat was starved, neglected and close to death when found by ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement agents</p>
January 19, 2012

NEW YORK--The ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced the sentencing of Queens resident Davanand Raghunath, 28, who had been arrested in October 2010 for starving and neglecting his then 7-year-old male cat, named Leo. Raghunath was convicted of misdemeanor animal cruelty on December 7, 2011 and was sentenced yesterday to three years of probation and a three-year non-possess order. This means that he is not allowed to own any animals during this time. In addition, Raghunath will be required to complete any programs as required by the probation department.

"Although we would have supported a stiffer sentence given Mr. Raghunath's failure to care for Leo, who depended on his owner to provide him with an adequate quality of life, we are at least gratified to know that he now has a criminal record as a result of the animal cruelty conviction," said Stacy Wolf, vice president and chief legal counsel of the ASPCA's Humane Law Enforcement department. "We can only hope that this experience was sufficiently sobering for Mr. Raghunath and that he will not victimize other helpless animals."

In August 2010, agents from the ASPCA's Humane Law Enforcement department discovered Leo living in deplorable conditions in the basement of a store located in Ozone Park. Raghunath relinquished Leo to the agents, and he was brought to the ASPCA's Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital for treatment. Leo was emaciated, dehydrated, infested with fleas and close to death.

After nearly three months of intensive care, Leo made a full recovery. He was subsequently adopted in December 2010 and is now enjoying life in his new home in Jersey City, N.J.

To report animal cruelty in New York City, contact the ASPCA's Humane Law Enforcement department at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4450 or [email protected].