Thirty two year old Angela Garcia allegedly destroyed the apartment of her boyfriend, Norris Johnson, and poured bleach into his fish tank.
It is no surprise that Garcia was arrested, but what is a surprise is that she was charged with felony counts of animal cruelty in addition to criminal mischief.
The destruction of property stemmed from an argument between the couple, after which time Johnson demanded that Garcia get out. According to the police report, Garcia was out on bond when Johnson agreed to let her stay there for two days.
Mr. Johnson’s son, D’Andre Johnson, left the home for a short time to go to a friend’s home, and when he returned, he smelled bleach and noticed that many items had been destroyed. In total, Garcia was responsible for $1500 worth of property damage, according to police. The son said he’d tried to contact his father but was unable to reach him.
Attorney Jonathan Turley points out the seeming contradiction in charging Garcia with a felony over the fish deaths:
The felony on the fish is a higher than usual charge. However, these are pets and the act was allegedly intentional. It is interesting that we would not find this as notable if she poured the bleach down the throat of a dog or cat. Fish are often treated differently, but there is no real reason for the distinction. However, if this is a felony, then doesn’t that mean that goldfish swallowing at colleges is now a felony?
This case also begs the question of how some animal lives are valued more than others. What do you think? Should people who kill fish be charged with felony animal cruelty?
Source: Naturally Moi