Daniel Lee Clark, Sr. of Clearspring, MD, was charged with 832 counts of animal cruelty after hundreds of pigs were found dead and abandoned on his property in Fulton County, PA, last year. He pled guilty to 10 counts with the remaining 822 being dropped. His sentence: a $2,500 fine.
We are glad Clark was charged in this case—abuse against farmed animals is rarely ever brought to justice— and give a paws up to District Attorney Travis Kendall for charging Clark. However, we are concerned DA Kendall dropped 822 of the charges in exchange for Clark’s plea and Magisterial District Judge Carol Johnson fined Clark a mere $2,500. The plea agreement could have had Clark receiving a maximum sentence of 900 days in jail and a fine of $7,500.
Farmed animals deserve humane treatment even though they are eventually destined to be slaughtered. It is the responsibility of the owner of farmed animals to make sure that his or her animals are safe. Clark told the judge that the pigs’ deaths were due to an equipment malfunction. Yet isn’t it his responsibility to make sure his equipment is in working or and to check his animals on a regular basis?
Take Action: Pennsylvania residents, write to both District Attorney Travis Kendall and Magisterial District Judge Carol Johnson expressing your thanks for going forward with charges against Clark but your regret that so many were dropped and the resulting sentence so weak.
Travis L. Kendall
126 North Second Street
McConnellsburg PA 17233
Magisterial District Judge
P O Box 171
8366 Great Cove Road
Needmore, PA 17238