Man who threw dog over animal shelter fence sentenced to probation and community service; Man convicted of animal abuse also ordered to replay animal rescue for dog’s veterinary bills

OKEECHOBEE — Jorge Samuel Hernandez, also known as Eleazar Ramirez-Avila, who was found guilty of aggravated animal cruelty, was sentenced post-trial on March 1 by 19th Circuit Judge Michael C. Heisey.

Hernandez was arrested by Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Deputy James Hartsfield after video surveillance cameras at the Okeechobee County Animal Shelter recorded the man at 4:57 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017, throwing a female cur-mix puppy over a fence at the shelter, which resulted in a Type 1 Salter-Harris fracture (growth plate fracture) to the rear right leg.

“I tried to find the best place for the dog and never intended to cause it any harm,” Hernandez testified in defense of his actions.

Prior to sentencing, Assistant State Attorney Don Richardson asked Judge Heisey for Hernandez to spend one year in the Okeechobee County Jail, followed by four years of probation, and an adjudication of guilt.

Judge Heisey, however, sentenced Hernandez to three years of probation, withheld adjudication, and ordered he pay Nala’s Animal Rescue for the dog’s $1,000 surgery and to perform 200 hours of community service at an animal shelter.

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