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Animal advocate to be tethered in protest of animal abuser sentencing

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On Monday, Ian West pleaded guilty in the Oneida County Courthouse in Utica, N.Y. to aggravated animal cruelty in the starvation death of four-year-old Lainey, an Australian shepherd reports the

Lainey's Army, an animal advocacy group organized to protect other dogs and to fight for stronger legislation to punish animal abusers, had hoped West's appearance in court would have been a day of justice for Lainey.

Instead on January 27, West will be sentenced to five years probation and community service. In protest of the decision, the group's founder, Kimberly Strong will spend five days tethered to a building in the freezing cold to represent the five weeks Lainey was left alone to starve and to send a message to legislators everywhere. Strong told wktv:

"Otherwise I'm going to be out here in the cold for nothing and that would be a waste. Lainey will have died and it will be a waste and it can't be a waste. The judges, the district attorney, the lawyers let us down. The legal system, the laws, the legislators, they all let us down. So if we want change, if we want these animals safe, we have to do something."

Strong will be tethered to a 20-foot chain.

West, 25, stated through his attorney that Lainey had belonged to his estranged wife who never came back to retrieve her dog. For five weeks West ignored the dog who had been chained outside of his home and let her starve.

Lainey should have weighed 45 pounds; at the time of her rescue, she weighed 15 pounds. Lainey died a few days later.

On January 27, West will be sentenced to five years probation and community service. Animal advocates say this punishment was no more than a slap on the wrist.

A Facebook page Justice for Lainey reflects similar dissatisfaction over the anticipated punishment. Kimberly Strong will be outside a building on Commercial Drive from Dec. 11 to Dec. 14.

"I will be outside that building and from Friday noon until Sunday 4pm I will not be leaving that site at all- Whether I stand alone? - or whether I have people with me- one way or another NOTHING is going to stop me from finishing this. NOTHING is going to stop me from raising awareness to break the chains of tethering... nothing is going to stop me from having Lainey's name on everyone's lips.... for those 5 days," stated Strong.

The attorney for West, Cory Zennamo, stated his client would be paying a significant price for the mistake he made.

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