Bronx animal rights group demands stricter punishment for alleged abuser

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Months after a beagle puppy was beaten and abandoned, a Bronx animals rights group is calling for a harsher punishment for the accused abuser.

Cleo the beagle is now a happy, healthy puppy living in New Jersey -- but that wasn't always the case. Last year she was found in Belmont with broken eye sockets, head trauma and broken bones.

Roxanne Delgado of the Bronx Animal Rights Electors says after police arrested Loro Gjonaj for that abuse and charged him, he was given what she calls a "slap on the wrist" when the district attorney's office offered him probation.

Now, Delgado and her fellow Bronx Electors are calling on the DA's office to give Gjonaj a stricter punishment.

"We're here to protect those that cannot protect themselves. We're not here to harm them," says Bronx Elector Mary Lozada, through tears. "So my feelings just pour out when it comes to animals."

The Bronx Electors say they plan on rallying outside the court at Gjonaj's next appearance July 12.

The Bronx DA's office says Gjonaj would not be allowed to own an animal and would have to register with the animal abuse registry as part of a plea deal.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the DA's office says, "Police gave the defendant a DAT. When he came in we charged him in a criminal complaint with AML 353 and 355 (Torturing of Animals and Abandonment of Animals). He was arraigned in criminal court. During the defendant's appearances in court, the ADA on the record made a recommendation of three years probation, prohibited from owning an animal and registering with animal abuse registry, if the defendant pleads guilty to the top charge, AML 353. The defendant has not accepted this. The case is on for trial on July 12."


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