LEVEL PLAINS, Ala. (WDHN) — Tuesday afternoon, Level Plain residents and animal rescue group members gathered together to hear the final verdict for Raymond Christopher Bryant, a man charged with 11 counts of animal cruelty.
During his trial, Bryant reached a plea bargain deal with the prosecution to plead guilty to one count of animal cruelty and to pay several thousand dollars worth of restitution.
According to Bryant’s attorney, the agreement came as a strategic move.
“He (Byrant) is embarrassed about this whole situation and he pled guilty in order to bring this incident to a close,” said Bryant’s attorney, Charles Fleming.
Although the trial is over, many Level Plains residents and local animal lovers said they are undecided about whether justice was served.
“I believe that it should be done, you know, equal justice,” said Level Plains resident Paula Rounds.
“It’s just horrible for those animals,” said another Level Plains resident Dawn Strops.
While some said they had conflicting emotions about the verdict, many said they are glad that at least one major goal was accomplished.
“The fact that he pled guilty to one count of animal cruelty might be a little on the light side for us, but the thing that’s important is that he no longer has the hunting dogs in his possession,” SOS Animal Shelter Bill Brooks said.
Despite mixed reactions, one animal rescuer said this situation can remind people to find ways to help prevent these types of cases,
“Help somebody that needs help,” Wiregrass Animal Group member Stefanie Berry said. “Feed the neighbors’ dog if they can’t afford it. Take a dog to the vet if you find it on the side of the road. Help those dogs for the ones we couldn’t help.”
Additionally, some said they think this situation points to an even bigger problem: Alabama’s animal rights.