It was over 17 months ago when Byron was scalded with hot water by his previous owner, Kyle Voissem, and it was over 15 months ago when Voissem was arrested for the crime. It has been since the arrest that his case has drawn out for as long as it did. But, finally, it all came to a conclusion yesterday after a 2 day bench trial. Voissem was found guilty of criminal intent of animal cruelty, a felony charge that includes up to 3 years in prison. Voissem’s sentencing date was set for May 20th. However after a long extension granted by the Judge due to a psychological evaluation, Voissem’s sentencing was finally on July 11th. He was sentenced to 1 year probation.
Although the sentencing was very light and that Voissem basically cried as victim due to the petitioning and action by all animal lovers, the felony conviction alone is a great victory for both animals and animal rights groups because not only does it set a precedent for other first-time offenders but it also sets the precedent that a split-second decision out of anger can change the course of an abuser’s life in an instant.
Another animal cruelty case that I have been following is that of Derek Fierro. I will post the details and update on this case soon.
Based on all of the comments about Byron’s Story, Facebook postings, various message boards all over the internet, it can go without saying that there has been an overwhelming reaction to the cruelty by Kyle Voissem. Many have threatened acts of vigilantism against him. While many others have expressed passion over getting justice for Byron. It is because of all this attention that on January 26 Kyle was officially charged with a felony and his preliminary hearing for the new felony charge was February 2nd, where he denied “pouring” hot water and instead claims he only splashed or flicked hot water at Byron. His next court date is set for February 28 now for 2 counts of aggravated cruelty instead of the previous 1 count. Continue reading
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In early October 2011, Byron (pictured above) was scalded by boiling hot water for urinating on the floor by his owner Kyle Voissem , a student (gymnastics) athlete at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Sadly, Byron suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns but did not receive medical treatment until several days later when a neighbor tipped off the Anti-Cruelty Society, who later alerted authorities. Kyle was not arrested with misdemeanor charges until December 13 and his story then spread like wildfire via The Huffington Post, CBS Chicago, Chicago Tribune, and of course social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter.
This is a photo of Byron during his recovery.
(courtesy of the Anti-Cruelty Society)
While a petition is available online via Change.org to upgrade Kyle’s misdemeanor charge to a felony, Continue reading
Posted in animal care, animal cruelty, animal rescue, education, legislation, media
Tagged animal cruelty, felony, kyle voissem, misdemeanor, NCAA, student, UIC