Please contact the Assistant DA in charge of this case and politely ask him to reconsider the charge and request that he raise its status to a Felony:
Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Walter Jackson
FAX: (510) 268 - 2067
Re: Case #05 - 015454 (North Oakland rabbit killings)
Phone calls are also needed (510) 268-7575
For more information about this case, please go to: http://www.rabbit.org/rabbit-center/...ase/index.html
UPDATE: Oakland Rabbit Killings - Tribune Article Today
Owner: Charge against boy in rabbit deaths too light
Activists say bunnies' killings warrant felony prosecution, not misdemeanor animal cruelty
By Susan McDonough, STAFF WRITER
OAKLAND — A 13-year-old foster child cited in March for killing two of his neighbor's pet rabbits was charged this week with a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge.
The rabbits' owner, who had asked the district attorney to prosecute the case vigorously, said Friday she is disappointed with the charge.
Police and hundreds of animal rights activists had asked the Alameda County District Attorney's Office to charge the crime as a felony, saying the brutal killing of the animals indicated the boy was emotionally unbalanced and needed quick professional intervention.
The boy apparently bludgeoned the rabbits with clumps of brick and tar after a storm blew down a fence separating their yards, according to police.
An animal cruelty charge is known in the legal system as a "wobbler," meaning it can be charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony.
Assistant District Attorney Walter Jackson said Friday he chose the lesser charge because he hopes it will lead to an early plea bargain, allowing the courts to determine how to help the boy rather than getting him caught up in litigation.
Jackson was inundated with letters and e-mails from animal rights activists from as far away as Nova Scotia and New York asking him to take the case seriously and reminding him that animal abuse is often a sign of future violence against humans.
Jackson, a veteran prosecutor who has decided numerous juvenile cases, including equally heated animal abuse charges, said he is "mindful of what people felt," but it didn't influence how he decided to charge the case.
He based his decision on the facts of the case and the law, he said.
"Everything we need to do and I need to do can be done through this mechanism," he said.
The rabbits' owner, Asia Grey, said she was disappointed initially when she learned of Jackson's decision but will be satisfied as long as the boy is held responsible for his actions and gets help.Both Grey and Oakland police Sgt. Dave Cronin, who is in charge of the Oakland Animal Shelter
, said they
would like to see the boy relocated to a home with more supervision and guidance.
He has lived with his elderly foster family in North Oakland since he was 5 and had previous run-ins with Grey's rabbits before March, when he admitted to killing the two bunnies, named Irving and Benito, in their own back yard.
A third rabbit, Fiona, injured in the attack, died later.
Clarence Brown, the boy's 83-year-old foster father, said Friday he hates that the boy killed the animals but doesn't believe the boy is a danger.
Brown offered Grey money when the boy killed the animals, and he said his foster son told him and police he was only trying to keep the bunnies from coming into his yard.
The boy also told authorities he had been chasing the rabbits in Grey's yard when they ran under her back steps. He was pelting them with the rocks to get them to come out, he said.
But Grey doesn't buy her young neighbor's story.
The boy had seen her own children and friends interacting with the bunnies countless times — she has nearly a dozen, all friendly family pets trained to use litter boxes inside the house.
"He knew if he wanted to play with them he could just com