Petition calls for harsher punishment of flamingo-killing lowlife

It wouldn't bring Pinky back, no, but handing down a harsher punishment for the man whose cruelty caused the death of the beloved Busch Gardens flamingo would be a satisfying development for many.

Plus, it would send the message to potential animal abusers that attacking animals has harsh consequences.

On Aug. 2, Joseph Anthony Corrao, 45, picked Pinky up and threw the bird back down, according to witnesses. The flamingo was euthanized as a result of its injuries. Corrao was arrested and charged with animal cruelty and his bail was set at $5,000. And it wasn't even his first offense; he'd previously shot and killed two dogs.

Now, a petition on the site Care2 is gathering signatures in an effort to call for a harsher penalty.

"Pinky was well-known as a sweetheart who loved to perform for humans,” petition author Janis Restivo, a Tampa resident, told Care2, according to a press release. “This man killed a defenseless animal after getting out of prison for shooting two dogs."

She went on to say she hopes local authorities and political leaders will heed the call for stricter punishment — namely, ten years and a $10,000 fine.

"I hope Mark Ober, the Hillsborough County State Attorney, makes our community and our animals safer and throws the book at him," she continued. "We hope Senator Marco Rubio or Senator Bill Nelson will also get involved to make laws stronger against animal abuse for the future.”

Find the petition, which now has over 90,000 signatures here.

While it may not directly affect his punishment, the Hillsborough County Commission is on its way to punishing animal abusers in a different way.

Commissioners and county staff are currently developing an animal abuse registry to help pet rescues and other organizations that work with animals (as well as the general public) identify individuals who have caused harm to animals in the past while barring them from being around animals.

That conversation is currently underway; a public hearing set for Wednesday morning was continued until September,

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