Pixel Tracker

Saturday, February 16 , 2019, 12:10 pm | A Few Clouds 58º


Puppy Abuser’s Release Spurs Anti-Animal Cruelty Draft Bill, Davey’s Law

Despite an outcry from the Santa Barbara community and beyond in the form of a petition with over 12,000 signatures, convicted animal abuser Duanying Chen was released from Santa Barbara County Jail Friday, Dec. 18, 2015, into the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and is being detained at an ICE facility for further processing. 

Chen is deemed to have served his full 365-day jail sentence despite having spent only half of this time incarcerated due to the provisions of California Penal Code 4019, which awards a 50 percent earned time credit.

Sheriff Brown’s office confirmed that the Sheriff has no discretion in Chen’s early release, and according to one dissenter, his release comes far short of what he deserved.

“I don’t think there is a great enough punishment for despicable crimes such as these against the helpless and the voiceless," Diana Basehart, founder of Diana Basehart Foundation said. "This is the moment we have to finally make a difference. We all know animal abuse leads to human abuse. It doesn’t stop with animals. It starts there.”

Davey’s Voice, a nonprofit organization established in honor of brutally tortured Puppy Davey and in order speak out for defenseless animals everywhere, is working on a draft bill to propose to lawmakers, Davey’s Law.

Davey’s Law is in the process of being coined in conjunction with the Animal Legal Defense Fund and others with the aim of strengthening the animal cruelty law in California.

It is hoped that the proposed draft bill will be submitted by local lawmakers to the Office of Legislative Counsel for consideration. 

The proposed draft bill aims to prevent offenders like Chen convicted on charges of animal cruelty from enjoying a 50 percent cut in the jail term announced in open court.

“The Davey/Chen case vividly highlights the lack of justice for the voiceless victims of barbaric animal cruelty in California," said Gretchen Lieff, founder of Davey’s Voice. "California sentencing practices produce confusing and unjust results leaving this State’s citizens misinformed about the true period of incarceration a convicted animal abuser actually serves."

According to Lieff, Davey's voice hopes to send a strong message to the public that abusing defenseless, dependent animals will not be tolerated in California by working with local lawmakers.

State Assemblymember Das Williams said, “It is hard to see how the portion of the sentence served was enough considering the sadistically cruel nature of the crime. Therefore, we must work to ensure that people who exhibit brutal and inhumane behavior, as in this case, are held to an appropriate level of punishment.

"My office is discussing this issue with stakeholders and experts to determine what actions can be taken to provide a greater level of accountability for perpetrators of animal cruelty,” Williams said. 

Former Los Angeles anti-animal cruelty prosecutor Bob Ferber of Last Chance for Animals said, “Animal abuse is not just a crime against animals. It is a crime against civilized society. We are proud to join with Davey’s Voice in changing California laws to increase jail and prison sentences for convicted animal abusers.” 

For more information on Davey’s Voice, visit www.daveysvoice.org.

Patti Teel represents Davey's Voice.

Talk to Us!

Please take Noozhawk's audience survey to help us understand what you expect — and want — from us. It'll take you just a few minutes. Thank you!

Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >