More than a few eyebrows will be raised when people read about this crime and the punishment given. Was the punishment given the right fit for the crime committed?

A man with a Villa Ridge address was sentenced to four years in prison for killing a cat with a hatchet. The sentence was levied in a circuit court in Jefferson County, where the crime occurred. The charge was felony animal abuse.

The cat belonged to a neighbor. It was an 11-year-old calico cat named Molly. The man said it was a mercy killing because the cat had been hit by a car. But a veterinarian found that the cat’s only injury was a severed spine, allegedly from the hatchet.

Did the sentence fit the crime that was committed?

There will be those people who say the sentence was too severe. Others will say the sentence was justified. Our opinion? Had we been the judge, we would have been a bit more creative, such as probation and ordering the defendant to work for the Humane Society for a year or two cleaning out animal cages and performing other chores at no pay, of course. That would be a more productive sentence and, who knows, the man might become attached to animals.