Accused animal abuser target of petition by outraged neighbors

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Accused Animal Abuser Target Of Petition By Outraged Neighbors

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Outraged that an accused animal abuser has escaped any significant jail time, a group of neighbors in south Florida has started a petition drive, demanding stiffer penalties against the suspect. petition seeks 5,000 signatures and the attention of local and state authorities, and asks that 56-year-old Dolores Saverese be prosecuted "to the fullest extent of the law." So far, 4,000 people have signed the petition.

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Saverese was arrested last October on 18 animal cruelty and confinement charges after Boca Raton police found seven dead dogs and nine distressed others living in reportedly “deplorable” conditions at her Boca Raton-area home. After a judge ordered Saverese to have no contact with animals, she left jail that same night on a $24,000 bond, according to court records.

But in late February she was arrested once again after police found a German shepherd in her home. A judge ordered her jailed.

“Please sign the petition I created,” wrote Danielle Riggin, a local lawyer and animal rescue advocate who organized the drive, in an online neighborhood forum. “I will deliver to the judge, state prosecutor, Boca Police and Palm Beach Animal Care and Control after we collect as many signatures as possible.”

Area resident and fellow dog lover Shari Jorge quickly backed the cause.

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“It hits me hard to realize what has happened in that house for years. She’s been arrested repeatedly and nothing really happens to her. She goes on with her behavior,” Jorge, a local yoga instructor, said.

As some area residents have echoed on the online neighborhood forum, Jorge suggests the punishment for the animal cruelty should extend to the property owner who resides at the home where the dogs died. Property records show the home is owned by Jake Saverese, 81. The petition identifies him as the accused woman’s brother, but that could not be confirmed. He could not be reached for comment.

Dolores Saverese remains in jail, according to Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office records.