September 18, 2007

Alex Atkind '06 Pleads Guilty to Animal Abuse

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Alexander Atkind ’06, who was charged on May 8 on one count of aggravated cruelty to animals, a Class E felony, pled guilty to a felony animal abuse charge in Tompkins County Court yesterday.
He admitted to beating and abusing a 30-pound female Labrador-pit bull mix named Princess on or around March 8 by spraying her with homemade cleaning solution containing bleach, leaving her with little or no eyesight for life. Princess belonged to Atkind’s roommate.
Atkind is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 15. His charge entails a jail term of up to two years. The district attorney, however, is recommending six months of time in a local jail, followed by five years probation. He will also be subject to a $5,000 fine, mandatory psychiatric evaluation and recommended treatments, and he must agree not to own, care for or reside in a home with any pets.
Atkind is currently serving a six-month sentence in the Tioga County Jail for criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth-degree. When the police investigated a car accident that Atkind was involved in on March 17 in Tioga County, he was found to have hallucinogenic mushrooms, according to the Ithaca Journal.
Atkind’s case drew the attention of animal rights organizations from around the country, including the Humane Society of the United States, which drafted a letter to Ithaca District Attorney Gwen Wilkinson last March calling on the her to bring felony charges against the then Cornell senior. The Tompkins County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals housed Princess after her release from Cornell’s veterinary hospital and treated her for her injuries.
As of last May, Princess had received $4000 in donations to the SPCA for her recovery.