Alley Cat Allies sent the following letter on February 22, 2024 to the prosecutor in the case of Juliet the cat, who was horrifically tortured in her Hamilton, Ohio, neighborhood to the point where she had to be humanely euthanized. We call for the strictest possible punishment for this heinous act of senseless cruelty and we are offering our assistance in ensuring justice is served.

Brad Burress
Butler County Prosecuting Attorney

Dear Mr. Burress,

On behalf of Allies Cat Allies and our more than 82,000 supporters in Ohio, I am writing in support of your prosecution of Zhean Bai for the unlawful torture of the cat known as Juliet in Hamilton, Ohio.

Alley Cat Allies is the leading advocacy organization with a mission to protect and improve the lives of all cats and kittens. Since our founding in 1990, we have worked in communities large and small to develop humane, evidence-based policies for cats and take strong action, including in court, against incidents of cruelty to cats. Our organization and our over 1 million supporters encourage your leadership in addressing this case with the diligence and commitment it deserves.

Far too often, our judicial system does not adequately recognize the implications of cruelty to animals and, as a result, does not work to ensure the abusers receive a punishment that reflects the severity of the crime. To underestimate the depravity of animal cruelty and the harm it causes is to fail to recognize cats as sentient beings with inherent value who suffer and feel pain, and deserve neither. It is also a grave failure to grasp the role of cruelty to cats in the greater landscape of violence in our society. As you may know, the link between animal cruelty and child abuse, domestic violence, and adverse mental health and community health outcomes is well established, and research has found that violence against animals is predictive of, and often co-occurring with, violence against humans. To protect us all, animals and people, it is critical to enforce our animal cruelty laws.

The allegations surrounding Mr. Bai’s torture of Juliet are egregious and extremely disturbing. While Juliet is the known direct victim, the community at large is also at risk. Animal abuse does not occur in a vacuum, and acts of violence toward cats are a public crisis. Violent perpetrators must be held accountable for their crimes and sentenced with appropriate severity to deter future abusive conduct and enhance community safety.

We appreciate your efforts to pursue animal cruelty charges against Mr. Bai and to seek the maximum possible sentence upon conviction. Upon conviction, we would advocate for terms of probation/parole to include a prohibition against Mr. Bai’s owning or possessing any animals for the maximum period of probation and subjecting Mr. Bai to random inspections by the county humane society and/or other law enforcement in the county where he resides while on probation for the purpose of ensuring that no animals are being kept, as well as a mental health evaluation.

Further, that Mr. Bai be prohibited from owning or caring for any companion animal permanently. This is a unique sentencing provision for R.C. §959.131 cases that extends beyond the maximum period of probation pursuant to R.C. §959.131(E)(5)(a) (“The court also may prohibit or place limitations on the person’s ability to own or care for any companion animals for a specified or indefinite period of time.”). See also State v. Bechtel, 2020-Ohio-4889.

Alley Cat Allies wishes to offer continued support and assistance to ensure this case concludes in a manner that brings justice to the victim and sets a standard for future investigation and prosecution of animal cruelty. Please contact me at [email protected] to discuss how we can help.