Abuse - When is it Going to be Taken Seriously?
You’ve probably heard the names Bundy, Dahmer, Gacy; all names of notorious killers and what do they all have in
common? They started out as animal abusers. What about the names; Kip Kinkle and Luke Woodham or Eric Harris and
Dylan Klebold? Not quite so well known except in some circles and in the minds and memories of their victims’
families. These two pairs of names belong to teenage boys who went on killing sprees, the second pair are the
infamous Columbine High School killers. What do they all have in common? They all tortured and killed animals,
sometimes bragging to their friends.
Now what about the names; Dasha Lombard, James Manzanares, and Nicholas
Stogdon? Probably not unless you live in
Alamogordo, MN and either know them or were paying attention to the news in late spring in this year, 2007. They
are three ‘children,’ aged 15, 14 and 13, at the time, who found a wandering puppy and decided to have some fun.
They taped the dog’s muzzle shut with packing tape, stabbed her with a knife and screwdriver and proceeded to
drop a 40 lb concrete block on her. When questioned about it, the response was, ‘It was just a f-- dog!” These
‘children’ were completely unaffected by the torture they inflicted on this innocent and defenseless
And this was not the first brush with the law for any of them.
These three teens are not new to their antisocial behavior. Lombard was charged with having a deadly weapon on
school property, charged with criminal damage to property when she allegedly spray-painted an elementary school
playground, previous charges include shoplifting and resisting, evading and obstructing an officer as well as
numerous incidents of trouble at school, usually involving verbally abusing teachers. Manzanares’ priors include
shoplifting (including one incident where he was with co-defendant Stogdon), disorderly conduct, larceny, receiving
stolen property and burglary. Stogdon was charged several times with shoplifting; twice for battery on a household
member; for running away; and for burglary.
There was a case in Macon, GA earlier this year in
whichthree boys, two 14 year olds and a 13 year old
burned two dogs to death. Prior to this they
had been in trouble with the law and after their arrests but while they were in their parents’ custody, they
proceeded to commit other crimes. Each of these boys was sentenced to 60 days detention. That’s it, just 60 days
Then we have one of the latest to add to
this list of
horrors by ‘children’ against animals. A 5 month old Chihuahua mix,
Tobey, was stolen out of its own yard in
Guadalupe County in Texas by three ‘children.’ The 12, 14 and 16 year old boys took this little puppy to an
abandoned house and proceeded to throw the puppy out of a second story window several times until its back legs
were broken, hung it in a tree by those mangled and broken legs, beat it with a nail studded board, lit it on
fire and finally cut it head off. The boys were arrested at the scene and when questioned, they showed
absolutely no remorse for the torture they inflicted on this tiny puppy. At most, these three boys will remain
in juvenile detention until they are nineteen.
These are just a few of the many, many incidences out there and
these are just juvenile cases. You can bet in the future you will be hearing about some of them again. Their names
and faces will grace the front pages and be the leading story on newscasts and their crimes will not be against
just animals but against people.
Every day I hear stories of animal abusers getting sentences so
lenient that people hearing about it are just shock and incensed;
Charles J. Friel
III, 22, of Allen Street in Philadelphia beat
a dog that was in his care and left it chained to a tree with skull and rib fractures to suffer and die a
horrible death last year and was sentenced to probation.
John W. Meyer, 41, of Shotkoski Drive of Hoffman Estates, IL, killed a puppy for
urinating on the rug. He threw a 7 month old, 4 lb Chihuahua 14 foot across the room against a wall then slapped
the tiny dog so hard he broke one of its legs, all of this in front of two children and he was sentenced to
Marlene S. Diaz, 24, of Cooper Street in Manchester, Connecticut had a tiny little
Chihuahua locked in the basement for so long and under such terrible conditions that when the dog way found
after an anonymous tip by a Connecticut Natural Gas employee, she weighed about a third of what she should have
weighed. She was nothing but a skeleton covered in skin and a vet had no other option but to euthanize the dog
due to the severity of her condition. Diaz was sentenced to probation.
Maryanne Adams, of Greenwood Lake, NY starved a dog to death. A beautiful St. Bernard
husky mix that she adopted from the humane society was left in the yard, no food, no water, freezing cold, to
die a horrible death. And her sentence, community service! Warwick Town Justice Daniel Coleman didn’t even care
enough to give her probation, let alone a real sentence!
These are just a few cases in which the criminals were actually
identified and convicted. They are all a matter of public record. But what about all the cases of animal abuse and
cruelty in which no one is ever identified? The monsters out there still walking the streets free to inflict their
atrocities on other animals or to work their way up to human victims.
Laws that target animal abusers far too often are either too
lenient, too vague or unenforced. There are still 7 states that do not even have felony provisions for cruelty to
animals; Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Utah. There are still two states
which do not have felony provisions for dog fighting; Idaho and Wyoming.
These are not opinions, these are facts! And it is also a fact
that there is astrong and indisputable correlation between
animal abuse and interpersonal violence. This
is one of the biggest reasons that animal abusers need to be dealt with harshly, not just for the cruelties
inflicted upon innocent and defenseless animals, which is certainly bad enough, but for the cruelties that many
of these abusers will go on to inflict on human
Isn’t it past time for our judicial system and our lawmakers to
start taking animal abuse seriously? It’s time to stand up and speak out for those without the voice to speak for
themselves! It’s time to demand justice for the innocent victims!
Will you sit back and like so many people, just ignore it because
you think it doesn’t involve you or will you stand up and take action? Don’t wait until it’s too late and it’s your
beloved pet or maybe your child, spouse, parent or family member who is affected. Write, call, email and fax your
legislators and demand change. Isn’t it time to take animal abuse seriously?
by Deanna RaekeBack to Top