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Cellphone video leads to abuse arrest

kiloWhen public officials say they “take something very seriously,” it’s often because they haven’t been taking it very seriously.

Nearly three months ago, authorities in Las Vegas dropped an investigation into a man’s complaint that his neighbor was abusing his dog.

Last week, though, that same dog owner was arrested — thanks to the persistent efforts of the neighbor who, after his earlier complaint led nowhere, went on to videotape the man mistreating his dog and than gave the evidence to officials.

Charged with felony cruelty to animals was Roy Cozart, 30, who beat his pit bull, Kilo, with a rock and the handle of a hammer and threw him against a wall, Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson announced Friday in a press release.

“Animal abuse is a serious offense that will not be tolerated,” the district attorney said.  “We take all allegations of abuse very seriously and pursue criminal charges when appropriate.”

But as KTNV pointed out in a news report, the initial complaint against the neighbor came months ago.

While authorities apparently didn’t see the original complaint as that serious, they now say Kilo was abused multiple times between July 15 and Oct. 13.

The difference, this time, was apparently the video.

cozartTaken by the neighbor’s cellphone video on Oct. 8, it allegedly shows Cozart drag Kilo by his neck, swing him around in the air and then hit the dog with a six-inch rock.

Even after that, though, an animal control investigator who later visited Cozart’s home, reported that the dog, though he had cuts and bruises on his face, “appeared happy.”

It wasn’t until a week later that the dog was seized and examined by veterinarians who said they saw signs of abuse. Kilo is now in a foster home and is reported to be doing well, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

“We are thankful the D.A. has taken animal cruelty seriously and has brought the appropriate charges against Roy Cozart,” said Gina Greisen, president of Nevada Voters for Animals. “We are confident that policies and procedures addressing serious allegations of cruelty will improve as more animal cruelty cases are prosecuted under Cooney’s law,” she said.

Cooney’s Law was passed by the Nevada State Legislature in 2011 making animal cruelty a felony. It’s named after a 3-year-old beagle from Reno who was killed when her owner cut her stomach open, thinking that a mouse crawled inside the dog. The owner was charged with a misdemeanor under the law in effect at the time.

Now it’s a felony, punishable by one to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

That’s progress, but only if the law is swiftly and strongly enforced.


Comment from Smoketoomuch
Time November 6, 2013 at 11:38 am

Yet another “human” animal who belongs in a cage. the Judicial system needs to slap him down HARD! And we also need to insure that he never has the opportunity to do something like this again. Lifetime ban on pet ownership.

Comment from Jen Brighton
Time November 6, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Thank goodness for people like this who don’t just say, “I tried,” and then give up. To think that poor Kilo didn’t have to suffer months of abuse if animal control had removed him earlier. Glad he’s in a foster home hopefully getting lots of love and care.

Comment from vida
Time November 6, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Similar case lately in upstate new york http://www.change.org/petitions/lollypop-farms-the-humane-society-of-greater-rochester-remove-princess-from-abuse-and-charge-her-abuser
Neighbors had reported months back, they’d been ignored. Then finally ac came to check it out but left the dog. finally the neighbors taped the abuse and posted it, sending a link to ac. Who said they needed the original footage for action. At long last they moved on it, took the dog and pressed charges, all the while complaining about how troublesome the public was in getting involved. Last word today, they dropped charges but did keep the dog and will find it a home. The abuser was a police officer so apparently gets a pass.

Comment from Nevada Voters For Animals
Time February 13, 2015 at 4:23 am

“The difference, this time, was apparently the video.” No, they always had the video. The difference was Nevada Voters For Animals getting involved and demanding justice at the request of the witnesses and a close friend. Cozart is scheduled for trial in late March. Kilo, at our request, was placed in a foster home for the lengthy legal process and was finally relinquished by Cozart and has a new home. We will continue to follow this case as we have since day one.
Nevada Voters For Animals authored Cooney’s law (NV’s felony animal cruelty law) and we fight hard to make sure it’s enforced and abusers are held accountable. Thank you for your coverage of this story. We hope you will update the story in March when the case goes to trial. On a side note, we discovered Roy Cozart killed a motorcyclist while he was awaiting trial on the felony animal cruelty. He is now facing other charges related to that death.