Hundreds of people gathered outside the Marathon County Courthouse in Wisconsin this week during a hearing for a woman who is accused of killing her boyfriend’s dog and describing her ongoing torture of the animal in her diary.
In a packed courtroom, Sean D. Janas, 20, of Wausau, waived her right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday and was ordered to stand trial on charges of felony mistreatment of animals, giving poison to an animal and obstructing an officer.
Janas is accused of poisoning and stabbing Mary, a 4-year-old Laborador-shepherd mix in June.
According to the criminal complaint, Janas kept a diary describing her intense hatred for Mary, and detailing the abuse she inflicted on the dog, included forcing her to drink bleach and Drano over the course of several months.
Janas faces more than five years in prison and $30,000 in fines if convicted. She remained in jail this week on a $2,500 cash bond.
Those attending her hearing — before Marathon County Circuit Judge Mike Moran — were required to walk through metal detectors, and Marathon County Sheriff’s deputies searched briefcases and handbags, according to the Wausau Daily Herald.
Before and after the hearing, protesters circled the courthouse, seeking justice for Mary and demanding more laws and tougher penalties to combat animal abuse.
“We don’t have tough enough laws that protect animals, and I believe vets should have to report any suspected abuse, just like they would in a child,” said Kelli Obremski, 42, of Mosinee, who brought both her children and her boxer to the protest.
“We’ll come to every appearance we can,” Obremski said. “It’s that important.”
(Photo: Sean D. Janas mugshot)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 2nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, accounts, animal cruelty, animals, bleach, boyfriend, county, courthouse, cruelty to animals, descriptions, diary, dog, dogs, drano, hatred, marathon, mary, pets, poison, poisoned, poisoning, protest, sean janas, stabbed, stabbing, wausau, wisconsin
Police said they responded to a call Sunday night to find the injured dog, who is expected to survive. They found the suspect hiding in a closet.
Neighbors reported squealing coming from the home, WAFB reported.
The grey pit bull is being treated for severe wounds to his head and legs.
Michael Aaron Hughes, 33, was arrested and charged with animal cruelty and resisting arrest.
(Photo: Vanderburgh County Jail)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 26th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, arrest, attacked, ax, axe, boyfriend, charges, cruelty to animals, dog, dogs, evansville, girlfriend, indiana, jailed, michael aaron hughes, pets, pit bull, pitbull, vanderburgh
A Manhattan man says he is going broke trying to regain custody of his puggle. He says he has spent $60,000 so far. Now he wants your help.
Craig Dershowitz says he considers Knuckles his son, and that’s why he’s hoping to raise another $20,000 over the Internet to continue his legal fight.
“I’ve pretty much gone through my life savings,” the 34-year-old gallery employee said. “It’s worth it.”
According to the New York Post, Dershowitz claims in papers filed earlier this year in Manhattan Supreme Court that his ex-girlfriend Sarah Brega “took unilateral control of Knuckles and kidnapped him” after they broke up.
Brega responds that Dershowitz gave her the dog as a gift, and that Knuckles is enjoying life in California.
“Knuckles lives a happy and healthy life in California with me, where he has ample room to play, and lives in close proximity to a beach for off-leash dog-park outings,” Brega said in court papers.
Dershowitz responds that Knuckles “hates water … He’ll be happy wherever he is — especially if he’s with his dad and the friends he grew up with.”
Dershowitz said he left Knuckles with Brega while looking for a new place after their breakup. She was supposed to return him when he found one, he says.
Brega, a wardrobe stylist, was initially ordered to return the dog, but she then retained her own lawyer to represent her in a case that involves courts in New York and California.
Dershowitz said he believes she’s trying to run up his legal bills. “Unfortunately, I don’t have the money to keep it going,” he said.
So he started a webpage to raise money for the fight, with his artist friends contributing “perks” for large contributors, like portraits of Knux, “Free Knux” t-shirts and, for $250, a chance to play fetch with Knuckles, once he’s back in New York.
The Post reports his campaign is off to a slow start — with only $85 being donated in the first week.
(Photo of Knuckles by Craig Dershowitz)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 15th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, appeal, battle, beagle, behavior, boyfriend, california, courts, craig dershowitz, custody, dogs, ex, fight, fund raising, fundraising, funds, girlfriend, internet, knuckles, lawyers, legal, mix, money, new york, pets, pug, puggle, relationships, sarah brega
Given the conflicting and changing accounts of a dog’s owner and his girlfriend, what killed Raider was a mystery — until police received a note left at the dog’s grave.
The couple had brought the mixed breed dog to an emergency veterinary clinic, where they initially explained Raider had fallen from their second floor balcony. But upon learning the dog was dead, the boyfriend said his girlfriend had thrown the dog off the balcony.
Police in Fishers, Indiana, meanwhile, investigating a complaint they’d received about a dispute at the residence, said they got similar conflicting reports when interviewing the boyfriend.
Detectives talked to neighbors, friends, and the veterinarian that tried to save the dog, but it was a note found later at the dog’s grave that led them to arrest the girlfriend, 28-year-old Sarah E. Rust, on animal cruelty charges last Friday. She was taken to the Hamilton County Jail.
In an interesting twist, police said they received the letter from the dog owner’s ex-girlfriend, and part owner of the dog, who found it at Raider’s grave.
Investigators say the letter was written by Rust:
“Dear Raider, First and foremost forgive me, but also forgive me and your daddy for fighting. We brought your life into our quarrel. You did not deserve to be any part of our combat. I ended your life, for which I am truly sorry my son.”
Posted by jwoestendiek February 23rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, argument, balcony, boyfriend, cruelty to animals, dead, dog, dogs, fight, fishers, girlfriend, grave, indiana, investigation, killed, mixed breed, note, pets, police, raider, thrown
Sometimes breaking the rules leads to better rules.
The Rose Brooks Center for women took in a domestic violence victim and her dog, departing from their standard no-dogs policy after hearing the details of her case — her Great Dane had saved her when she was attacked by a hammer-wielding boyfriend.
According to KCTV 5, the dog covered her with his body, absorbing most of the blows until the boyfriend threw them both out of a second story window.
Despite their injuries, the woman was able to escape with her dog, who sustained several broken bones. She eventually got in touch with the center, located in the Kansas City area.
The center offered her a bed, but when they told her pets weren’t allowed, she balked. The shelter decided, for the first time in its history, to overlook their regulations and allow the dog to stay.
That decision would go on to lead to a change in policy at the shelter.
About 40 percent of battered women with pets stay in abusive relationships to protect or remain with their pets, said the center’s chief executive officer, Susan Miller.
“They provide so much comfort, and to have to leave that pet behind is so heartbreaking,” Miller said. “It has become abundantly clear that the incredible therapeutic benefits that pets can have on a family greatly outweigh the cost and inconvenience of housing them.”
The center is spending $140,000 to add seven kennels, a walking trail and a pet-friendly play area.
Miller, who made the decision to break the rules, credits the abused woman — who isn’t being identified — with bringing about the change.
“She was not going to leave her pet alone with him,” she said. “He saved her life.”
Shelter officials say they’ve seen a 300 percent increase in applications since becoming pet-friendly.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 16th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abused, abusive, animals, attack, battered, benefits, boyfriend, dog friendly, dogs, domestic violence, great dane, hammer, kansas city, kennels, no pets, pet friendly, pets, policy, relationships, rose brooks center, rules, saved, shelter, susan miller, therapeutic, therapy, trails, women
Yet another report of jealousy-induced dog abuse has come to light — this one in Austin, where a woman is alleged to have repeatedly slammed her boyfriend’s 12-year-old shih tzu to the ground.
About a week ago, we told you about Patrick Caleb Land, who was sentenced in San Diego to five years in prison for beating his girlfriend’s three dogs to death because, he said, he was jealous of them.
Just three days after that, police in Austin responded to a report of a couple arguing and arrested Maria Martinez on a charge of cruelty to animals.
She’s accused of taking her boyfriend’s dog, Chase, a shih tzu mix, from his truck and throwing him into a Dumpster, KXAN reported.
She then climbed into the Dumpster, according to the boyfriend, lifted the dog above her head and threw him to the ground.
The dog’s owner also told police that Martinez poured bleach into Chase’s dog’s food in an attempt to poison the dog.
According to police, Martinez admitted that she and her boyfriend had argued all day and told officers she was mad and jealous of the dog.
Chase was being treated for his injuries.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 30th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, animals, argument, austin, bleach, boyfriend, couple, cruelty to animals, dogs, dumpster, girlfriend, jealous, jealousy, pets, poison, shih-tzu, slammed, texas, thrown
Patrick Caleb Land, 25, was sentenced Friday to five years and four months in state prison.
“These crimes were committed with callous violence and a serious punishment is warranted,” Judge Charles Rogers said.
The maximum possible sentence was eight years, but the judge took into account Land’s guilty plea, that Land was born to a drug-using mother and that he was beaten in his youth by an adoptive mother, according to 10 News in San Diego.
According to prosecutors, Land called his girlfriend Natasha Strain last year and told her that he had come home to find Josh, her 8-year-old Golden Retriever mix, dead.
Three weeks later, he called her again to tell her that he had found her other two dogs, Jackie, a 9-year-old white shepherd mix, and Pikanik, a 50-pound mixed breed, dead in a bedroom.
No necropsy was performed in the first case, but a veterinarian determined the second two animals were beaten to death.
Prosecutors said there was evidence of attempts to suffocate the animals, and that the defendant’s DNA was found under one of the dogs’ nails.
At a preliminary hearing, a roommate of the couple testified that Land sometimes complained that Strain spent more time with her dogs than she did with him.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 21st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, accused, animals, beaten, beating, boyfriend, courts, crimes, cruelty, dna, dog, dogs, five years, guilty, killed, natasha strain, patrick caleb land, pets, prison, san diego, sentence, three dogs
Police say an investigation into a Connecticut woman’s suspicion that her ex-boyfriend stabbed her dog has led to animal cruelty charges against the woman.
Michelle Masella had told police her boxer returned home from a neighhboring park with a knife — her boyfriend’s knife — sticking out of her chest.
But East Haven police say all evidence pointed not at the boyfriend, but Masella.
Masella, 42, denied hurting her dog, and maintains the incident is just the latest harassment from her ex-boyfriend.
Bailey, her 68-pound boxer, was treated for a small superficial wound to her right shoulder, and another wound to her chest. She’s recovering, but remains in the care of the local animal control department.
According to police, officers found blood on Masella’s front porch, on the stairs leading to her second floor apartment and on the kitchen and living room floor. No blood was found at the park, or the sidewalk leading to Masella’s house.
Masella was arrested yesterday on a warrant charging her with cruelty to animals, filing a false report, interfering with a police officer and failure to vaccinate her dog for rabies.
She was released on $5,000 bond with a court date in New Haven on Oct. 12.
Masella, police said, has also been charged with forging her ex-boyfriend’s signature on one of his unemployment check and cashing it.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 30th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, arrest, bailey, blood, boxer, boyfriend, connecticut, dog, dogs, east haven, investigation, knife, michelle masella, park, pets, police, relationships, stabbed, stabbing, trail
The trial of Abby Toll, the former University of Colorado student accused of taping a dog to a refrigerator during a dispute with her boyfriend, came to a dramatic end last week, with a guilty verdict and protests from Toll that she didn’t act alone.
Minutes after a jury convicted her on a felony charge of animal cruelty for sticking her boyfriend’s shiba inu upside-down on the side of a refrigerator, Toll insisted she was not solely responsible for the abuse.
“Bryan Beck knows what he did to that dog,” the Boulder Daily Camera quoted Toll as saying, referring to her ex-boyfriend. When asked by a reporter if Beck taped the dog to the refrigerator, she answered, “Yes he did.”
Neither Beck nor Toll testified in the case.
The shiba inu — then named Rex — had his legs, snout and tail bound with hair ties and packing tape before being taped upside down to a refrigerator in a Boulder apartment last April.
The guilty verdict came after two hours of deliberation. Toll, who now lives in Chicago, faces up to 18 months in prison. She is scheduled to be sentenced May 28.
Her attorney, George Kokus, said Colorado’s felony animal cruelty statute was misapplied in the case. Before the law was put on the books in 2002, animal cruelty violations were treated as misdemeanors in Colorado.
“The legislature’s intent was that this law should be used on serial animal abusers,” Kokus said. “The serial murderers of cats and dogs, that has a systematic torture plan to it.” Kokus, in the interview in the video above, also seems to imply that Beck played a role in the taping.
During the trial, animal-rights advocates stood outside the Boulder County Justice Center with signs protesting animal abuse.
The dog has since been adopted and is living in a new home, under a new name.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 19th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abby toll, abuse, animal cruelty, argument, boulder, boyfriend, court, dispute, felony, packing tape, prosecutors, reaction, refrigerator, rex, shiba inu, taped, taping, torture, university of colorado, video
A Wisconsin man has received a stern lecture and a sentence of six years in prison for cooking his ex-girlfriend’s dog.
A jury found Terry Kleiman of Green Bay guilty of burglary and mistreatment of animals after he broke into his former girlfriend’s apartment and put her 5-month-old Pekingese-poodle mix into an oven set at 350 degrees to get back at her following their break-up.
When the girlfriend, Alex Rouse, arrived home from the Oval Office Gentleman’s Club, where both she and Kleiman worked, she found the dog dead inside the oven, according to the Associated Press.
Kleiman was also ordered to pay Rouse $1,500 in restitution.
“I was almost nauseous when I thought about what you did,” the judge said in pronouncing the sentence. “I can’t imagine what that dog went through.”
Posted by jwoestendiek March 29th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, argument, boyfriend, break up, cooked, girlfriend, green bay, mix, news, ohmidog!, oven, pekingese, pets, poodle, prison, restitution, sentence, six years, terry kleiman, wisconsin