Caught raiding a chicken coop in rural Wyoming, a blue heeler named Bo was shot twice, tossed in a barrel, doused with gasoline and set on fire.
According to the Washakie County Sheriff’s Office, an 18-year-old neighbor shot the dog — after returning home and finding it was going after the family chickens.
Then, thinking Bo was dead, he asked his father what to do with the dog’s body.
“I said, ‘Burn it,’” the father, Mike Gerber, told the Casper Star-Tribune. ” …We have had other predators come around — and even our chickens that the dog had killed — how we got rid of them was we just burned them.”
His son, Wesley Gerber, dragged the dog to a burn barrel in the front yard, doused the dog with gasoline, and threw in a match.
“The next thing you know, the dog comes popping up out of there in flames,” Mike Gerber told the newspaper. Bo ran around in a circle, and then home.
Ben and Abby Redland, Bo’s owners, said when Bo ran into the house “there was this terrible smell … His hair was melted and fallling out. He was still smoldering.”
Bo was rushed to a vet. Bullets had grazed his cheek and back, and he had third-degree burns over most of his body. “Bo was in such shock, the vet didn’t think he’d make it,” Abby Redland told the Los Angeles Times.
Since the incident — back in December, in rural Worland, Wyoming, 150 miles north of Casper — three-year-old Bo has fully recovered, though he has a few scars.
The Redlands have taken out a restraining order on the Gerbers. And they’re pushing to change Wyoming law and introduce measures that require those who shoot pets to at least contact the animal’s owners.
“I wish it never happened,” Mike Gerber said. “The decisions being made were made fast. Maybe if they would’ve been thought through more clearly, we would’ve done things differently.”
(Photo: By Abby Redland, via Los Angeles Times)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 22nd, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abby redland, animals, ashes, barrel, ben redland, blue heeler, bo, burned, chickens, dog, dogs, doused, gasoline, mike gerber, neighbor, pets, property, shot, survival, washakie county, wesley gerber. shooting, worland, wyoming
Sheriff’s officials say a bassett hound found severely burned in a ravine in Ventura County had been doused with lighter fluid and set on fire.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department was asking for the public’s help Tuesday in finding whoever was responsible. The dog — who was three years old and named Buddy — died from his injuries.
“We are sad it occurred, and we are trying to get past it right now,” James Delgado, Buddy’s owner, told the Ventura County Star.
A neighbor in the 1000 block of Mesa drive in the unincorporated area of Camarillo Heights saw the fire early Saturday and contacted the fire department. Arson investigators collected evidence from the scene and interviewed the dog’s owner.
“The torture that poor animal suffered — it makes you sick,” said Jolene Hoffman, shelter director of the Ventura County Humane Society in Ojai. “The cruelty that goes on — it still completely blows you away no matter how much you see or how much you witness.”
The Ventura Crime Stoppers (800-222-8477) will pay up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Callers may remain anonymous, and calls are not recorded.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 1st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, basset hound, buddy, california, cruelty to animals, doused, fire, investigation, lighter fluid, reward, set, sheriff's department, ventura county
The Pennsylvania SPCA has upped the reward to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of whoever doused a young female pit bull with gasoline and set her on fire last weekend.
The dog, named Chloe, died Sunday, about an hour after she was discovered on the 700 block of Gray Street in East Germantown and taken to an animal hospital in central New Jersey.
“This is an extreme case of animal abuse,” said Lisa Germanis, head veterinarian at the Pennsylvania SPCA’s Shelter Hospital.
Chloe was originally taken to the PSPCA shelter. But the extent of her burns and injuries led to her transfer to a rescue facility in Lambertville operated by Animal Alliance NJ.
Investigators say the dog appeared to have been doused with an accelerant and set on fire.
She suffered extreme burns on her entire body.
Veterinarians at the Pennsylvania SPCA’s Shelter Hospital evaluated Chloe, treated her burns and gave her pain medications before transferring her.
Investigators with the PSPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement Department say they located the dog’s owner and believe Chloe lived near the location where she was discovered.
According to NBC10 in Philadelphia, investigators also believe there are multiple witnesses who have information on the people or person responsible. Authorities ask that anyone with information call the Pennsylvania SPCA Anti-Cruelty Hotline at 866-601-7722 (SPCA).
Posted by jwoestendiek June 27th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, accelerant, animal alliance, animal cruelty, animals, burned, chloe, cruelty to animals, dog, doused, gasoline, new jersey, pennsylvania, pets, philadelphia, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, pspca, reward, set on fire, soaked, spca, torture
Closing arguments were made today and the jury deliberated for less than an hour before pronouncing the brothers not guilty of a crime that led the city to reexamine and strengthen its animal welfare laws and procedures.
Phoenix — the name the dog was given after her rescue — was euthanized days after she was found, on fire, by a Baltimore police officer.
The first trial for the Johnson brothers ended in a hung jury in February 2011.
Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg Bernstein issued the following statement after the verdict:
“While I respect the jury’s decision, I am disappointed we didn’t achieve the outcome that we fought for during two challenging trials. Animal cruelty is a serious crime of violence, and those who commit it too frequently commit subsequent crimes of violence against humans. As we demonstrated in this case, we are dedicated to vigorously prosecuting individuals accused of this appalling offense.”
Defense attorneys for the Johnsons focused their defense on whether police mishandled the investigation and some of the evidence.
Craig Beyler, a fire protection engineer, called to the stand as an expert, testified that police mishandled clothing seized from the Johnsons’ South Baltimore home by mixing two pairs of jeans and a pair of sneakers in one bag. The clothing contained traces of an ignitable substance that could not be identified, but Beyler said it could have been a common chemical used in sneakers that might have transferred from the shoes to the jeans.
Prosecutors’ arguments linking the brothers to the burning centered mainly on a police surveillance video recorded from atop a pole near the crime scene.
No DNA, fingerprints or other forensic evidence connected the suspects to the crime.
A police sergeant identified the brothers in the video, in which two young men can be seen walking the dog minutes before the burning, and running away from the scene afterwards. A bystander, Tiera Goodman, told police soon after the incident she too saw the brothers run from the scene.
But Goodman refused to testify in the retrial. A video of her testimony from the first trial was played instead.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, animals, baltimore, brothers, burned, burning, cruelty to animals, died, dogs, doused, euthanized, Gregg Bernstein, johnson, killed, not guilty, pets, phoenix, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, police, retrial, set on fire, torture, travers johnson, tremayne johnson, trial, verdict
Judge Lawrence P. Fletcher-Hill, who presided over the original trial, scheduled jury selection for Monday.
The original trial of the Travers and Tremayne Johnson on animal cruelty charges in February ended with a hung jury, and since then the case has been scheduled and postponed three times.
The twins are accused of dousing a young female pit bull with accelerant and setting her on fire on a West Baltimore street in May 2009.
A city police officer discovered the dog and put out the flames. Despite the efforts of veterinarians, the dog — dubbed Phoenix by rescue workers – was unable to recover. She was euthanized five days later.
The case made headlines across the country and let to the formation of an anti-animal abuse task force, which has since become a commission.
The Johnsons were first tried on animal cruelty charges in February, but after three days of deliberation, the 11 members voting to convict were unable to convince the lone holdout to cast a guilty vote.
The Baltimore Sun reports that Judge Fletcher-Hill plans to assemble a larger than normal pool of potential jurors because he expects many will have Thanksgiving plans, and others to have already formed strong opinions about the case based on all the publicity surrounding it.
Both brothers were arrested and charged with new crimes while out on bail in the Phoenix case.
Travers is charged with burglary and attempted murder from separate incidents in October of last year. Tremayne was charged with marijuana possession shortly after the first animal cruelty trial ended.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 18th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accelerant, animal cruelty, animals, baltimore, begins, brothers, burned, court, cruelty to animals, dogs, doused, hung jury, judge, jury selection, lawrence fletcher-hill, new trial, pet, phoenix, pit bull, set on fire, starts, travers and tremayne johnson, travers johnson, tremayne johnson, trial, twins
Another pit bull story? Nope. The ferocious beast at the center of this confrontation – a nine-pound ball of fluff named Benny — was a Lhasa Apso. Earlier reports that labeled the dog a Shih Tzu were incorrect, his owner, Frank Perlongo, told MySuburbanLife.com.
Daniel Maskill, 53, of Riverside, Ill., was arrested and charged with misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty and assault after the Tuesday night confrontation.
According to Riverside police, Maskill was bicycling home through Harrington Park with a can of gas he had just purchased gas for his lawnmower when he encountered the dog.
“He was upset it was off leash,” Riverside Chief Thomas Weitzel told the Chicago Tribune. “He said he felt intimidated.”
Maskill threatened to set the dog and its owner on fire, and, although he never struck a match, Maskill did douse the 9-pound dog with gas, Weitzel said.
Weitzel said the assault charge stemmed from Maskill’s alleged threat to the owner.
The owner told police he likes to let his dog romp in the park, but town rules require dogs be on leashes. The owner was issued a citation.
(Photo: This is not the Lhaso Apso involved in the incident, but one we met in our travels — Tugg, of Seattle)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 27th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, argument, assault, charges, chicago, confrontation, daniel maskill, dispute, dog, dogs, doused, frank perlongo, gas, gasoline, harrington park, leash, lhasa apso, park, parks, pets, riverside, shih-tzu, unleashed
A candlelight vigil was held in Milwaukee Sunday in honor of Big Boy, a 2-year-old miniature pinscher that police said was beaten with a stick, doused with gasoline then set on fire, sustaining injuries so severe he had to be put down.
The dog’s owner, Clarissa Burnette, read a poem about Big Boy, who joined her family two years ago. The dog was stolen April 9 after he was let outside, according to TV station WISN.
Milwaukee police have arrested a 13-year-old boy in connection with the case.
Organizers of the vigil said the case shows the need for tougher animal cruelty laws. “We want them to know they really need to tighten these law up,” said organizer Wendy Blish.
The Humane Society of the United States on Friday offered a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the abuse.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 19th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 13-year-old, abuse, animal cruelty, animal welfare, animals, arrest, beaten, big boy, burned, cruelty, dogs, doused, fire, gasoline, laws, milwaukee, min pin, miniature pinscher, pets, torture, vigil
Will Baltimore twins Travers and Tremayne Johnson be retried on animal cruelty charges in connecton with the setting a pit bull on fire?
A May 4 date has been set aside at the courthouse, but prosecutors, citing a gag order issued by the judge, aren’t saying much more than that.
The trial of the twins charged with setting fire to the dog, who became known as Phoenix, ended in a mistrial Monday.
Deputy State’s Attorney Elizabeth Embry, at a meeting with animal advocates Wednesday, said prosecutors are holding a series of meetings to determine whether to retry the case.
According to the Baltimore Sun, she said the office expects to announce a decision soon.
Jurors deliberated for more than 20 hours over three days, but one juror wasn’t convinced of the brothers’ guilty, making a verdict impossible.
“We want to be very deliberative and are having a series of meetings to discuss the case,” Embry, said at the meeting, noting the gag order. “As soon as the decision is made, which will be shortly … we’ll be making an announcement.”
Posted by jwoestendiek February 10th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animal welfare, baltimore, burning, courts, crime, dog, doused, fire, gag order, mistrial, new trial, phoenix, pit bull, pitbull, prosecutors, retrial, travers johnson, tremayne johnson, trial
We can’t remember a week — at least not since 2007, when federal authorities raided 1915 Moonlight Road – that pit bulls have grabbed so many headlines … without even biting anyone.
Here in Baltimore, the week began with a pit bull parade, sponsored by B-More Dog and designed to improve the image and shatter the misconceptions about the breed — such as the one that they are innately inclined to inflict violence.
Those who ran into the pack of four-legged goodwill ambassadors at the Inner Harbor Sunday got a chance to see beyond the myths.
The very next day, a mistrial was declared in the case against twin brothers in Baltimore accused of setting a pit bull on fire in the summer of 2009. Phoenix, as the dog was dubbed, died five days later. The police investigation that followed, testimony at the trial indicated, was something less than thorough — likely, I think it’s safe to say, because the murder victim was a dog, and, in particular, a pit bull.
Jurors were unable to reach a decision, and a new trial is a possibility, but as of now, it appears the fatal burning of Phoenix will go unpunished. Despite that, she leaves a legacy.
“We waited almost two years for justice for Phoenix and though justice was not met for her, she became the change agent and public figure for animal abuse,” said Jennifer Brause, executive director of Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS). “Thousands of people offered their support on her behalf. Because of her, a Mayor’s Commission on Animal Abuse has been formed and the seriousness of animal abuse has been elevated to a national level.”
No dog, I will go out on a limb and educatedly guess, is more often the victim of abuse and neglect than the pit bull type — just as they are the most often maligned. Society, rather than simply label them as aggressive, and ban and muzzle them, needs to come to terms with the fact that, in those instances when they are violent, our fellow humans are responsible for it, training them to fight, attempting to breed for viciousness, and trying to turn their natural born tenacity into something mean and macho.
Which brings us, once again, to Bad Newz Kennels.
Down in Dallas, the adoptive parent of one of Michael Vick’s dogs confronted the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback and offered him an opportunity to meet Mel, a shy and fearful pit bull who was apparently used as a bait dog at Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels.
The convicted dogfighting ring operator — in Dallas to receive the key to the city — declined, and his entourage shoved Mel’s new owner, local radio personality Richard Hunter, who captured the whole episode on his shaky camera, out of the way.
A few days after that, reports surfaced that Vick’s former estate on Moonlight Road, the Surry, Virginia, headquarters of Bad Newz Kennels, which has sat empty for three years, may be getting a new owner — Dog Deserves Better, a Pennsylvania-based dog rescue and advocacy group.
They hope to turn the former Vick mansion — where 51 dogs were seized by authorities and eight more were found dead and buried on the grounds — into a training and rehabilitation center for rescued dogs.
As usual, bringing up Michael Vick brings on lots of comments, on this blog and others, from his supporters — those who say “give it a rest,” those who say “he served his time,” those who say he’s a different person now who should be permitted to move beyond his besmirched reputation.
Be that as it may, I’m wondering when pit bulls — given they are regularly accused and punished without any trials, given that any violence they display has been instilled into them by humans, given that their bad reputation is mostly undeserved – will be afforded that same opportunity.
As a breed, they’ve done their time.
(Photo by Tim Quinn)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 9th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, aggression, animal abuse, animal welfare, animals, bad newz kennels, baltimore, baltimore animal rescue & care shelter, barcs, brothers, burned, burned dog, cruelty to animals, dogfighting, dogs, doused, fire, image, investigation, media, mel, michael vick, myths, news, parade, pets, phoenix, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, prosecution, richard hunter, stereotypes, trial, vick, vick dogs, violence
Closing arguments are expected to conclude Thursday, at which point the jury begins deliberations. The twins, now 19, each face a maximum sentence of three years in prison if convicted of animal cruelty.
After testimony from 10 prosecution witnesses, the defense presented only one, WBAL reported – a fire protection engineer who characterized earlier testimony that an accelerant was found on two pairs of jeans a backpack and sneakers taken from the Johnson home as inconclusive and incomplete
The defense witness said tests on the collar of the dog, named Phoenix, were also inconclusive and didn’t detect any particular ignitable substance.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 2nd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, accelerant, animal cruelty, animal welfare, animals, baltimore, burned, dog, doused, fire, gasoline, pets, phoenix, pit bull, pitbull, testimony, torture, travers johnson, tremayne johnson, trial