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Tag: dragging

A dog once dragged now helps others


A dog who was dragged behind a car in Kentucky seven years ago now helps people who are dealing with an illness in their family.

Roadie, an 8-year-old beagle and a certified therapy dog, greets guests at the Hospital Hospitality House of Lexington, WKYT-TV reports. The facility provides temporary overnight accommodations to family and friends of patients in Lexington area hospitals.

“Everybody loves Roadie,” said Hospital Hospitality House Executive Director Lynn Morgan. “Roadie knows people very well and she knows how to make them feel comfortable.”

In July of 2004, the beagle was dragged on the street behind a car in Pulaski County, losing an eye and nearly her life. Dennis Wayne Fitzpatrick, of Somerset, pled guilty to cruelty to animals and was fined

After the accident, volunteers at Hospitality House put in an application to adopt her. Morgan said that initially he wasn’t sure the house was the place for a dog.

“To my surprise I was wrong, it was a very good place for a therapy dog. Roadie has been a companion and a caring counselor to our guests,” he said. “She is so much like the people who stay with us — she’s been through a very difficult medical situation and she survived it.”

Is 3-year sentence justice for Buddy?

040110_Buddy_the_dog_2_680x480Steven Clay Romero, the man who dragged a dog named Buddy to his death at the Colorado National Monument, received the maximum sentence of three years, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Friday.

Romero, 38, of Grand Junction, will spend three years in federal prison, followed by 12 months of supervised parole for aggravated animal cruelty in the dog’s death Dec. 30, 2009, the Montrose Press reported.

He also was fined $500 and ordered to pay $343 in restitution to Buddy’s owners.

The dog, reported stolen from the back of a pickup truck in Delta, Colorado, was found with a rope tied around his neck at the monument. Surveillance photos and marks in the snow indicated Buddy had been dragged behind a pickup truck while still alive.

Romero’s sister, Melissa Lockhart, 32, is charged as an accessory after the fact to aggravated animal cruelty for allegedly attempting to cover up Buddy’s death. Conviction could bring up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

A theft complaint filed against her for stealing the dog was dismissed June 10, court records show.

The torture and killing of Buddy triggered a Facebook site, Demand Justice For Buddy, which as of Friday had 267,713 members.

Dragged dog “Buddy” removed from shelter

Buddy, the dragged dog in New Jersey – not to be confused with Buddy, the dog dragged to his death in Colorado — has been removed from the Burlington County Animal Shelter and taken to an undisclosed location by the New Jersey SPCA.

“We took him out because outside intervenors who have no business with the dog, who were very opinionated, were putting a lot of pressure on the shelter,” state SPCA spokesman Matt Stanton said. “We’re focused on Buddy. We don’t care what people have opinions about. Buddy’s in a good place. Buddy’s doing well and will continue to do well.”

That remark was an apparent reference to animal rights advocate Charlene Pedrolie and others who have called for placing the dog in a foster home immediately. Pedrolie, of Monmouth County, has said she would pay thousands of dollars to help fund such a stay.

The SPCA has funded Buddy’s $4-per-day stay at the Westampton shelter since October. Assistant Camden County Prosecutor Victoria Shilton tried to adopt Buddy, but it was not permitted because of the dog’s aggression issues, the Camden Courier-Post reported.

In addition, the dog’s owner, William Jefferson, still hopes to get the dog back.

On Sept. 5, Buddy was dragged a half-mile behind Jefferson’s car, according to the SPCA. Prosecutors say Jefferson closed the car’s trunk on the dog’s leash.

Jefferson, 63, faces a pretrial hearing this month on charges of fourth-degree animal cruelty. The charges carry a maximum penalty of up to 18 months in jail, five years probation and fines.

Romero pleads guilty in dog’s dragging death

Steven Romero pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal charge of aggravated animal cruelty in connection with the death of Buddy, a stolen German shepherd mix who was dragged to his death behind a pickup truck in the Colorado National Monument.

While the charge carries a maximum sentence of up to three years in prison and a $100,000 fine, it was expected that prosecutors would offer a reduced sentence in exchange for his guilty plea.

Buddy was found dead on Dec. 30. Romero is accused of putting a rope around the dog’s neck and driving until the dog was dead.

Romero, 38, will remain in custody until his sentencing, scheduled for July 30, according to 9News.

“It’s a good day for animal lovers and I’m happy to see this happen. It was the right thing for him to do to accept responsibility,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Meyer said.

Prosecutors say Romero’s sister, 32-year-old Melissa Lockhart, stole the pup from a pickup truck in Fruita and told him to “get rid” of it. Lockhart faces a felony charge for lying to investigators. She will appear in court on May 10 in Grand Junction.

A Facebook page was created in the wake of Buddy’s death. It is called “Demand Justice for Buddy” and has more than 260,000 members around the world.

Memorial erected for Buddy in Colorado

040110_Buddy_the_dog_2_680x480A stone marker in memory of Buddy, the dog dragged to death behind a pickup truck at Colorado National Monument, was erected Thursday at the entrance to the Roice-Hurst Humane Society.

In a quiet ceremony Thursday, the dog’s owners, the Leber family of Delta, again said goodbye to Buddy, whose death touched thousands, and later toured the humane society, according to The Daily Sentinel in Grand Junction.

“It’s pretty cool to see people think about animals the way we do,” Sasha Leber said.

The stone, etched with paw prints heading toward a setting sun, was donated and placed in a bed of flowers by Snyder Memorials of Grand Junction. It reads, “In memory of Buddy, and all the animals who have no one to weep for them.”

Steven Romero, 38, is expected to change his plea to guilty to a charge of aggravated cruelty to animals in connection with Buddy’s Dec. 30 death. A hearing is scheduled April 29 in federal court in Denver.

The Lebers plan to attend the court hearing, and in the days before, a candlelight vigil at the humane society.

Buddy was cremated and his ashes are in an urn at their home, Sasha Leber said.

After more than three months since Buddy was stolen from the back of their pickup in Delta, the family still questions why Buddy, and their other dog, Max, a black Labrador retriever and pit bull mix, were taken. Neither knew Melissa Lockhart, 32, of Fruita, who is accused of taking the dogs.

Lockhart, who is Romero’s sister, has pleaded not guilty to stealing the dogs and is slated for trial Aug. 16.

(Photo: Christopher Tomlinson / The Daily Sentinel)

Plea agreement reached in Buddy case

romero1Federal prosecutors have struck a plea agreement with Steven Clay Romero, the Colorado man accused of dragging a stolen dog to his death at Colorado National Monument.

Romero faced a maximum of three years in federal prison for allegedly tying Buddy, a German shepherd mix, to the back of his pickup truck in the predawn hours of Dec. 30, 2009, and dragging him several miles.

Romero, 38, of Grand Junction, is expected to plead guilty to aggravated cruelty to animals, the lone count lodged against him by a federal grand jury earlier this year, according to court filings. The terms of the plea agreement aren’t yet known, the Grand Junction Sentinel reported.

Romero’s sister, Melissa Lockhart, 32, still faces state charges for allegedly stealing Buddy and another dog from the back of a pickup truck in downtown Delta on Dec. 29.

Lockhart  told her brother to “get rid” of the dog after it had attacked a family cat, according to an arrest affidavit.

As of Friday afternoon, Romero, who had entered a not guilty plea, was in custody in the Mesa County Jail without bond. He is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday on drug charges in connection with another case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Heldmyer has said she would pursue a stiff penalty in the case, which brought international attention to Grand Junction. “This isn’t just the United States of America v. Romero,” Heldmyer told a judge in January. “This is the world v. Romero.”

(For our previous posts on Buddy, click here.)

Romero pleads not guilty in dragging death

Steven Clay Romero — accused in dragging a dog named Buddy to his death at Colorado National Monument– pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty charges in federal court Wednesday.

His sister, 32-year-old Melissa Lockhart, failed to appear at her hearing, and a warrant for her arrest was issued.

Romero is accused of dragging the dog for three miles behind his pick-up truck last month. Lockhart, who allegedly stole the dog from a couple in Delta, reportedly told Romero to get rid of Buddy after he mauled a family cat. She is also charged with animal cruelty.

In court yesterday, Romero’s attorney asked for more time to review the case. He told the judge he has received more than 930 pages of discovery evidence including numerous CD’s and DVD’s, according to KJCT in Grand Junction.

Before the hearing, supporters of Buddy delivered to the U.S. District Attorney petitions with more than 100,000 signatures the suspects receive the maximum sentence if convicted.

(For our previous posts on Buddy, click here.)

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