On Sunday night, a Jacksonville, Florida, woman allegedly attacked her family’s dog with a butcher knife, later explaining to officers that she wanted to “know what it felt like.”
Two nights earlier, in California, a 12-year-old boy told police he’d hung the family dog because he wanted to see it die.
Let’s be clear. That’s not curiosity. That’s psychotic behavior, and if convicted they both should get to know what prison feels like, for a long time.
News 4 in Jacksonville reported that 22-year-old Mariessa Caggiano stabbed the family’s 10-year old Labrador retriever seven times with an 8-inch knife.
Authorities said Caggiano stabbed the dog once in the family driveway, and that the dog ran off with the knife still in her. Caggiano chased the dog into a neighbor’s yard and stabbed it about six more times, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
The dog, still alive when authorities arrived, was rushed to a veterinary hospital, but was not expected to live.
Officers said Caggiano admitted to stabbing the dog because she w”anted to see what it felt like.” She was arrested and charged with cruelty to animals.
In Salinas, California, a 12-year-old boy was placed in juvenile hall after allegedly hanging a dog because, he reportedly told officers, he wanted to see the animal die.
The boy, not named, was booked Friday into Monterey County Juvenile Hall on felony animal-cruelty charges, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Police said they were called to an apartment by a woman who sounded as if she was struggling with someone and yelled, “He’s hurting the dog.” When they arrived, they found the 12-pound terrier-mix dead, hanging by its collar on a bedroom door handle.
The boy came out of the bedroom showing no remorse, police said, and told officers, “I was mad at the dog so I killed it.”
(Photo: Mariessa Caggiano, courtesy of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 30th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 12 year old, abuse, animal abuse, animal cruelty, animals, arrest, butcher knife, cruelty to animals, dogs, door, handle, hanging, juvenile, killed, knife, knob, labrador retriever, law enforcement, murder, pets, stabbed, what it felt like
Normally — being cynical and wary of being manipulated — we carefully scrutinize anything that falls into the category of “inspirational.”
Normally, we sidestep the sappy.
Normally, what inspiration we do draw is from dogs.
But every once in a while, humans come through.
This story is two years old, and I’m surprised it hasn’t become a TV movie yet. It’s about a high school football game between Grapevine Faith Christian School and Gainesville State School, which is located within a prison facility for juvenile offenders.
Gainesville State School hadn’t had a win yet that season, and — security being a concern – has never had a home game. As a result of playing only road games, its team — in addition to having only 14 members, shabby equipment, armed escorts with handcuffs at the ready and little hope of winning, on or off the field – had never had any fans to cheer them on.
In the season of 2009, Grapevine Faith coach Kris Hogan showed some — and in the other team.
He sent out an email asking students, faculty, parents and other supporters of Grapevine to root for the team that returns to a maximum-security prison after their games, the Gainesville Tornadoes.
“Here’s the message I want you to send:” Hogan wrote. “You are just as valuable as any other person on planet Earth.”
The Tornadoes, being cheered on by the opposing teams fans and cheerleaders, didn’t win (that would have been sappy), but — once they got over being stunned — they played their best game of the season.
Then they celebrated, showering their coach with squirt bottles, even though they lost.
ESPN columnist Rick Reilly wrote a fine piece about it as well back then, and it recounts how, as the Tornadoes walked back to their bus under guard, they each were handed a bag for the ride home—a burger, some fries, a soda, some candy, a Bible and an encouraging letter from a Faith player.
Gainesville coach Mark Williams, before his team departed, told Hogan, “You’ll never know what your people did for these kids tonight. You’ll never, ever know.”
Posted by jwoestendiek May 28th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: cheering, christian school, christianity, coach, faith, football, gainesville state school, gainesville tornadoes, grapevine faith, high school football, home team, hope, humans, inspiration, inspirational, juvenile, kris hogan, losing, offenders, prison, report, texas, tornadoes, video, visiting team, winning
The cat, and the kittens she recently gave birth to, were taken to Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) after police responded to a call in the 3300 block Saint Ambrose Street.
The cat, who has been nicknamed Mittens at the shelter, is suffering from burns on most of her body.
Witnesses told police that, earlier this month, a juvenile placed the cat in a milk crate on the back porch, doused the milk crate and the cat with lighter fluid and then struck a match and threw it in the crate.
In flames, the cat broke free from the milk crate and ran from the yard, running in circles until the fire was extinguished, BARCS said. She then returned home and hid under a table.
Police have not reported whether any arrests were made at the residence, which they said still smelled of singed skin when they arrived.
The cat and her kittens are residing in “Critter Care” at BARCS. Mittens has third and fourth degree burns. She is expected to survive, but will need long term treatment. It will be months before she is healed and her fur may not grow back
“This is another horrible case of animal abuse in Baltimore City, ” said Jennifer Brause, BARCS’ Executive Director. “Mittens is a wonderful cat, who despite her injuries is still caring for her kittens and is very affectionate to the staff.”
Mittens’ medical bills will be covered by BARCS’ Franky Fund, a fund that relies on donations from the public to pay the veterinarian and medical bills of injured animals that come to the shelter for care.
Donations to the Franky Fund are accepted through the BARCS website, or at the shelter, located at 301 Stockholm Street in South Baltimore (near M&T Bank Stadium).
Posted by jwoestendiek January 30th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, baltimore, baltimore animal rescue & care shelter, barcs, bills, burns, care, cat, cruelty to animals, degree, donations, doused, fire, fourth, franky fuknd, fur, juvenile, kittens, lighter fluid, mittens, mittens the cat, police, set on fire, skin, third, torture, veterinarian, veterinary, youth
Michael Vick told a group of young people yesterday that he participated in dogfights in Baltimore — held several years ago in an abandoned warehouse at an undisclosed location.
The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback told a group of 35 youngsters that, while he was an Atlanta Falcon and before his arrest, conviction and prison sentence, he came to Baltimore to fight dogs at an event organized by acquaintances inside an abandoned building.
Vick, who served 18 months in federal prison in connection with his dogfighting operation, spoke at Baltimore’s downtown Juvenile Justice Center.
The talk was one of many that Vick, working with the Humane Society of the United States, has given to urge young people not to get involved in dogfighting.
While yesterday’s talk was not open to the news media, the Baltimore Sun says that those who attended said Vick acknowledged taking part in Baltimore dogfights. He spoke of his mistakes and answered questions about his football career. Vick also met with incarcerated kids inside the center.
The youngsters Vick addressed were from the Choice Program, which is a part of the Shriver Center at UMBC. The program provides young people with mentoring, supervision and case management, said its director, LaMar Davis.
“He was fantastic,” Davis said of Vick. “He really connected with the kids. I felt fortunate that he was able to connect with our kids.”
Posted by jwoestendiek May 7th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, baltimore, convicted, dog fighting, dog fights, dogfighting, dogfights, football, hsus, humane society of the united states, juvenile, juvenile justice center, michael vick, news, nfl, offenders, pets, quarterback, vick
Two months after picking up his Ed Block Courage Award in Baltimore, he’s back today to talk about dogfighting with a group of juvenile offenders.
Media isn’t invited to the 5 p.m. talk, but the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback is expected to give reporters some comments afterwards.
The appearance was organized by the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services and the Humane Society of the United States, with whom Vick has joined to campaign against dogfighting.
Vick spoke last night (see angel-faced poster above) at the Lancaster Convention Center in Pennsylvania, at an event sponsored by the Children Deserve a Chance Foundation.
The event was rescheduled from last week, according to organizers, because of “the abundance of support and interest from the outside school districts and organizations.”
Posted by jwoestendiek May 6th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, baltimore, children deserve a chance foundation, convention center, department of juvenile services, dogfighting, ed block courage award, engagement, event, football, hsus, humane society of the united states, juvenile, lancaster, maryland, michael vick, news, nfl, offenders, pennsylvania, pets, philadelphia eagles, quarterback, speaking, talk, vick
Two brothers accused of burning to death the pit bull who became known as Phoenix will face felony charges as adults.
Travers Johnson and Tremayne Johnson, both 17, appeared Tuesday in juvenile court in Baltimore, where a judge ruled they will be tried as adults, WBAL reported.
The teens are charged with dousing the dog with gasoline, then setting her on fire on May 27 in the 1700 block of Calhoun Street in southwest Baltimore. The 2-year-old pit bull suffered burns over 98 percent of her body.
The dog, rescued by a police officer, died four days later at a Pennsylvania animal hospital. Her death led to the formation of a city task force to review animal cruelty laws.
Attorney Caroline Griffin, who chairs the animal abuse task force, observed yesterday’s court proceedings.
“What impressed me was how seriously the state’s attorney’s office is taking this case, as well as the court. The court listened to testimony for hours,” she said. “Juveniles who commit these type of crimes are just so much more likely to commit violent crime in the future, and I think people are aware of that, and that’s why this case is so important.”
Prosecutors said both brothers were involved with gangs, had chronic truancy issues and previous probation violations. Both also face drug charges.
Assistant state’s attorney Jennifer Rallo told the judge that video and witness accounts prove the brothers tortured and mutilated Phoenix. She said the brothers used a vacant home at 1616 Gilmore St. to keep pit pulls, and that police found signs of dogs and gang activity there.
Defense attorneys wanted the case to stay in the juvenile system, where they said rehabilitation services and programs were available. They argued that Tremayne Johnson has health issues and suffers from depression and brain tumors for which he recently underwent brain surgery.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 4th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, adults, animal cruelty, animals, baltimore, brothers, burning, charges, court, death, dog, dogfighting, dogs, doused, felony, fire, gangs, gasoline, justice, juvenile, phoenix, pit bull, set on fire, task force, teens, travers johnson, tremayne johnson, tried
A 16-year-old girl who used a pit bull dog to attack two women in Washington state was sentenced yesterday to 14 to 17 months in juvenile detention.
In the June attack, the girl and a group of boys were kicking the dog in a street in SeaTac when a woman driving by stopped because she thought they needed help. Police say the girl opened the door and beat the woman who was bitten by the dog. Another woman who stopped to help also was bitten.
The dog, named Snaps, was sent to an animal sanctuary because it was too violent to be adopted, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported.
Prosecutors argued that the girl’s actions stemmed from “pure cruelty” and that she deserved a 14- month term, instead of the 13-to-36-week standard term.
“This is a violence and anger-management problem,” King County Juvenile Court Judge Philip G. Hubbard, Jr., said. “Failure to address it is not an option.”
Prosecutors said the girl attacked the first woman when she stopped and told her not to kick the dog. When another woman stopped to inquire about the altercation, she too was attacked by the teen and dog, according to court documents.
The girl apologized to the victims, who were in court for the sentencing yesterday.
In court, the first victim, identified only as Inga, said the attack brought back memories of her own violent childhood. “When I was being beaten, all of that came back to me,” Inga said, speaking directly to the accused. “And I felt for you, because I know what that feels like.”
“I want you to get help,” she continued, eliciting tears from her attacker. “You were horrible. You were terrible, and you know it.”
Posted by jwoestendiek October 23rd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: assault, attack, beaten, bit, court, crime, detention, dog, juvenile, king county, pit bull, pitbull, samaritan, seatac, seattle, sentence, sentencing, snaps, teen, washington
Recycled Love, the Baltimore-based animal rescue organization, is urging State’s Attorney Patricia Jessamy to charge as adults the two juveniles arrested in connection with the burning death of a pit bull.
In a letter to supporters, Recycled Love says, in addition to being doused with gasoline, the pit bull known as Phoenix had gasoline poured down her throat before she was set on fire.
Two 17-year-old twin brothers have been arrested in connection with the case. Phoenix, found on fire by a police officer last month, received burns to over 90 percent of her body. She died three days later.
“We have seen firsthand the abuse and neglect these animals experience at the hand of city residents. Phoenix ’s case, unfortunately, was one of the most severe,” the letter to Jessamy says. “We are committed to honoring her short life by changing the standards intact for investigation and prosecution of animal abuse and cruelty cases.
“Residents are angry that this type of abuse permeates the city in which they live, work and play … To this end, we are urging the Baltimore City State ’s Attorney office to prosecute all individuals arrested and charged with Phoenix ’s death to the fullest extent of the law.”
The organization has also launched a petition drive, urging Mayor Sheila Dixon and the City Council to take animal abuse more seriously by creating a task force, making the animal control office part of the police department, and ensuring that animal cruelty cases are prosecuted to the fullest extent.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 11th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, adults, animal, animal welfare, arrests, baltimore, burned, charge, city council, cruelty, dog, fire, gasoline, jessamy, juvenile, mayor, petition, phoenix, pit bull, recycled love, rescue, state's attorney, trial