Saturday, June 27, 2009
No Justice for Shepp
Some of you might remember Shepp's story from September 2008. Shepp was a German Shepherd whose owners, Daniel and Norma Luna, dumped him at an abandoned home on a chain so short he could barely move and left him to die. A little food was left just out of his reach. He spent a month slowing and painfully starving to death,the chain digging a hole in his neck. He had painful shoulder and body injuries from flailing for weeks on that concrete. He died four days after he was finally rescued. Evidently, there wasn't a single phone call from a concerned neighbor to report an abandoned dog at an abandoned house. (Mark has sent a correction. Calls were made to Kelli Copeland/Animal Control and no one responded until someone called the TV station and they went out with their news cameras.)
After several delays, the Luna's hearing was scheduled for Monday, June 29. But Thursday, June 25, the Lunas were allowed to plead guilty in exchange for 1 year of probation and a $900 fine.
In response to a light reprimand for such criminal neglect and abuse, our friend, Corpus Christi animal advocate Mark Crider emailed: There were almost 7,500 signatures on Shepp's petition calling for the city of Corpus to do the right thing. Please email the powers that be here and tell them how disgusted you are with this sentence and the city itself for condoning animal abuse and neglect! Please don't let Shepp's voice go unheard.
For anyone interested in contacting "the powers that be" of Corpus Christi, Texas --
Judge Martinez - the judge who sentenced the Lunas: (361) 888-0466; fax: 361-888-0250. Email.
or Kelly Denson, Assistant to the Mayor: Email.
City Council Offices, 1201 Leopard St., Corpus Christi, Texas 78401
Yesterday (Friday), Mark and Tammy Thayne, founder of Dogs Deserve Better, were interviewed about this decision on KZTV 10. You can read the interview and/or watch the news video -- click here. We don't know how long they will remain posted there, but we can't post the news video because of copyright, so our apologies if you find this post after the article and video have been removed.
Mark has also written a letter to his local editor (used with permission):
We've been waiting for months now through several continuances to see justice served for the horrible cruelty that Shepp endured, struggling, starving on a chain. All were aghast. Aghast that a judge, a person sworn to uphold the laws of the state of Texas, would only sprinkle freedom and a pittance of a fine on the perpetrators of this absolutely horrendous cruelty.
Maybe the judge is not aware of the cruelty statutes that were signed into law and went in effect Sept. 1st, 2007? From the earthquake rumblings I am hearing, he will have a very well funded opponent and Shepp will come back to haunt the despicable sentence applied in this case.
I’m curious, do these obviously fine, understanding, and well regarded members of the Corpus Christi gentry have any human children? I hope not, but if they do perhaps CPS should take a look at the environment they are being raised in because the majority of killers and abusers get their start with animals. It is well documented that a person who abuses animals also abuse children and other defenseless people.
Sentences and lack of enforcement like this, obviously, is the reason we have such a high crime rate. It would be so simple to cure this. Have every police officer write a ticket to the owners of chained dogs. Encourage the public to report pet chaining and cruelty. Get the police out to enforce these laws. Isn't that what they're supposed to do?
Sunday, June 28 (that's tomorrow) DDB and friends will be kicking off Dogs Deserve Betters annual chain off with demonstrators against this torture by chaining them selves up in protest of this cruel and barbaric practice" (from Dogs Deserve Better flyer).
WHERE: McCaughan Park, Corpus Christi Bay front next to Memorial Coliseum
WHEN: Sunday, 6/28/2009. 9 a.m. to ?????
Bring something to drink
Bring all of your friends