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.

Mayor: Email.
or Kelly Denson, Assistant to the Mayor: Email.

City Council Offices, 1201 Leopard St., Corpus Christi, Texas 78401
Main Line.....826-3105

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


  1. This is so sad. We feel sick thinking of everything the poor doggie endured. ~S,S,C & F

  2. This is disgusting..Mommi is going to email to evewyone to tell them what she thinks. but poow Shep..ouw heawts cwy fow him and any othew doggies ow catses ow fuwwfwiends at the mewcy of such monstews
    sad smoochie kisses

  3. My Email to the mayor or the mayors' assistant failed..I'm hoping the one to the judge went through

  4. How heartbreaking. I do not understand the mind or heart that can conceive of such cruelty-or the powers that be that do not punish it harshly.

  5. That is really terrible. It makes me so sad... I hope in heaven that God will look down and avenge this cruelty.

  6. Thank goodness we live in a world where there are many more good people than the Luna monsters.

  7. So horribly sad for Shepp. We have a friend, Kelly,who is chaining herself for the cause. She is raising money for them:

    We gave enough to buy a bag of food!
    love & wags,

  8. We are so sad to hear about Shepp... The idea of living on a short chain, uncared for, is so horrible...

  9. What a heartbreaking story, but well done to you for bringing the shame to the world!


  10. This makes Mama so mad and sad at the same time. She will never understand how cruel some people can be.

    We just sent an email to the judge of the case telling him that we feel he has no compassion for animals at all.

    Love -

    Hershey and Kaci

  11. How could anyone see poor Shepp suffering and not just step in and help? I know the laws say there's a procedure, but how could people not just go and help him?

    Humans never fail to astound me. Mail sent to judge.

    Whicky Wuudler

  12. This has made Mommy both very sad and VERY ANGRY!!!

  13. w00fs, me iz gonna email them all..

    b safe,

  14. this makes us so angry and sad and it makes the mom sick to her stomach.

  15. I'm very very sorry to learn about Shepp's story. What cruel people he had to share his life with. I think they will get justice for their evil, if not in this life, then maybe in the next one.

  16. I have always believed in what Mark stated in his letter concerning crime and animals. If we came down harder on those people who chose to do these horrible things to animals, we would potentially see a drop in the crime rate against humans. They go hand-in-hand in my opinion. I hope that there is a silver lining to this story somewhere.

  17. Wow. That's all I can say.

    Bad news all around the blogosphere lately (except for Laska's return).

    This is just unacceptable. How powerless it makes us animal advocates feel when s**t like this happens. Rest in peace Shep.



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