Texas Man Charged with Felony for Animal Cruelty, Petition Urges for Harsh SentencePublished April 5, 2012
Wood County Sheriff's Office
One of the dogs, according to witnesses that included a 5-year-old girl, was burned alive in the fire; the other dog reportedly ran away while on fire and has not been found.
According to a statement given to the sheriff’s department, four men were sitting around the fire pit drinking alcohol when one of them dared Lowery to throw a stray dog that wandered near the group into the fire.
Lowery claims he was swinging the dog, tripped and it fell into the fire. Yet, he bragged to others, including Fay Norris, whose 5-year-old granddaughter witnessed the first dog being tossed in, about throwing in the second dog.
"It was a joke to him. He had been drinking and he thought it was funny," Norris told the media.
This reminds me of another animal cruelty case, the Scruffy case, in which four young men stole a 12-year-old Yorkshire Terrier, choked it, then placed it in a bag and lit a match.
Scruffy, barely alive by that point, was eventually beaten to death. The perpetrators of the crime video-taped the whole twisted incident. The tape was found and the story and parts of the film were broadcast on a national television news magazine (before social media).
Thousands of animal lovers from around the world wrote to the DA’s office, asking for the stiffest sentence possible for the four men.
The young men were eventually prosecuted for arson, the only way prosecutors could secure a felony conviction in Kansas at the time.
As a crime reporter, I eventually covered the case as it wound its way through the Kansas Supreme Court and saw the tape in its entirety, which left me so sick I was unable to eat for two days. The horror that little dog experienced haunts me to this day.
More than a decade after the tiny dog’s death, Scruffy’s Law, making animal abuse a felony in the state, was passed.
While Texas also currently has a felony animal cruelty law on its books, animal advocates are afraid that Lowery will get off with nothing more than a slap on the wrist. His claims of being intoxicated or of it being an accident, or maybe prosecutors not sympathetic to animal abuse cases, might allow him to walk free.
They’ve created a petition; asking 100,000 people to stand up to this horrendous act of torture and prosecute Lowery to the full extent of the Texas animal cruelty statute.
These two stray dogs didn’t have humans who cared for and loved them in life, they wandered up to this man, possibly being coaxed, thinking they would receive a warm voice and a gentle touch. Instead, they suffered the worst possible death most any of us can imagine, being burned to death.
From serial killers to school shooters, evidence suggests that these people often escalate their violence.
These dogs need justice, that 5-year-old girl who ran crying to her grandmother needs justice.
As Norris told the media, "It takes a mentally disturbed individual, in my opinion, to do something that cruel."
It certainly does.
Do you believe these types of petitions help convince prosecutors to seek the harshest penalties in animal cruelty cases? Share in a comment.