No jail time for men who pleaded guilty to slitting dog’s throat, posting video online
BASTROP, La —A judge has ordered probation, a fine and community service for an Arkansas man who slit a pit bull’s throat on camera in Louisiana and another man who made the video and posted it on Snapchat.
Steven Sadler and video-maker Boots Stanley, both of Hamburg, Arkansas, were sentenced Thursday in Morehouse Parish on one count each of aggravated animal cruelty, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
“Given the inhumane and vicious nature of this crime, the District Attorney’s office requested that the judge impose a severe sentence commensurate with the crime. However, the District Attorney acknowledges that the Court has sole discretion in sentencing,” District Attorney Steve Tew said in an emailed statement.
Each man got three years of probation, a $5,000 fine, and 480 hours of community service, Lewis Unglesby, one of Stanley’s attorneys, said in a phone interview from Baton Rouge. Donating $5,000 to the Morehouse Parish Humane Society would cancel half the community service, he said.
Judge Carl Sharp suspended a 3-year prison sentence for each and barred them from owning any animals for a year, Tew said.
The men pleaded guilty in April to the felony. Tew had told The Associated Press in March that he didn’t expect a plea agreement because Sadler is an avid hunter and federal law forbids felons from possessing guns.
Sadler’s attorney, Bobby Underwood, did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
Sadler originally had been charged with four counts of aggravated cruelty to animals, and both men had been charged with conspiracy.
According to the arrest warrant, the video first shows the dog trying to keep its balance on the rump of a horse being ridden by Stanley, with men’s laughter in the background. It took several tries to cut the dog’s throat, according to the warrant.
Sharp said the men’s probation could be reduced after the first year if they are found to have behaved well and complied with terms of their probation, The News-Star and KNOE-TV reported. If they don’t pay the fine, they would have to spend a year in the parish jail.
Service dog beloved by all included in New York middle school yearbook
by National Desk
Most students seek the signatures of their classmates for the yearbook but middle school kids in New York were looking for a pawprint from a special canine whose picture was included.
The school featured a teen’s service dog in its yearbook and, now, it’s going viral.
Oscer belongs to Hudson and the two are inseparable in the hallways.
Hudson has autism and brings Oscer along to school to help with the day-to-day stress of class.
“He [Oscer] just lit up our lives immediately and we started doing school visitations when Hudson was in sixth grade,” said Bethany Golebiewski, Hudson’s mother.
It wasn’t just Hudson’s family that fell in love with Oscer. The dog has a special spot in the school’s heart, as well as the yearbook.
“He helps my son in a lot of different ways — you know, being a social bridge making friends with other students because obviously making friends is difficult when you’re on the spectrum,” said Bethany Golebiewski.