A bizarre animal cruelty case reached a resolution today when a Kelso, Wash. man received a three-year prison sentence. On Friday, Mar. 8, KOMO 4 News reported that Jesse James Clark was sentenced to 3 years in prison for his role in a dognapping scheme.
Clark, 39, was convicted last week of first-degree extortion and second-degree possession of stolen property in his scheme to ransom a pet bulldog for money and prescription drugs.
According to prosecutors, Clark kept a bulldog named Jagger in his home for ransom after two co-conspirators took the dog from a Woodland, Wash. driveway on Oct. 5, 2011.
Jagger's owner, Jennifer Lynn Thomas, 40, received photos of her dog accompanied by text messages demanding $1,000 and painkillers three days after Jagger was stolen. Two other participants in the ransom scheme, Ivey Rose Svalseon and her boyfriend, Johnny Lee Jordan, both of Longview, Wash., were convicted last year of dognapping Jagger and sending the messages to Thomas.
One text message stated, "If you don't do exactly as you're told, the next few messages will be of your friend slowly getting tortured to death. And do us both a favor, keep this to yourself, no cops."
Sheriff’s deputies were unable to locate the missing dog, whose dismembered body was found later in Oct. 2011 along the railroad tracks in Kelso, Wash.
Thomas, who has multiple sclerosis, had been collecting baby supplies to support Salveson, who was homeless and pregnant at the time that Jagger was stolen. Thomas wept when she recounted the loss of her beloved pet on the witness stand.
The AKC reports that bulldogs are one of the most popular dog breeds due to their lovable and gentle dispositions. Bulldogs make excellent family pets because they tend to form strong bonds with children. In 2012, bulldogs were ranked by the AKC as the fifth most popular dog breed.
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