A man who claimed he was trying to put his elderly dog “out of its misery” by beating it over the head with a sledgehammer was sentenced on Thursday to 90 days in jail and another 5 years of probation.
According to the Minneapolis StarTribune, 71-year-old Rudolph Poppe told mortified onlookers last July 12th that his golden retriever, Millie, was 13 years old and that it was time for her to go. All the while he bludgeoned her with a sledgehammer in his driveway in plain view of passersby.
Police were called to Poppe’s home, where they discovered the animal lying in the driveway with a plastic bag over its head. The dog’s skull had been crushed and it was bleeding badly but was still alive and even tried to stand up two times. A rescue group arrived on the scene and took the dog to the vet, where it was euthanized that same night.
The outraged onlookers told authorities they pleaded with the man to take the dog to be euthanized, but he refused and continued to beat the animal.
Poppe resisted arrest, forcing police ultimately to wrestle him to the ground before they could handcuff him. Poppe pleaded guilty Oct. 30 to one count of animal cruelty and one of obstructing the legal process, a gross misdemeanor. Two other charges were dismissed.
Judge Rex Stacey, who sentenced Poppe, said that her decision to send him to jail was based on concerns over what young children in the neighborhood were forced to witness that day.
I think about the kids in the neighborhood who saw this, whose parents pleaded with you not to do this. I was never intent on sending you to prison, but those kids, I want their parents to be able to tell them you went to jail for it.
Poppe told the judge that his method of “euthanization” was the one his stepfather used to kill their older horses on the family farm. The judge did not buy it, saying:
The way we treat our pets defines us. You don't live on a farm, Mr. Poppe. You're not your stepfather. I'm doing a very specific thing. I'm judging you for what you did that day.
- Cops search for cretin who used cat for target practice
- ‘Follow me on Twitter or I’ll kill my dog,’ fan threatens before killing pet
- Cretins find new way to kill animals: ‘Sport’ of ‘trunking’ (Photos)
- Chicago police shoot and kill second innocent pet dog in one month
- Outrage: Dog shot to death for playing in the snow (Photos)