Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Pets
  3. General Pets

Outage: Man who beat dog to death with sledgehammer sentenced to 90 days in jail

See also

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.

Various petitions and websites sprung up recently in an effort to try and seek justice for Millie and imploring the courts to mete out a more fitting punishment.

Related Articles

Follow me on Twitter or join me at Facebook.



  • Transgender cop
    A transgender police officer is stepping down from her position to run for office
    Political Office
  • Easter eggs
    Craft delicate, hand-painted eggs with flowers and other designs celebrating spring
    Easter Eggs
  • Subway message
    Subway customer finds 'Big Mama' written on her order
    Subway Message
  • Working from home
    Working from home can be an exciting venture. Get tips to ensure productivity
    Get Tips
  • Limes
    Rising cost of limes could be putting the squeeze on your favorite restaurant
    Expensive Limes
  • Pope Francis
    Religion: Pope Francis instructs how to fight against Satan
    Morning Mass

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about and apply today!