Written by Jeff Mackey
Update: Brent Justice and Ashley
Richards have been indicted
by a federal grand jury for creating and
distributing animal crush videos. They have been transferred into federal
custody, where they will remain until they stand trial. Justice and Richards
each face up to 45 years in federal prison and up to $1.75 million in
fines. This is the first federal indictment of a crush video case in the United
Originally posted on August 21:
After PETA was alerted to violent fetish videos sold online showing
puppies, kittens, rabbits, mice, and other animals who were tortured in ways that would make even a hardened person
Cruelty Investigations Department staffers worked around the clock to find the perpetrators. Thanks to skillful sleuthing and
with the help of the Animal
Beta Project, PETA determined that the alleged producers of the videos lived in Houston,
Texas, and rushed the evidence to local authorities. Two days later, the
Houston Police Department (HPD) arrested
Brent Justice and Ashley Richards, two suspects believed to be involved
in an international video sales scheme, on felony warrants and charged them with animal torture.
Photo: Houston Police Department/Houston Chronicle
PETA applauds the HPD and the Harris County District Attorney's Office
for their swift action. We will be pushing for federal charges as well, as
making crush videos is a violation of federal law. Such videos feature animals, including mice, puppies, kittens, and rabbits, slowly tortured to death for the sexual gratification of
Charges for both suspects result from a video that PETA gave to the HPD, in which a woman prosecutors say is Richards is shown
cutting the leg and slashing the neck and throat of a puppy before beheading
the struggling animal with a meat cleaver. Richards also faces charges related
to the torture and killing of a cat in a 2010 video. As the Houston Chronicle reports, a "judge halted the reading of the court documents during a hearing last week because the details were too graphic." Richards has reportedly admitted to killing hundreds of
animals over the years. The investigation is
As this case shows, for animals in danger, one phone call or e-mail can the make the difference between life and (perhaps a horrible) death.
Please, if you witness or hear about cruelty to animals, never be silent.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.