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For Immediate Release: May 27, 2010
Contact:Kristin DeJournett 757-622-7382
Boulder, CO -- Today, PETA sent an urgent letter to Boulder County Deputy District Attorney Lisa Pearson encouraging her to push for a hefty sentence for former Boulder resident Abby Toll. Toll has been convicted of torturing her boyfriend's 8-month-old puppy, Rex, by tightly wrapping hair ties around the dog's ears, snout, paws, and tail before placing a plastic bag over his face and wrapping him in packing tape. Toll then affixed the dog's body--upside down--to the refrigerator for approximately 30 minutes. According to news sources, Toll had admitted to torturing Rex to get back at her boyfriend for paying more attention to the dog than to her. Toll's sentencing is scheduled for tomorrow, May 28.
"Animal abusers are cowards," says PETA Director Martin Mersereau. "They take their issues out on the most defenseless beings available to them. Area residents have reason to be concerned. According to leading mental health professionals and law enforcement agencies, perpetrators of violent acts against animals are often repeat offenders who pose a serious threat not only to other animals but also to the community as a whole."
PETA is asking that Toll undergo a thorough psychological evaluation followed by mandatory counseling in addition to serving a period of incarceration. PETA is also asking that any other animals currently in Toll's custody be seized and that she be prohibited from owning or harboring animals in the future.
For more information, please visit PETA.org.
PETA's letter to Boulder County Deputy District Attorney Lisa Pearson follows.
May 27, 2010
Lisa Pearson, Deputy District AttorneyBoulder County District Attorney’s Office
Dear Ms. Pearson:
PETA is the world’s largest animal rights organization, with more than 2 million members and supporters internationally. This letter concerns a recent case of cruelty to animals that your office is handling. The case involves Abby Toll, who was recently convicted of felony cruelty to animals stemming from an April 14 incident during which she tortured her boyfriend’s dog, Rex. Reportedly, Toll tightly wrapped elastic hair ties around Rex’s ears, snout, paws, and tail and placed a plastic bag over the animal’s face before encasing him in packaging tape and affixing his body, upside down, to the refrigerator. Rex was left in this position for approximately 30 minutes before officers arrived. Rex cried out repeatedly as officers worked to free him, and he reportedly lay motionless and exhausted after the ordeal.
Mental health professionals and top law enforcement officials consider animal abuse to be a red flag. The American Psychiatric Association identifies cruelty to animals as one of the diagnostic criteria for conduct disorders, and the FBI uses reports of animal abuse in analyzing the threat potential of suspected and known criminals. Experts agree that it is the severity of the behavior--not the species of the victim--that matters. Needless to say, we’re relieved that Boulder County officials treat these crimes with the seriousness that they require.
On behalf of our thousands of members and supporters in Colorado, we respectfully urge your office to recommend that Toll be sentenced to serve an appropriate period of incarceration. We also ask that your office recommend that Toll be required to undergo a thorough psychological evaluation followed by mandatory counseling (and anger-management classes, if applicable) at her own expense--the safety of the community may depend on it. Given the sadistic nature of her actions--and because repeat crimes are the rule rather than the exception among animal abusers--we implore your office to take every measure necessary to ensure that Toll be prohibited from contact with animals for as long as possible and that all animals who may be in her charge be immediately seized.
Thank you for your diligence in this matter and for your time and consideration.
Kristin DeJournettCruelty CaseworkerCruelty Investigations Department
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