Jail Time, Psychiatric Care Urged in Puppy-Kicking Case

PETA Calls for Vigorous Prosecution of Suspect Charged for Allegedly Fatally Attacking 7-Month-Old Puppy

For Immediate Release:
August 23, 2017

Contact:
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Miami – Today, PETA sent an urgent letter to Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle asking her to prosecute vigorously a case involving Miami Beach resident Woody Pierre, who is accused of kicking and striking his 7-month-old puppy so severely on July 27 that she died of her injuries. According to reports, Pierre told investigators that he was “mad” that the puppy had relieved herself inside his apartment.

“If the reports are true, this man tied a puppy to a fence and kicked her to death,” says PETA Senior Director Stephanie Bell. “PETA is calling on authorities to make sure that any convictions in this case come with jail time, psychiatric care, and a ban on ever harboring animals again.”

In its letter, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—points to the link between violence against animals and violence against humans and asks that the suspect, if convicted, be sentenced to a period of incarceration, prohibited from owning or harboring animals, and ordered to undergo thorough psychological evaluations followed by mandatory counseling.

PETA’s letter to Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle follows.

August 23, 2017

The Honorable Katherine Fernandez Rundle

State Attorney, Miami-Dade County

Miami-Dade Office of the State Attorney

1469 N.W. 13 Ter.

Miami, FL 33125

Dear Ms. Fernandez Rundle,

Greetings from PETA. This letter concerns a case with your office involving Woody Pierre of Miami Beach, who was reportedly charged with felony cruelty to animals stemming from an alleged July 27 incident, during which he allegedly fatally attacked his 7-month-old Labrador retriever puppy, Lucy, when she eliminated inside the home. According to a news article, “Pierre’s arrest affidavit says the video shows he was ‘kicking and shoving Lucy with his feet’ and that he kept striking her and throwing her back toward the fence even as she tried to escape.” Lucy reportedly later died of her injuries, despite attempts by witnesses to resuscitate her.

As you likely know, 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 such crimes in analyzing the threat potential of suspected and known criminals. The link between animal abuse and interpersonal violence is undeniable, and the safety of the community is best secured by vigorous prosecution of these cases. Please see the enclosed document for more information.

Respectfully, we request that if there is a conviction, sentencing include incarceration as well as psychiatric intervention (and anger-management classes as appropriate) at the suspect’s expense. Given the vicious nature of this case and because there is a high rate of recidivism among animal abusers, we would ask also that sentencing include a prohibition on owning and having contact with animals (a common provision in such cases) for as long as possible.

Thank you for your time and consideration and for the difficult work that you do. We stand ready to secure experts to testify, as needed.

Sincerely,

Kristin Rickman

Emergency Response Division Manager

Cruelty Investigations Department

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind