PETA Demands Jail Time, Psychiatric Intervention if Alleged Dog Killer Is Convicted

Group Urges Vigorous Prosecution of Man Accused of Abandoning Animal Locked in Crate

For Immediate Release:
March 10, 2014

David Perle 202-483-7382

Elmira, N.Y.

This morning, PETA sent an urgent plea to Tioga County District Attorney George Wheeler calling on his office to vigorously prosecute Elkland resident Matthew Stone. Stone faces cruelty-to-animals charges stemming from authorities’ reported January 19 discovery of a dead dog—named Charlie—who was locked inside a crate in the woods in Farmington Township. News sources state that police believe that the crated dog was fatally abandoned on October 3, 2013. Stone is scheduled to face these charges in court on Tuesday, March 11.

“Charlie suffered terribly as he slowly starved to death all alone in the woods, and it’s imperative that his abuser answer for this heinous crime,” says PETA Director Martin Mersereau. “Because of the well-established link between animal abuse and violence directed against fellow humans, Stone—if guilty—could also be a threat to residents of the community.”

PETA is asking that Stone, if convicted, be sentenced to a period of incarceration, prohibited from owning or harboring animals for as long as possible, and ordered to undergo thorough psychological evaluations followed by mandatory counseling at his own expense.

For more information, please visit To view PETA’s anti-violence public service announcement featuring Inglourious Basterds star and Hostel director Eli Roth, please visit


PETA’s letter to Tioga County District Attorney George Wheeler follows.


March 10, 2014


The Honorable George Wheeler
Tioga County District Attorney’s Office
118 Main St.
Wellsboro, PA 16901 


Dear Mr. Wheeler:

PETA is an international animal-protection organization with more than 3 million members and supporters, thousands residing in Pennsylvania. This letter concerns an extremely disturbing case that your office is handling involving Elkland resident Matthew Stone, who on October 3, allegedly abandoned his brother’s dog, Charlie, in a locked plastic crate, 100 feet from a rural road in Farmington Township. A passerby reportedly found Charlie’s frozen body inside the overturned, snow-covered crate almost four months later, and we understand that experts have concluded that Charlie died of starvation. The defendant is scheduled to appear in court on March 11.

Mental-health professionals and top law-enforcement officials consider the blatant disregard for life and desensitization to suffering evidenced by all forms of cruelty to be a red flag. In fact, the American Psychiatric Association identifies cruelty to animals as one of the diagnostic criteria for conduct disorders, and the FBI uses reports of these crimes 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.

We respectfully ask that, if convicted and in addition to serving a period of incarceration, Stone be required to undergo a thorough psychological evaluation followed by mandatory counseling at his own expense. Because repeat crimes are the rule rather than the exception among animal abusers and given the heinous nature of this case, we ask also that, if convicted, Stone be prohibited from owning 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.

Sincerely yours,

Melissa Lewis
Cruelty Caseworker
Cruelty Investigations Department

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