Court Must Demonstrate Zero Tolerance for Cruelty to Animals, Says Group
For Immediate Release:
July 11, 2013
David Perle 202-483-7382
Pasco County, Flo. — This morning, PETA sent an urgent plea to Pasco County State Attorney Bernie McCabe calling on him to vigorously prosecute New Port Richey resident Brian Perry. Perry faces charges stemming from a May 25 incident in which neighbors reportedly witnessed him beat his 4-year-old Rottweiler, Gipper—whom he had adopted just four days previously—to death with his own fists. Perry is scheduled to appear in court on Monday, July 15.
“If these allegations prove true, then Gipper’s last moments—the shock, betrayal, and terror that he must have felt when the very person he relied on to protect him from harm started mercilessly beating him—were beyond painful,” says PETA Director Martin Mersereau. “PETA is calling on Pasco County to ensure that this violent crime does not go unpunished.”
PETA is asking that Perry, if convicted, be sentenced to a period of incarceration, prohibited from owning or harboring animals, and ordered to undergo a thorough psychological evaluation followed by mandatory counseling.
For more information, please visit PETA’s website HelpingAnimals.com. To view PETA’s anti-violence public service announcement featuring Inglourious Basterds star and Hostel director Eli Roth, please visit http://www.petatv.com/tvpopup/Prefs.asp?video=eli_roth_violence_link_psa_peta.
PETA’s letter to Pasco County State Attorney Bernie McCabe follows.
July 11, 2013
The Honorable Bernie McCabe
Pasco County State Attorney’s Office
Sixth Judicial District
38053 Live Oak Ave.
Dade City, FL 33523
Dear Mr. McCabe:
I hope you are well. I’m writing today about a recent case that your office is handling involving New Port Richey resident Brian Perry of 7431 Grand Blvd. Reportedly, Perry has been charged with cruelty to animals and obstruction of justice stemming from an alleged May 25 incident during which he beat his 4-year-old Rottweiler to death. According to news sources, Perry was seen by neighbors viciously and repeatedly punching the dog in the head and face with his fists. Perry allegedly admitted to law-enforcement officials that he may have caused the dog’s death but refused to reveal where he buried the dog’s body. The defendant is scheduled to appear in court on July 15.
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 animal abuse 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 may depend upon a vigorous prosecution of this case. Please see the attached for more information.
On behalf of our thousands of members and supporters in Florida, we respectfully ask that, if convicted and in addition to serving a period of incarceration, Perry be required to undergo a thorough psychological evaluation followed by mandatory counseling (and anger-management classes) at his own expense. Because repeat crimes are the rule rather than the exception among animal abusers and given the egregious nature of this case, we ask that, if convicted, Perry 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.
Melissa Lewis, Cruelty Caseworker
Cruelty Investigations Department