PETA Demands Jail Time, Psychiatric Intervention if Alleged Puppy Abusers Are Convicted

Community Should Fear for Its Safety, Say Experts

For Immediate Release:
February 14, 2014

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Selma, Ala. – This morning, PETA sent an urgent plea to Dallas County District Attorney Michael Jackson calling on his office to vigorously prosecute Valley Grande residents Caroline Dunnam and Andrew Parrish, who face charges stemming from an alleged November 2013 incident during which they reportedly hanged their 4-month-old puppy by his neck from a rope affixed to their ceiling, causing him to sustain several injuries. They later reportedly posted a photograph of the attack to Facebook along with comments reflecting a complete lack of remorse. The puppy is fortunately now in the custody of animal control, where he’s recovering. The defendants are scheduled to appear in court on February 18.

“Animal abusers are cowards,” says PETA Director Martin Mersereau. “They’re known for taking their issues out on the most defenseless beings available, which is why the people who reportedly hanged this poor dog should never again be allowed to harbor animals if they’re found guilty.”

PETA is asking that the defendants, if convicted, be sentenced to periods of incarceration, be prohibited from owning or harboring animals, and be ordered to undergo thorough psychological evaluations followed by mandatory counseling.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

Faxed version:
For more information, please visit PETA.org. PETA’s anti-violence public service announcement featuring Inglourious Basterds star and Hostel director Eli Roth is available upon request.

Print version:
For more information, please visit PETA.org. To view PETA’s anti-violence public service announcement featuring Inglourious Basterds star and Hostel director Eli Roth, please visit
https://www.peta.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/EliRothPETAPSA.pdf.

TV:
For more information, please visit PETA.org. 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.

Radio:
For more information, please visit PETA.org. To listen to PETA’s anti-violence public service announcement featuring Inglourious Basterds star and Hostel director Eli Roth, please visit http://www.petatv.com/audio/psas/Eli_Roth_PSA_V3.mp3.

 

PETA’s letter to Dallas County District Attorney Michael Jackson follows.

 

February 14, 2014

 

The Honorable Michael Jackson
Dallas County District Attorney’s Office
105 Lauderdale St.
Selma, AL 36701

 

Dear Mr. Jackson:

PETA is an international animal-protection organization, with more than 3 million members and supporters, thousands residing in Alabama. This letter concerns a cruelty-to-animals case that your office is handling involving Valley Grande residents Caroline Dunnam, 26, and Andrew Parrish, 23. The couple faces charges stemming from an alleged November 2013 incident during which they reportedly hanged their 4-month-old puppy by his neck from a rope affixed to their ceiling, subsequently posting to Facebook a photograph of the alleged attack along with remorseless comments. The puppy, named Timmy by hospital staff, apparently sustained a broken tooth and minor injuries. The defendants are scheduled to appear in court on these charges on February 18.

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, and the safety of the community may depend on vigorous prosecution of such cases (see enclosure).

We respectfully ask that, if convicted and in addition to serving a period of incarceration, the defendants be required to undergo a thorough psychological evaluation, followed by mandatory counseling. Because repeat crimes are the rule rather than the exception among animal abusers, we also ask that, if convicted, Dunnam and Parrish be prohibited from owning or 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.

Sincerely yours,

Kristin Simon
Senior Cruelty Caseworker
Cruelty Investigations Department

 

For Media: Contact PETA's
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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