TODAY: Justice Petition for Dog Dragged To Death by Neighbor Delivered to Crystal Springs DA
Today, In Defense of Animals, the international animal protection organization operating Hope Animal Sanctuary in Carroll County and Justice for Animals Campaign in Montgomery County, will present a letter of support for the prosecution of Daniel Berthelette who was charged with felony aggravated animal cruelty for dragging his neighbor’s dog to death on Sept. 6, 2022.
Who: Crystal Springs Mayor, Sally Garland
In Defense of Animals Justice for Animals Senior Campaigner, Doll Stanley
Twenty-Second Circuit District Attorney, Daniella M. Shorter
What: Doll Stanley and Mayor Garland will present Shorter with a letter signed by thousands of people which calls for the prosecution of a man who dragged his neighbor’s dog to death
***When: 2.30 p.m., Tuesday, May 9, 2023***
***Where: 121 W Frost St, Hazlehurst, MS***
On Sept. 14, 2022, the Crystal Springs Police Department arrested Berthelette for wrapping a wire around the neck of his neighbor’s dog, George, attaching it to his truck, and dragging George to death.
Witnesses to the merciless crime reported the description of the truck and driver to the Crystal Springs Police Department. At one point, Berthelette stopped to exit his vehicle, presumably to ensure he had killed George.
It’s unknown if George was dead at that time. Berthelette drove on and attempted to dispose of George’s body in a city dumpster. City employees denied Berthelette's disposal of George and later identified Berthelette to law enforcement and presented in court.
In Defense of Animals contacted George’s guardians, the Bush family, to assist them in gaining justice for the horrendous killing of their companion and best buddy to the son. In Defense of Animals’ Justice for Animals Senior Campaigner Doll Stanley learned that Berthelette was inappropriately charged with a misdemeanor which should have been a felony. Stanley communicated with Crystal Springs Mayor Sally Garland and City Prosecutor John Brock Campbell regarding the charge, which was amended to aggravated cruelty to a dog or a cat under § 97-41-16. Maliciously injuring dogs or cats.
Stanley and Garland will meet with District Attorney Daniella M. Shorter to deliver a letter signed by 17,328 In Defense of Animals supporters which calls for strongest possible sentencing of the abuser. Stanley and Garland will request that the letter be presented during the sentencing phase of Berthelette’s trial. The pair is confident he shall be found guilty.
Of the crime, Mayor Sally Garland said, “We are a small city; we wanted the word to get out and make the perpetrator famous. We are thankful In Defense of Animals is involved because we just don’t have that kind of network or resources.”
Mayor Garland personally launched an investigation with Public Works Director Russell Brewer to identify Berthelette as the individual who heartlessly killed George.
“We were mortified, and our hearts are broken over the very idea that someone could tie a wire around a dog’s neck and drag him,” Garland added. “No one should think they can ever drag a dog and get away with it.”
“The unwarranted killing of a neighbor’s companion animal is troubling enough; it’s unthinkable that anyone would wantonly choose such a vile manner to kill any animal,” said Stanley. “We are grateful to Crystal Springs Mayor Garland, City Prosecutor Campbell, Public Works Director Brewer, and Crystal Springs Police Department for tracking down the perpetrator and recognizing the serious nature of this incident. Animal advocates intend to see justice for George, his family, and all animals of Mississippi.”
In Defense of Animals is following this case with the intensity that the Bush family, the witnesses, and the community deserve. A crime of such cruelty is a crime against society.
### NOTES ###
Letter to DA Shorter:
RE: Prosecute Dog Dragging Case to the Fullest Extent
I am writing to you, standing with Crystal Springs Mayor Sally Garland and thousands of animal advocates, to support you in the prosecution of Daniel Berthelette, who was charged with heinously killing his neighbor’s dog, George.
On Sept. 6. 2022, Berthelette maliciously collared George with a wire, hooked him to the rear of his truck, and dragged him to his death. Berthelette’s gruesome crime was witnessed first when he stopped, either to see if George was still being dragged or if he was dead. The witnesses reported the truck’s license plate and the description of the truck to the police.
Berthelette was later turned away from a city dumpster when Public Works employees witnessed him trying to dispose of George.
The City of Crystal Springs investigated the despicable crime and Daniel Berthelette was arrested on Sept. 14, 2022.
This defendant deserves no plea bargains, no leniency, only maximum sentencing. Also, before he is released, he must have a mental evaluation and anger management classes or therapy and not be allowed to live with animals. I will be following each proceeding in this case. Thank you for taking this and all cases you prosecute with the seriousness they warrant.
[Signed: 17,328 In Defense of Animals supporters]
Images (free for use with credit to the Bush Family): https://bit.ly/Justice4GeorgePix
Contact: Doll Stanley, firstname.lastname@example.org, (662) 809-4483
In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization based in Marin Co., California, with over 250,000 supporters and a 40-year history of fighting for animals, people, and the environment through education and campaigns, as well as hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, California and rural Mississippi. www.idausa.org/justice4animals