Wayne County Teen Charged With Animal Cruelty

Posted April 14, 2008

— A Wayne County teenager was charged with animal cruelty after a dog in the Dudley area suffered burns in a backyard fire.

Officers at the Wayne County Animal Control Department said they received an anonymous complaint on March 18 regarding the incident.

“The caller stated the dog had been intentionally burned the night before,” Justin Scally, Wayne County’s Animal Control director, said in a news release.

“What we discovered was that a 14-year-old male subject placed the family’s 1-year old Jack Russell terrier into a baby stroller,” Scally said. “The young man then pushed the stroller into the back yard and up a ramp-like structure.”

The structure was in an area being used to burn trash and debris in the back yard. The dog ended up out of the stroller and in the fire, officials said.

The teen, whose name was not released, later threatened the family after a verbal argument, authorities said. He allegedly told the family he would “squirt lighter fluid on the dog and set it on fire,” according to statements obtained by investigators.

The teen was charged with felony animal cruelty, according to Scally. The dog received minor burns and has recovered.

“These types of intentional abuse will not be tolerated” Scally said. “It is important to provide the help necessary to animals, but we also want to get help for the accused teenager, if convicted.”

A secure custody order was issued for the teen.


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  • indigodreams3 Apr 15, 2008

    catalyst74 - Get over yourself. No arson, no heinous crimes and nothing to be identified as "evil" behavior in my own childhood - sorry, not relating to you on that level. I identified nothing to be done with this warped kid - no 'narrow minded justice' here -- honestly I have no idea what to do with him. My post obviously struck a chord with a personal problem of yours. READ: of YOURS. No need to lash out.

  • privateassassin Apr 14, 2008

    NC Reader - The greastest thing about living in America is that we each have our right to agree or disagree. I can respect your views, but I suppose we can all sit back and theorize until this kid either joins a monastery, joins the army, or joins the prison population. In short, I guess no one truly knows...but I still think a good painful reminder would help, heh heh.

    nursevb8 - That's a great idea! However, there could be many different answers to your question. Why indeed would this 14 year old harm that poor dog. Was he jealous of the dog? You could be correct about the attention part. Fire is often synonymous with both power and cleansing. Ofcourse, I do not profess to be a licensed doctor, so I'll stop there. Needless to say, no matter what his sentencing involves, I do believe he needs some kind of counseling.

  • catalyst74 Apr 14, 2008

    indigodreams3 - Apparently the moderators cut out a large portion of my post, so allow me to lightly recap what you missed. Yes, I did something worse, "once"...and it wasn't until I realized that what I did was terribly evil and I was powerless to "take it back". Now that I am an adult and have a family of my own, I won't even step on an ant because I believe that all life has a right to exist peacefully, unless it becomes a threat to me and my family.

    Also, nowhere did I state that I thought the boy's actions were normal,so please don't slander me. I am not taking up for him, as much as I am disagreeing with your "narrow-minded justice". I am sorry your childhood was dreadfully boring, is it any better this time around?

  • newmommy06 Apr 14, 2008

    This sounds like some serious emotional disturbance. I hope they can get this kid the help that he needs.

  • NC Reader Apr 14, 2008

    By the way, I know a couple who are wonderful role models and parents. They have two smart, kind, responsible children, and another child with this kind of seriously disturbed behavior. Please have compassion on those parents who do their best with children who turn out to be mentally ill. I'm not talking about spineless parents who won't correct their children, but good parents who are stuck with a time bomb.

  • NC Reader Apr 14, 2008

    I disagree with the posters who said that the boy needed a good spanking. This behavior isn't just rebellious or attention-seeking. This boy is seriously disturbed. Nothing short of psychiatric intervention (and certainly commitment or even imprisonment) is going to stop it. A spanking isn't going to cause someone who has such dangerous behavior to shape up.

  • nursevb8 Apr 14, 2008

    ahhhhh privateassaaain, we do think alike. A good whippen might help this boy. Then, he needs to go an volunteer at an animal shelter as part of his punishment. But then again, why did he do this? Was he looking for attention from someone? or anyone? Sometimes to kids, bad attention is better than no attention. Maybe some anger management along with that animal shelter might just show him some compassion.

  • ts807 Apr 14, 2008

    1. Do a full psychological evaluation on this kid. If something is found psychologically wrong, treat appropriately.

    2. If nothing is found, then the parents should beat his rearend so it stays sore for a LONG time.

  • Timbo Apr 14, 2008

    Recipe for a psychopath: Step 1, abuse, torture and kill animals. Step 2, abuse, torture and kill people.

  • VT1994Hokie Apr 14, 2008

    He definitely needs some sound counseling--for an extended period of time. This is rare behavior for someone this young. But, maybe he can learn from this and not do it again. I do hope that his parents will discipline him, and get him some counseling.