Tyler Vincent CastellanoI believe we may be looking at the face of a potential future psychopath here.  This is 18-year-old Tyler Vincent Castellano of Sevier, TN. In March Castellano and a 17-year-old friend were out when a stray dog came over to them and apparently got into a “scuffle” with their dog. After they broke the dogs up, I guess they decided to get rid of the stray and what they did to the poor dog was what animal control officers called one of the worst cases of animal cruelty they’d even seen!

They led the pitbull about a mile away from the home where they were at, tied her to a tree and beg and stabbing her. As she struggled and tried to get away she wrapped herself tighter and tighter around the tree and the boys continued to torture and stab her. Then they untied her and tossed her in a hole where they completed the job by beating her to death with a cedar branch.

“It’s pretty devastating,” Sevier County Animal Control Officer Deputy Chris Hughes said. “The method in this particular one is what made it so brutal and made it stand out.”

Castellano was charged with felony animal cruelty, intentional killing of an animal. He was sentenced to 60 days in jail, must undergo anger management classes, a psychological evaluation and counseling, must hold a job for two years and attain his GED.

The 17-year-old companion was sentenced to 65-hours community service and a psychological evaluation and counseling as well.

They’re hoping that by counseling and educating these two youths that they can change their potential future. They acknowledge the connection between animal cruelty and abuse and future violent tendencies. We can only hope that they didn’t catch them too late!

“Dogs and cats are weaker than another person,” said Dr. Elizabeth Strand of the UT Veterinary Social Work Program. “So they’re an easy target. A child that has anger problems, anger management problems, may take that anger out on an animal.”

To me, youth abusers are the scariest of most any of them. Sometimes it’s too late, other times there may be a chance but only if the problem is identified and treated early enough. I’m not sure how much faith I have anymore but I will give this the benefit of the doubt. Recognizing the problem is half the solution. The sentence is to a degree a slap on the wrist for the atrocious cruelty of the crime but in imposing certain stipulations and counseling as part of the sentence, who knows….

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