An Omaha couple, Michael and Catalina Snyder, are mourning the loss of one of their beloved dogs, a little 4-year-old rat terrier named Pompou (or Pompoo) after a neightbor, 57-year-old Kevin Cleavenger grabbed the dog and slammed it into the ground at least four times. The dog suffered such severe injuries he had to be euthanized.
Michael Snyder, 66, was walking one of the dogs, another little rat terrier and Pompou was tied up outside the apartment when Cleavenger started banging on the Snyder’s apartment door complaining that the little dog was barking. Catalina, 77, afraid of Cleavenger, didn’t answer the door and will probably never forget what she saw next.
“He grabbed that leash about that far from his head and just took him and slammed him on the ground as hard as he could do it four times,” her husband said.
Catalina Snyder says, “I didn’t say anything because I was scared and then after that the dog is laying there and I thought he was dead.”
“It was the way he died that makes me feel the worst,” he said. “I just couldn’t handle it. I couldn’t get the experience out of my head. He’s gone.”
It is reported that Cleavenger has complained in the past about other dogs in the apartment barking when he was trying to sleep.
He’s been cited with a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge and is convicted faces a $500 fine and 6 months jail time. The Nebraska Humane Society plans to ask prosecutors to charge Cleavenger with a felony.
“This was a very vicious attack, there was absolutely no reason for it whatsoever,” Mark Langan at the Nebraska Humane Society said.
Langan says, “In order to prove felony animal cruelty, you have to show one of four things: repeated beatings, mutilation, torture or abandonment resulting in serious injury, illness or death to the animal.”
The fact that the dog was repeatedly thrown to the ground may be the key to having the charge upgraded to a felony but that will be up to the DA.
The Douglas County Attorney’s Office will be looking over this case Thursday to decide whether it’s misdemeanor or a felony. A felony charge is a maximum of five years and/or a $10,000 fine.
As far as I am concerned any abuse that results in the death or maiming of an animal should automatically be classed as a felony. Sure, an incessantly barking dog can be annoying but I get the impression that this guy was not someone who let anything pass him by. Some people are chronic complainers and some people just don’t like dogs or animals. Regardless, there is no reason, no excuse for anyone to inflict such cruelty on an innocent and defenseless animal! How would he feel is someone were annoyed with him and decided to pick him up and slam him into the concrete a few times?
Cleavenger says he’s been annoyed by the dog’s barking and had even called the police but emphatically denies having beaten the dog, calling Snyder a liar.
“The old man’s lying, because I didn’t slam it towards the ground like he said I did and he’s making me out to be a crazy man,” said Cleavenger.
Somehow I’m not convinced….