All of us at For the Love of the Dog Blog have been in a deep blue funk over all the latest gruesome cruelty acts and the pitiful sentences given to these creeps.  Here is something that should brighten our day.

alex_castro_airUnder California’s “Third Strike Law”, Alex Castro was just sentenced to 25 years to life for killing his girlfriends 10 year old cocker spaniel, Copper, in July 2007. Castro was previously convicted of two violent felonies including assault with a deadly weapon and battery causing serious injury. He begged the court for mercy, saying such a long sentence was too much for killing a dog.  (The maximum penalty for felony animal cruelty in California is 3 years in prison.)  But the judge said he could not ignore the violence Castro inflicted in his life.  Castro will be eligible for parole in 33 years.

Alex Castro didn’t like his girlfriend’s dog. Copper would bark and whine and Castro would respond by kicking the dog, choking it and throwing it into the air.

Late one night, a neighbor saw Castro carrying the dog’s lifeless body by the neck. “I finally did it.  I kicked him and he was yelping so loud I had to kill him, so I took my hammer and put a hole in his head.”

During his trial, Castro denied killing Copper, claiming the small pools of Copper’s blood found by investigators copper_airstemmed from him moving the dog several times after finding the dog dead near the trailer he shared with his girlfriend Joan Gonzalez.   He said he couldn’t decide how to tell Gonzalez her dog was dead, likely hit by a car, and didn’t want to see her cry.

Alex Castro was already convicted of two violent crimes, one from a bar brawl in which he used a metal pipe to crack the skull of a man fighting with his father. The other when Castro severely choked a man who made unwelcome comments to a former girlfriend.  In addition, Castro had 20 misdemeanor convictions, including driving under the influence and driving with a suspended license.  Now he can add Animal Cruelty to his list of accolades.

It’s not over yet for Alex Castro. He is due back in court for the setting of a trial on charges of witness tampering. While in the county jail, he managed to have a letter sent to a motorcycle club asking that a key witness in this case (a member of the club), be silenced.   The witness testified.  So it seemed his own motorcycle buddies turned him in.

Finally, a court that is treating animal cruelty as a serious crime.   Let’s hope we start seeing a trend here.  It’s about time!!


Yes, this is definitely one sentence to be applauded.  Wish every state had a three strike rule, more harsher sentences would be handed out including for animal cruelty.  Sad that it took someone to have this level of violence to get a sentence like this.  If it had not fallen under the thrid strike rule, he would have gotten, at most, 3 years and it’s quite doubful he would have gotten anything close to that.  We can be thankful that this is one seriously sick and dangerous piece of trash off the streets thought.

RIP Copper!

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