Target: Seventh Judicial Circuit State’s Attorney, R.J. Larizza
Goal: Ensure that a man who provoked a dog’s death by leashing it alone during a storm is sent to jail
Late last month, animal cruelty charges were filed against a man in Palm Coast, Florida who left a pit bull, leashed outside during a storm, to die. The dog had apparently become so frightened by the thunder and lightning that it choked itself with its own collar in an attempt to escape the storm.
Bryan Leonard was charged with animal cruelty and unlawfully disposing of a carcass after his friend’s pit bull Roscoe died a violent death while in Leonard’s care. Leonard brought Roscoe along on a camping trip, but the dog was left on a leash for much of the trip. The first time a storm appeared, Leonard learned that the dog was terrified of thunder and lightning, so he brought Roscoe into his tent.
Later during the trip, as Leonard and his friends were packing up their site, another storm broke out. This time, Leonard left Roscoe in the harsh elements to fend for himself. When Leonard went to check on the dog after hours of being left in the rain, he found that Roscoe had choked to death as he tried to free himself from his leash and choker collar. Leonard left the dog’s body where it lay and it was found by a local resident a few days later.
Choker collars or “choke” collars have long been rejected by animal rights organizations for their inherent cruelty and the pain that they cause to animals who are forced to wear them. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), state that choker collars can cause dogs a variety of injuries including intervertebral disc protrusion, crushing of the trachea with partial or complete asphyxiation and even sharp increases in pressure in the head, which can cause brain or eye damage and sometimes prolapse of the eye. In the case of Roscoe, a choker collar contributed to the dog’s death.
Roscoe’s death could have been prevented if Leonard had simply retrieved the dog when the fatal storm broke out. By signing the petition below, you will encourage Seventh Judicial Circuit State’s Attorney, R.J. Larizza to seek out the toughest sentence for animal cruelty under Florida law of one year in jail and a fine of $5,000.
Dear Mr. Larizza,
I was shocked to learn that Palm Coast, Florida resident Bryan Leonard neglected a pit bull named Roscoe, directly contributing to the animal’s death. After being tied to a tree wearing a choker collar, Roscoe choked to death while attempting to escape a terrifying storm.
Leonard was aware that Roscoe was afraid of storms, yet he left the animal alone instead of rescuing him from the terrifying situation that eventually caused the animal’s death. Please seek the maximum sentence of one year in jail and a fine of $5,000 for Leonard’s charge of animal cruelty.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Ildar Sagdejev via Wikimedia Commons