Don’t Euthanize Dog for the Crime of His Owner

Target: Bay County District Judge Dawn A. Kilda

Goal: Stop man accused of assault from euthanizing his dog in exchange for a shorter prison sentence

John LeBeau, a Michigan man accused of encouraging his pit bull, Rueger, to attack another person, recently received a plea offer that would reduce his sentence, but would also result in Rueger being euthanized. It is likely the first case of its kind. The deal gives LeBeau two choices: turn down the offer and receive an extended sentence, or accept and agree to Rueger being euthanized in exchange for a shorter sentence. The case is essentially a matter of blame and Rueger’s life hangs on whether or not LeBeau chooses to blame himself or his dog for the act.

This is clearly a gross violation of animal rights. Despite the fact that it is absurd to make a plea offer in which the life of an animal is dependent upon a man’s willingness to admit his own guilt, Rueger does not have the ability to defend himself. Regardless of his actions, the blame should fall on his owner. Dogs, like children, are not inherently aggressive, but made so by teaching and by circumstance. Rueger attacking another man at the request of LeBeau should not result in his death and his owner only receiving a short prison sentence.

Thankfully, the local community has already stepped in to help fight for Rueger’s life. Dee Bishop, president of Bay County’s Humane Society, has been actively contesting the decision and is hoping the courts will consider putting Rueger through a temperament evaluation with a licensed dog trainer to determine his aggressiveness and whether or not he can be trained. Friends and family of LeBeau also brought a photo album and a collection of letters in support of Rueger, all of which claiming that he has never shown aggressive tendencies before.

These few people cannot do the job alone, however, and need our help. The Bay County Court system needs to know that this kind of cruel insensitivity will not be tolerated. Pets should not be punished for the actions of their owners, nor should they be made indefensible in cases in which their welfare is involved. Please show your support: give Rueger a chance at life and ensure that this kind of bargaining never happens again.


Dear Judge Kilda,

Allowing John LeBeau to receive a shorter sentence by agreeing to euthanize his dog, Rueger, is both cruel and a violation of the dog’s rights. A dog should never be punished for the actions and teachings of its owner. The very fact that the plea offer is contingent upon LeBeau choosing his life over Rueger’s despite the dog’s inability to defend himself is a horrific injustice.

Please set an example and do not let this man choose whether or not Rueger has the right to live because of what he, LeBeau himself, encouraged him to do. At the very least give Rueger the chance to show his innocence by allowing him to complete a temperament evaluation. Every living thing deserves that chance.


[Your Name Here]

Sign the Petition

  • Only your name will be displayed. By signing, you accept our terms and may receive updates on this and related causes.
FacebookCare2 NewsTwitterEmailShare


  1. kathy yarbrough says:

    It is clearly a gross injustice to this dog to be killed for something that was his owners fault. The owner should pay the jail time. People that know the dog have attested that the dog is not an aggressive dog. Their word should be taken into account. The owner was at fault for causing this attack. Please take into consideration that the dog is a well behaved dog, as proven by the people that know him.

  2. This is totally obscene! Is this judge a little nuts? She is basically rewarding this animal abuser for killing his dog, if he chooses a reduced sentence. Maybe she should be investigated for being animal abuser herself, has a hatred for animals or maybe she just has something against dogs or the breed. I know she was most likely bit or chased as a child. Get over it if that’s the case!! You just don’t condemn one animal for another’s actions.

  3. There are only bad owners, not bad dogs. This is a BAD OWNER, don’t sacrifice the dog for the owner’s crimes. Euthanizing the dog is wrong. Don’t let this injustice go on.

  4. Human is the one who committed crime and should be punished; not the dog, why should the dog pay for human crime.
    That is completely unfair, save the innocent dog.

  5. TRUDY NICKOLS says:

    The owner of this dog should face his punshiment, do not punish the dog for what the owner done it was not the dog’s fault. please save this dog from harm, the owner was the one committed this crime

  6. I think the judge has a lot of nerve giving this man this choice. Of course he is going to take his life over the dogs. Why on earth would the judge even give this guy a choice??? I think the judge should rethink what she has done.

  7. Songbird Bergstrom says:

    This man should not get a choice. He raise the dog to bite. This man deserves nothing less than prison time and not the dog to be put down but, to be worked with and to be adopted out. This idiot to never have any more animals period.

  8. Pitbulls used to be called the “nanny dog” because they are so good with people, especially children. Our society has created this false identity for this bread due to irresponsible and violent owners who fail to provide proper care and guidance. With enough patience and work, this handsome pup will be well behaved and looking for a new loving family to call his own.

  9. I think the man should be charged with attempted murder and Rueger the dog should be released to someone who can retrain him if necessary and give him the home and life he deserves!!! It’s not right to condemn the dog and absolutely asinine to give the man who stands to gain the most decide whether Rueger lives or dies!!! He obviously doesn’t give a damn about Rueger or he wouldn’t have commanded him to attack in the first place!!! Please save Rueger!!! He doesn’t deserve to die!!!

  10. Dont’ make an innocent animal suffer or die because he has a stupid, thoughtless, selfish, inconsiderate, cruel owner!!!!!!!!! The owner is the one to be punished!!!! Lets put him down!!!!

  11. Susie Baranski says:

    How can anyone ever believe in justice when every day we see exactly the opposite. Save the beautiful dog, he is totally innocent, but the owner is guilty.

  12. Susie Baranski says:

    Is it any wonder that no one believes in the justice system anymore? The dog is totally innocent and the owner is totally guilty. Why do people become judges if they can’t even do their job properly, a clever monkey could do a much better job.

  13. SUE GRIFFITHS says:

    Your looking at the wrong end of the lead for blame. The Dog Whisperer has rehabilitated dogs who were aggressive. This dog is not naturally aggressive, but was merely following orders from his master and pack leader. I don’t know if this judge was taking illegal substances at the time of sentence, but she got it totally wrong and should be big enough to admit her mistake. It’s not yet too late to right this wrong judge. Save the dog and euthanise the owner.

    • paula davies. says:

      Totally agree with above comments. U don’t get bad dogs, just bad owners! Euthanize the owners and give the dogs a chance of having a happy life!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Facebook Comments


98 Signatures

  • Ana Maria Mainhardt Carpes
  • Brett Wolff
  • Doris Telles
  • Geri Mason
  • Nitzan Steiman
  • Darlene Roepke
  • Lynn Juozilaitis
  • Richard Ohlendorf
  • tam O
1 of 10123...10
Skip to toolbar