Demand Justice for Puppy Clubbed to Death

Target: Iowa Court of Appeals

Goal: Condemn the Iowa Court of Appeals for refusing to punish an extreme case of animal abuse

In 2012, Zachary S. Meerdink was convicted of animal abuse for beating his seventh-month-old Boston terrier to death with a baseball bat. The puppy had had accidents in the home due to a weak stomach, had bit one of Meerdink’s girlfriend’s children, and was having trouble with training. So one afternoon after the puppy had an accident in the house, Meerdink left with the puppy and a baseball bat. When he returned he said the dog was dead. The body was later found in tall grass by the apartment building with severe damage to the head.

After the brutal act, Meerdink was convicted of animal abuse and was sentenced to two years of prison. However, the Iowa Court of Appeals overturned his conviction in a vote of 1 to 2 because they claimed the prosecutors failed to prove sufficiently that the act was done with “depraved” or “sadistic” intent. The Court of Appeals responded to the prosecutors by stating that “evidence that ‘merely raises suspicion, speculation or conjuncture’  is insufficient evidence.” They were referring to the fact that no one but Meerdink saw the killing take place, and that there was no “evidence” that it caused “a depraved intent to cause death to the dog.”

The puppy was exhibiting behaviors that are not particularly unusual for a young dog. Even though they were trying to train him, they only had the puppy for three months, and even a “troubled dog” does not deserve this kind of ending. The violent death was nowhere near justifiable, and Zachary S. Meerdink should have suffered. Please sign the petition if you believe that the Iowa Court of Appeals was unjust in its decision.


Dear Iowa Court of Appeals,

Recently I was disappointed to learn of your decision of overturning Zachary S. Meerdink’s conviction and sentence of two years of prison. I believe Meerdink deserved that punishment for clubbing his seventh-month-old puppy to death with a baseball bat.

Even though the murder was not witnessed by anyone other that Meerdink, it was clear that only one with “a depraved intent to cause death to the dog” would end a small creature’s life in such a violent manner. The puppy was innocent, displaying behaviors not particularly unusual for a dog so young. The trouble the puppy caused was in no way a means to justify its violent death.

If the puppy was so unwanted in the home, Meerdink could have given him away. Yet, he decided to take a barbaric and cruel approach, and that it why it is so clear that Meerdink should not have been excused for his crime. If a man who clubs his puppy to death can get away without being convicted for animal abuse, what hope do the rest of the abused and neglected animals in Iowa have?

I hope that you approach future animal abuse cases differently, to punish people for their crimes and discourage pain and suffering unto animals.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: wfwj via Flickr

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  1. Dawn Blair says:

    This truly sickens me…i am so apalled and enraged that I am shaking. I would love to take the baseball bat out that I keep in the trunk of my car and beat this POS within an inch of his life…laughing and smiling as I did it. Human life really means almost nothing to me at this point…in fact it disgusts me. I would love to so exactly the same to the stupid girlfriend, I’m sure because this incompenent, ignorant excuse for a judge let him off he’ll escalate by beating one of her kids to death for shiting in his pants…I certainly hope so…

  2. Rosemarie Roberts says:

    When is our “civilized” country going to act civilized?
    If Meerdink is a barbaric piece of human trash, what about the Judge?

  3. The judge should be disbarred

  4. Niki Brand says:

    Clubbing any animal including fur seal pups is entirely wrong, this sickness is spreading, checkout crush videos, Asian women in high heels stepping on kitten and puppies heads, where will it end? Humans have lost their integrity.

  5. what the hell is wrong with the justice system,so many evil abusers getting off with a slap on the wrist if this had been a child this would be a different outcome,does the judges etc not realise that this man could be a risk to society or even his own children with a temper so bad,its just sickening these evil skum animal abusers seem to be getting off so easily,why is there no justice for the innocent.i hope this evil excuse of a human being gets whats deserved and rots in hell

  6. the idea that folks are still dancing around the idea that it’s okay to kill a dog if it does something a human doesn’t want is ridiculous…

  7. They have eyes but refuse to see. They have ears but refuse to hear. They have hearts but refuse to love. They could do good but instead, do bad. They could create happiness but instead, spread misery. A pathetic existence is their choice and their hell.

  8. It’s sickening, it’s backwards……it’s all wrong. How is it our “supposed upholders of justice” don’t see that, I find that totally frightening if we can’t make a change within the system. But then I’ve been frightened since Obama took office.

  9. Jesus, this is so sickeningly wrong with that sicko and the judge / judicial system. This cannot be accepted. We cannot sit still for this.

  10. Sam Sausagehead says:

    Good thing he lives so far away – REGARDLESS of what the “Judges” decided – they gave his name……..and I have a few baseball bats MYSELF

  11. Alice Knight says:

    I would certainly question this judges mental ability of what is considered a depraved and/or sadistic act. I only hope he does not have any pets of his own. I cannot fathom anyone taking a baseball bad and clubbing an innocent animal of any kind to death. This is an atrocious act of violence and one which should have been given the severest punishment possible.

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