** The Animal Support Project was formed in memory of a little dog we never met. Her name was Julia, and she was a Mini-Dachschund puppy who lived in Easton, NY. On January 11, 2006, Julia’s owner was arrested because he shot her in the head for soiling his rug while he was away from home. The founders of our organization decided that what happened to Julia should never happen to another pet, and we decided to do everything we could to encourage people to do right by their companion animals.

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006

County: Washington

Disposition: Alleged

Alleged: Richard C Jenkins

The Washington County District Attorney’s office is prosecuting 18-year-old Richard Jenkins. Police said he was arrested January 10, 2006 for shooting and killing his 9-month-old puppy. They said he was angry the dog made a mess on the carpet in his home. To make matters worse, police said a 14-year-old girl saw the whole thing and told the story at school.

Washington County Assistant District Attorney J. Anthony Jordan said, “The most serious charge is the aggravated cruelty to an animal which arised from the shooting of the animal, which is an E felony, because it’s an E felony the District Attorney has to determine whether or not they’ll present the charges to a grand jury.”

Jenkins pleaded not guilty to all the charges, including the felony.

Local Assemblyman James Tedisco has played a large role in stopping similar cases of animal abuse. He said it falls under Buster’s Law, a bill he worked hard to pass. “I know it’s alleged if you take a gun and you shoot a companion pet, you weren’t attacked, there’s no harm that the animal was going to cause you, that is now a felony and this individual is facing some serious time in jail and maybe he should be facing that,” said Tedisco.

Jenkins is also being charged with several misdemeanors including endangering the welfare of a child and reckless endangerment. Tedisco said it’s important to prosecute crimes against animals before it leads to more. “Because if you’re abusing animals as a younger person, you’re probably going to go on and impact adults, that’s why this crime is so serious.” Jenkins’ attorney declined to talk to Capital News 9 on camera. Bail was set at $1,000.
In the meantime, Jenkins was sent back to Washington County jail. He’s due back in court on February 8, 2006.