posted by: Judy Molland
August 1, 2010

Dog Killer Gets Maximum Prison Sentence

The man who dragged Buddy the dog to death behind his truck at Colorado National Monument last December was sentenced on July 30 to the maximum prison sentence of three years, according to The Denver Post.

For the more than 260,000 people, including Care2 supporters, who have signed petitions demanding justice for Buddy, there is some relief that Buddy's death has not gone unnoticed. On charges of aggravated animal cruelty, Steven Clay Romero was sentenced to three years in federal prison and once he's out, 12 months on supervised probation. He will also have to pay $500 in fines and $343 in restitution to Buddy's owners.

Death by dragging?

It turns out that Romero did not act alone. Officials say that his sister, Melissa Lockhart, is also facing charges in Buddy's death. The dog belonged to Sacha and Joe Leber of Delta, CO. "Buddy was the most kind, gentle, respectful dog, especially with our children," said Leber. On December 29, 2009, Lockhart stole the dog from the back of the Lebers' pickup, while they were eating at a restaurant, and gave Buddy to her brother to destroy. Lockhart's story is that the dog had killed her cat. She is charged as an accessory after the fact to aggravated animal cruelty, and her case is pending.

Has justice been served?

In spite of the length of this sentence, many will question whether three years in prison is really enough for a man who tied a rope around the neck of the German shepherd mix dog and dragged him through the snow behind his truck until the animal was dead.

Dog taped to fridge?

Also on July 30 in Colorado, Abby Toll, who bound and taped her boyfriend's 11-pound puppy to the side of a fridge last year, left the Boulder County Jail early. Toll had been sentenced to 30 days of jail time, but got out 10 days early for "going to classes at jail and staying out of trouble."

The 21-year-old was arrested last year when police said she bound the dog, Rex, with hair ties and packing tape and stuck him upside-down to a fridge in her boyfriend's apartment.

What do you think? Has justice been served in these two cases?

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