View Full Version : Puppy Killed with Sledgehammer

Rick Stephens
06-11-2001, 08:48 PM
A surburban St. Louis man could face criminal charges after he allegedly killed the family's dog with a sledgehammer.

St. Louis County Police said that the man killed the family's dog Saturday morning. The 32 year old man, who was not identified because no charges had been filed, told police the dog bit his 2 year old son in the face.

Police arrested the man at his Green Park home after getting reports of a dog yelping, like it was being beaten. In his back yard they found a blood soaked patio.

Police said the man told them he beat Dusty, a Dalmation and Labrador puppy, for about an hour. Then went inside the house to have a couple of beers. Apparently, when he heard the dog still yelping, he returned and beat the dog for another hour until it was silent.

The man could be charged with animal abuse, which is a felony that carries a maximum five year sentence and a $5,000 fine.

I would like to beat on this guy for two hours with a sledgehammer !!!!!!!!!!

06-12-2001, 06:24 AM
I certainly don't place the value of an animal anywhere near the value of a human, but common decency and sense would tell us that this guy is a threat to society.

Beating anything, man or animal to a slow death is without natural affection. It is simply cold hearted. I wonder what he will do when his child steps out of line? Any guesses?

It always suprises me how people think that a dog should act just the way they want it too, without training. I hear about more people who get rid of their dogs for one silly reason or the other. Maybe it chews up furniture, growls at strangers or runs off. Well it's just a bad dog so they get rid of it. Stupid. Dogs are just like anything else, they need direction and training. How many people think that their kids will turn out right if they are never given some discipline, some direction? A few of course, and I think they live just down the block!

Personally, I have two wonderful dogs, both which I adopted. The male, which I have had only a few months was abandoned because he is defensive and growled and snapped at someoneís friend and grandfather. OOO bad dog! Better get rid of him! It took me exactly 2 weeks to train that trait out of him. He will not bite anyone now. We have spent a couple of months training him and we have only two more weeks until we are completely finished. When we are, he will heal at my side without a leash, stay in a downstay for at least 20 min even when I am out of site and come on command even when completely distracted by something else--and do that on the first command. This from a dog that was "out of control" just 3 months ago.

I'm not bragging at all, I am just trying to show what can be done with a little time and care. Approximately 10 min a day is all it takes. Hopefully, someone will read this and give their pet another chance--and a little training.

06-12-2001, 07:46 AM
(BowtieMan) I'm curious how old the dog was when you started the obedience training? We are "socializing" a puppy for Leader Dogs for the Blind, she is only 11 weeks but smart AND stubborn. Was yours a Heinz 57 or a purebreed?

LD for KC
06-12-2001, 09:29 AM
The more I see of people, the more I like animals

LD for KC

06-12-2001, 10:30 AM
The male is between 1.5 and 2.5 years old. He is a purebreed American Eskimo. My female, who we also trained was less than a year old and did great. Age should not matter, it may take longer, but will still work.

The guy who taught us to train starts all of his puppies as by the third month, actually sooner than that I believe. He breeds Shepards, Dobermans and Rotweilers. He trains them for Police duty, guard duty and several levels of obedience training.

By the way, smart is good. They learn fast, but also are quick to pickup on your weaknesses. One thing to remember, dogs are opportunists and will take advantage every chance they get. If you are not consistent they will exploit it. For example, if you say sit and they don't, but go on and repeat it one or more times before they get a correction, then they will learn quickly not to respond on the first command.

Hope this helps.

06-12-2001, 10:38 AM
Abusing animals, kids, ect. ticks me off more than anything. Give BIG DADDY that sledgehammer and the same 2 hours with this guy. I'll use all the time.


Freaking a-hole. Hope they lock his arse up, but good.

Lightning Rod
06-12-2001, 11:09 AM
Well it is a slow day so Iíll play the role of A-hole. While I really do like animals and have had some family pets that I truly did love this case brings up a question. Should pets be treated any differently than any other personal property? Should the fact that Dogs and cats are cute give them different protection than a cow? If someone owns a dog does the government have any right to tell him/her what to do with it?
If so why?

Differentiating reprehensible behavior from legality.

keg in kc
06-12-2001, 11:18 AM
I have a feeling that anyone who beat a cow for two hours with a sledgehammer would face similar charges, assuming someone saw the action, but I don't think that's what you're asking.

Can the government legislate humane behavior? That's the question, I guess. I don't have an answer, but, like other posters, as far as I'm concerned, anyone who has the moral compunction to beat on a living, breathing animal for a while, go inside and drink a cold one and then go beat it some more doesn't get any latitude. That's just inhuman and disgusting as far as I'm concerned, and I'm glad he's facing the justice system because of his actions, as much for the sake of the kid he was supposedly "protecting" as for the animal.

Slaughtering a cow or a pig for a reason, be it food or hide or whatever, is one thing in my book. What this guy did to that dog is something else altogether. It's a kind of behavior that is simply frightening and unacceptable, under any circumstances.

Lightning Rod
06-12-2001, 11:29 AM
While I too find this behavior disgusting and reprehensible I question whether this type of legislation goes along with the spirit of the constitution. The guy is obviously a sick S.O.B. but is in truly in the governmentís mandate to punish the bastage? What if some kid is burning up ants with magnifying glass? Has a crime been committed?

I find myself in a strange position in that I see something totally disgusting but think this is not a power the government is supposed to have.

Got some work to do check back later.

06-12-2001, 11:48 AM

Goooooooooood luck! I have a Jack Russel Terrier. Smart... and stubborn. She is about a year and a half and she still has problems. She is sooooooo dominant, she lifts her leg when she pees, she pees ON US, she pee's in her cage, she pees on the floor. She tears stuff up around the house. We have resorted to making sure that we walk through the door FIRST, she can't get up on any of the furniture, and she can't get anywhere near your head for sake of her thinking that she dominates us. It is a HUGE battle for boss, and it is hard. She is finally starting to chill out a bit. I also suggest taking your dog to obedience school. The commands might not be useful, but you need to make sure that dog knows who is king. Good luck, and if you need a good rolled up newspaper, let me know. :)

BTW, that MF who smashed the puppy should have his nutz smashed with a ball peen hammer... Grrrrrrrrr!

06-12-2001, 11:52 AM
Hey, this is sickening, but I think if I were going to beat a dog to death, it wouldn't take me two hours....

It's too bad the punishment doesn't fit the crime in this country...I'd like to see the guy smeared with blood and thrown into a pit, naked, with a pack of rabid mad dogs...

Perhaps an animals life doesn't have the same value as a humans if you are capable of treating an animal this way, you are capable of doing the same thing to a human....

Mark M
06-12-2001, 12:50 PM
This guy is a sick, twisted and chicken-sh!t f*ckstick in my book. I say let him go to jail ... people who beat on dogs or other animals are usually treated much like those who are sex offenders: not well. The guys in the pen will give this guy a sense of what the dog went through. Instead of taking two hours, however, it'll take them about two years of slow, methodical a$$ kicking.

My wife and I have an American Eskimo as well. Is yours a standard (40-50 lbs) or a miniature like ours (20-30 lbs)? They are sweet dogs, and incredibly smart. The problem? They hold a grudge. It's taken us two years to get him to tolerate children (we don't have any, but he goes nuts when he even sees one) due to the previous owner's abuse. But, like you said, any dog can be trained.

~~Animal lover (no ... not in that way).

keg in kc
06-12-2001, 01:09 PM
RCG Chief, this is a difficult question to answer, and I'll try to do the best I can to describe my feelings on it.

I think many folks, myself included, consider farm animals and pets to be at least semi-conscious, and intelligent (even cows). I've never, on the other hand, seen any signs of either consciousness or intelligence from your average rodent or insect. I can look my dogs in the eye and see a spark there that my gerbils don't have (then again, I'd never beat my gerbils for two hours with a sledgehammer either, but that's another story). They know me and my voice, and they do what I tell them to do because they are intelligent enough to be trained (well, for the most part). For that reason, I don't see my dogs as my "property", I see them, literally, once again, as both conscious and intelligent. And like anything conscious and intelligent, I think they have a certain right not to suffer from inhuman (or inhumane) behavior or treatment. When they die, I will do my upmost to insure that they pass quickly, quietly and without suffering, and I hope for the same for the animals I eat (I've been rather attached to a couple of cows I later ate, as a matter of fact): that they be killed as painlessly and humanely as possible.

Now, I don't generally want to delve too deeply into telling people how to behave, as a matter of fact I'm generally completely opposed to it. But in this situation, I see animal abuse as similar to child abuse. Not the same, mind you, but similar. Like I said, I see certain animals as intelligent and conscious, and I think we have a responsibility to protect them in certain situations. A domesticated animal, like a dog, who is being severely abused by his owner and simply can't protect himself, is one of those situations. I wouldn't allow a man to beat a child senseless for two hours, and the same goes for a dog.

Maybe that's just me...

06-12-2001, 01:21 PM
If I had a dog and it bit my two year old child in the face, I would not have beat it to a slow death. I would have been compassionate and either got a gun and shot it in the head or a knife and slit its throat.

A dog that attacks a human will do so over and over. My stepfather taught me that when I was eight after our dog (a cocker spaniel) bit me in the arm and bit my five year old sister in the neck three weeks later. He had me come out and watch him kill the dog and very patiently explained the reason. The most important lesson he wanted me to understand was that pets are animals and they are of no use if they attack humans. My stepfather is a true animal lover, but he clearly understood priorities. I think since he was raised as a farmer it helped him get and keep those priorities straight.

Having said all that, torturing the dog to death was wrong, not worthy of a felony, but the fine probably is warranted.

keg in kc
06-12-2001, 01:36 PM
Jim, I'd need some more information, but I didn't read anything in there that said the dog was violent or that it had a history of attacking people. It said the kid was bitten on the face, and speaking from personal experience, that sort of thing is more often than not just an accident that happens during play, especially if you're playing too roughtly (I get bitten daily by my shepherd puppy, who is not violent at all). There was no mention of the kid needing or getting medical attention, and the impression I got was that the guy went immediately to beating his dog, again, with a sledgehammer. I'm not this guy, but if my kid was attacked by a dog, my first response would be to check on the kid and get him to the hospital, not spend hours beating the dog to a pulp.

Again, though, I'd need more information. Maybe the kid was badly hurt and was taken to the hospital by the mother or a relative, but I don't see any indication of that in the information I've seen so far. It could be the writer just trying to make the guy out as vicious (although the fact that he beat the dog for an hour, had a few brews and then recommenced beating does that enough on its own).

06-12-2001, 01:45 PM
This a-hole probably won't do any time because they have to keep pot smokers locked up. There isn't any space for those who abuse children or animals.

06-12-2001, 01:59 PM
Both of ours are standards, but on the small side. The female is right at 15" and 23 lbs. The male is 16" and 28 lbs. Height, not weight is the determining factor for their classification. Here is the AKC stats:

Size There are three separate size divisions of the American Eskimo Dog (all measurements are heights at withers): Toy, 9 inches to and including 12 inches; Miniature, over 12 inches to and including 15 inches; and Standard, over 15 inches to and including 19 inches. There is no preference for size within each division. Disqualification: Under 9 inches or over 19 inches.

And the UKC:

Males from 12 inches up to and including 15 inches;
Females from 11 inches up to and including 14 inches.
Puppy class only -- Minimum permissible heights are 11 inches for males and 10 inches for females.


Males over 15 inches up to and including 19 inches;
Females over 14 inches up to and including 18 inches.
Championship points earned in the miniature classes are valid in combination with points earned in the standard classes.

Your dog may actually be a standard.

Our male hated older men and at first cowered when ever I would throw anything in any direction. Like yours, I believe he was abused.

I grew up with an American Eskimo and all three have been great dogs.

Lightning Rod
06-12-2001, 02:09 PM
Keg- that was a pretty reasonable response.

While I in no way, shape or form condone that type of behavior, it points out some gray areas in our sense of morality and what we accept as legal activities. Most of the arguments we come up with as to why this sort of vile activity is wrong and should be against the law can be twisted and used by the animal rights wackos. The PETA goofballs were protesting the Indy 500 because it is traditional to drink milk after the race. They apparently think milking a cow is cruel. It brings up the question of what makes humans unique. Intelligence? Tool making? Socialization? Compassion? (Please leave the Man has a soul response for a different debate). These traits to some degree or another are found in other animals. Some Chimps have tested in the low 80s on modified IQ tests. They have been taught language and shown an understanding of it. We often get carried away in perceiving human characteristics in non-humans. We like the pretty animals and feel free to exterminate the ugly ones. I feel bad when I run over a cute little bird or bunny in my car. I really donít if I run over a snake.

Rod- Working the unpopular side of the street today

Mark M
06-12-2001, 02:20 PM
I put the weights in because I wasn't sure of the standards. Ours is nowhere near show quality so I've never looked into it. Thanks for the info, though! Ours is a total sweetheart and incredibly smart ... soft, too. Great petting dog.

Back to the topic: I was bitten at age 6 by a German Shepard ... it took a chuck out of my leg. When asked why I said "I don't know. It just went after me." My parents, and even the owners, immediately demanded the dog be put to sleep. It was then that I had to tell them I was looking at her puppies (they were about four weeks old) and I went to grab one when she came after me. In other words, it was my fault I was bitten, not the dogs' fault.

And I'd guess (have no facts, just lots of experience with dogs) that this is true in 99% of the cases. It's usually either: a.) the fault of the person who was bitten; or b.) the fault of the owner for not training/properly controlling the dog.

You are 100% correct in your analysis. It reminds me of a commercial I once saw: The only thing that seperates a rat from a squirrel is the fuzzy tail. Does that matter? Yes ... yes it does. And, to be honest, I do the same thing. I won't hesitate to kill a spider but won't even raise a hand to my dog.

~~Never blames on an animal what can be explained by human stupidity.

keg in kc
06-12-2001, 02:49 PM
RCG - I was actually thinking about that while I was outside doing some yard work. We have a tendency to protect, or maybe "humanize", the animals that we find cute and cuddly (dog, cat, etc) and "dehumanize" the ones we can eat (cows, chickens, pigs) or the ones that scare us, gross us out or annoy us (snakes, sharks, spiders...chihuahuas;)).

Strange creatures, we humans.

06-12-2001, 03:04 PM
This is disturbing to me cause I am a huge animal person. I have two cats, have had a dog of some sort most of my life and even had a domesticated pet duck for 3 1/2 years. The duck was my favorite of all time BTW...

But I have to agree with KEG's comments on how we in America arbitrarily decide which animals that deserve human like rights and those that get slaughtered...For example, because of my pet duck I view shooting ducks like most people view shooting dogs but is it fair to hold everyone else to my standards? I don't think so...

06-12-2001, 03:25 PM

I would agree that if it was playful and blood was not drawn then it would not be neccessary to put the dog/puppy would not need to be put down.

The story indeed was not clear on this very pertinent fact. However a history of problems is not a requirement, as a dog at any age is a carnivore and once it has a taste for human blood is forever more a risk. I know this opinion may not be popular but the least I would do is turn that dog/puppy over to the city pound while reporting it as an animal that has attacked a human. If someone wanted to claim it within the 24 hour window and take the risk, that would be their choice. Otherwise the pound could put it down.

Not a PC kind of guy, especially when it come to protecting my family.

No matter what the guy was inhumane and should be fined, but if the kid was bit jail is probably way too harsh.

keg in kc
06-12-2001, 03:37 PM

I would tend to agree with you if it was a violent attack.

I really wish we had more information about it...

What we do have are the breeds, so maybe we can extrapolate something from that (info from dogbreedinfo.com):

Dalmatians were bred to run under or along-side of horse-drawn carriages and therefore have an vast about of stamina and energy. They do not like to just sit around all day with nothing to do. They are playful, happy-go-lucky, extremely sensitive and loyal. The Dalmatian needs human companionship, without which it is likely to become depressed. For this reason they do not make good yard dogs. They have excellent memories and can remember for years any bad treatment it has had. The Dalmatian enjoys playing with children, but may be too rambunctious for toddlers. They get along well with other pets, but some may be aggressive with strange dogs; males often dislike other males. Somewhat high-strung, and can be timid without enough socialization. Quite intelligent, but can be willful. Generally does well with firm, consistent training. The Dalmatian is trainable to a high degree of obedience. They can be trained for defense and are good watchdogs. Dalmatians often have large litters, sometimes up to 15 pups. Some can be aggressive if not properly raised.

The Labrador Retriever is a loving, affectionate, lovable, patient dog. Highly intelligent, loyal, willing, and high-spirited. Lively and good-natured, they love to play, especially in water - for they love to swim. They have an excellent, reliable, temperament and are friendly, superb with children and equable with other dogs. They crave human attention and need to feel as though they are part of the family. Labs are easily trained. Some may be reserved with strangers unless very well socialized as puppies. These dogs are watchdogs, not guard dogs, although some have been known to guard. They can become destructive if left too much to their own devices.

So it looks like a mixture of pretty good dog breeds that aren't generally prone to biting unless they're not trained properly.

One other question that's pertinent is the age of the dog. The article actually says "puppy", but it doesn't give any clear picture of the dog. It could be 15 pounds or 50 pounds, although neither breed is a particularly large one...

06-12-2001, 04:17 PM
My nickname around the house is "chewtoy". She's not doing badly, but it's always nice to hear about other peoples success. I would recommend "crate" training to anyone! You know about puppies, where the nose goes the mouth is soon to follow!

As far as the news story, I would cite him on cruelty charges anyway. If his child was bitten, the dog needs to be quarantined for 10 days to avoid the rabies shots for the child. If a dog bit my child, I would take great pleasure dispatching him with a .45 on the eleventh day (efficiently). Our 3 dogs are Labs or Lab/Rottweiler crosses. I know that dalmations are strung pretty tight, I can easily see one getting aggressive........ hard to know about a mixed breed.

06-13-2001, 12:29 AM
what kind of weak-*** lambwagon fan needs two hours with a sledgehammer to terminate a dog? Are they certain it wasn't an elephant? One good whack should have done the trick - not that I'm condoning the behavior.

This story sounds severely embellished. If I were on the jury, I'd have a hard time believing that a puppy lasted 2 hours vs a grown man & a sledge hammer.

06-13-2001, 09:50 AM
I think that the two most important factors here are how the dog bit the child and the torture factor. Dogs will be dogs and when they are playing can occasionally catch you with their teeth. Especially puppies who have not developed their coordination yet and have those extra sharp puppy teeth. There is a big difference between that and actually BITING the child. Irregardless, if you are going to kill the dog, kill it. There is no excuse for torturing anything. There has to be a line and I think that is it. You also have to question why this sorry S.O.B. would leave a high strung dog around a young child without the proper supervision as well.


Would still love to woop this guys arse. :eek:

Rick Stephens
06-13-2001, 03:16 PM
Here is a follow up on this story,

Protesters Gather At Alleged Dog Abusers Home

Green Park,Mo.,3:05pm CDT, JUNE13,2001--After allegedly beating his dog to death, Michael Welch has more than criminal charges to worry about. He has protesters outside his window.

Several dozen protesters gathered outside the 32 year-old man's home Tuesday night. Some of the protesters brought their own dogs to march.

Welch was charged Tuesday with felony animal abuse. Police said that he told them he beat "Dusty," a labrador, dalmation mix, for about an hour after the dog bit his 2 year-old son's nose.

Police said that Welch then went inside for a couple of beers. When he heard the dog still yelping, he returned and beat the dog for another hour.

Welch is free on $10,000 bond.


Wow, when I posted this I didnt realize it would get this much response. I am glad that a lot of you think like I do, in that this type of behavior is unacceptable in our society. I think that as human beings we should protect these animals from such abuse and punish those who inflict this type of abuse on these creatures. And no, I am not a member of PETA. I am a dog lover!!

06-13-2001, 05:32 PM
BIG DADDY has had a couple of Pit Bulls he would like to introduce to Mr. Welch :D