PRESQUE ISLE – Dog lovers from near and far are making sure that the killing of a local dog is not forgotten.
While people from San Diego to Brooklyn, N.Y., to Liverpool, England, swamp District Attorney Neale Adams’ Presque Isle office with faxes responding to the early June slaying of a neighborhood pet, local residents are preparing for a memorial service Friday for the dog known as C.C.
The 4-year-old female mixed breed was cut, stabbed and beaten to death allegedly by three local teenagers accused of stealing her from her owner’s yard because they wanted to kill something “not human,” according to police reports.
The three Presque Isle boys were arrested two weeks ago and charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, a felony crime, though the District Attorney’s Office learned Tuesday that it can charge the teens only with cruelty to animals, a misdemeanor crime, because of a legislative drafting error.
The District Attorney’s Office received about 200 faxes and several phone calls Tuesday from concerned dog lovers across the United States and from other countries who wanted to make sure the office punished the teens “to the fullest extent of the law.”
An animal abuse Web site posted the office’s contact information and urged people to write to the prosecutor, asking for vigorous prosecution, jail time and mandatory counseling if the teens are convicted.
“This case is beyond belief,” wrote one woman from Pennsylvania. “Believe me, I WISH you could go for the ELECTRIC CHAIR [her emphasis] for these thugs who killed this poor dog.”
The office expects to receive soon a letter from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, which was buried in phone calls last week after a news article on the dog slaying.
Dan Paden, a cruelty caseworker for the organization, said Tuesday that he sent the letter to urge the prosecutor to vigorously prosecute the three boys.
“We see prosecutors and judges dismiss heinous crimes like this every day,” Paden said. “For the sake of this county’s residents and their animals alike, we hope to ensure that Mr. Adams throws the book at these kids.”
Adams responded Tuesday by saying that his office evaluates every case, juvenile or otherwise, the same way: They balance what is fair with what the law entails.
“Getting a lot of letters tells us people are concerned,” Adams said, “but it doesn’t make us any less or more concerned [than we already are] about the crime.”
As many focus on the legal matters, several local people are organizing a memorial service for the dog.
“Giving community members an opportunity to express their grief in a short ceremony seemed like a good way to raise awareness for animal abuse and a good venue for people to be able to express their sadness,” Sonja Plummer, a Presque Isle resident who brought forward the idea for the memorial, said Tuesday.
The Aroostook Animal Welfare Awareness Group is sponsoring the service, which will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, June 17. The event will be held on the bike path across from Presque Isle High School, where C.C.’s body was found.
“The reason we’re hosting this and asking the public to attend is because of the awareness factor,” Lynn Wark, the group’s president, said Tuesday.
One of the group’s biggest goals is to make people aware of things happening to animals in their community, she said.
“The message we’d like to get across is that people need to be tuned in to where they are, and don’t leave your dogs out unattended.”
For information about the memorial service, contact Wark at 768-5942 or Norma McEntee at 764-5804.