Sheriff pushing for stricter punishment in cases of animal abuse - WNEM TV 5

Sheriff pushing for stricter punishment in cases of animal abuse

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Dakota (Courtesy: Joyce Hascall) Dakota (Courtesy: Joyce Hascall)
Source: Sheriff Robert Pickell Source: Sheriff Robert Pickell

After arrests were made in a disturbing case of animal abuse, a local sheriff is sharing his thoughts on the pair accused of killing and torturing a Mid-Michigan dog.

Jessica Brown, 18, and Nathan McCue, 21, are facing felony charges in the horrible death of a 7-year-old Shih-Tzu named Dakota.

The pup was found dead last week in Vienna Township with his mouth and feet bound with electrical tape.

Investigators believe Brown and McCue became upset with the dog after he urinated on McCue’s clothing – ultimately leading to Dakota’s death.

Thursday, Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell said he felt the worst for the young teen who made the gruesome discovery.

“Sgt. Murphy, who put this case together, has talked to [the teen’s] mother two or three times and she's very concerned, number one about the animal torturing, and two about her son. And I think we can all understand a young 13-year-old kid seeing that. What kind of an impact it would have on him?” Pickell said.

Pickell said his office sees more cases of animal abuse than he'd like to count. He’s pushing for stricter punishments in cases that involve animals and pets.

“When you have an act like this, you have to get people off the street and keep them off the street, because there has to be something wrong with the person who will do that - commit that kind of a torturous act,” Pickell said.

Both Brown and McCue are currently being held in the Genesee County Jail.

Their bonds are set at $10,000 each.

They’ll both be back in court next week. 

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