Warning: This story may be too disturbing for some readers.
In yet another grim reminder of the connection between cruelty to animals and violence against people, 19 year old Jeffrey Nally, Jr of WV is in jail tonight, charged with kidnapping, domestic battery and 29 counts of animal cruelty. Mr. Nally allegedly tortured puppies to death, forcing his kidnapped girlfriend to watch and afterward, to clean up.
“Mutilated, skinned, anything you can imagine,” [Hancock County Chief Deputy Sheriff Todd] Murray said of the animals, some of which were buried in the suspect’s yard and some of which were wrapped in plastic. Most were puppies.
Nally appears to have used a different tool to kill each dog, “everything from a crossbow, to a drill, saws to hammers,” Murray said.
Nally used classified ads to locate and obtain the dogs, Murray said, often persuading people he’d provide a good home.
While most people who inquire about pets via the classifieds are normal, it is important to obtain and verify references from any potential pet buyer – no matter how the inquirer was referred. People who have owned pets previously should be able to provide a veterinary reference. Anyone who rents should provide a landlord’s name and number to verify their residency and that pets are allowed on the property. First time pet owners can probably provide references of people whose pets they’ve interacted with – either by pet sitting while the owner was away or even just playing with the pet during visits. It’s not good enough just to get the references. You actually have to make the calls and ask questions.
That said, I don’t have a problem with classified ads for pets so long as the potential buyers are properly screened. Not only does screening let the buyer know you care about what happens to the pet you are selling, it also helps to establish a relationship which can be maintained – hopefully for the life of the pet. I want my buyers to know I am there for them if they need anything from housetraining advice to “Help, my wife has suddenly fallen ill and I can no longer care for this dog!”
The good news in this awful WV story is that the girlfriend was rescued and returned to her home. And:
Authorities said a night-long search turned up 29 dog carcasses on the property. Their swift action saved the lives of one pig and three dogs; a Poodle, a black Lab and a Coon hound, rescued by the dog warden in the nick of time.