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Posted: 5/1/2001 8:38:52 PM EST
Another example of how one class is protected more than others. How many dog owners would do the same thing if they saw this happening? If this happened to a police dog the charges would be reversed.


Man who went to dog's defense now faces felony charges

                           Doug Grow / Star Tribune

                           If a dog is man's best friend, what can a man reasonably do to protect a dog's life?

                           Consider the case of a Dakota County man, John Christoffel, who is facing a felony charge because of actions he took in trying to defend a dog that was being
                           bludgeoned to death by a man with a sledgehammer.

                           Animal rights activists have embraced Christoffel, 19, for actions he took Dec. 17. But the Dakota County attorney's office doesn't see Christoffel as heroic. It has
                           charged him with making terroristic threats, while holding a .22 caliber rifle. Meantime, the man who killed the dog has been charged with a misdemeanor, cruelty to

                           "Sometimes, the law seems perverted," said Larry Leventhal, Christoffel's attorney. "Look at the comparative wrongs in this case. One is facing time in prison for trying to
                           protect the life of a friend. And one receives no more than a traffic ticket for this killing, a murder really."

                           A bill pending in the current legislative session would make some animal cruelty offenses felonies.

                           At the time of the incident, Christoffel was living with his mother, Linda Christoffel, in Inver Grove Heights. He was a friend of a neighbor and the neighbor's dog,
                           Precious, a two-year-old German shepard/husky mix. Last December, Precious' owner died and the dog was temporarily left in the care of the late owner's fiancee, who
                           continued to reside next door to the Christoffels. Though it was living with the fiancee, the dog legally had become property of the late man's father.

                           On Dec. 17, the dog showed up at the Christoffels' house with a cut paw. Paddy Theis, Linda Christoffel's fiance, called the late owner's father, telling him the dog was
                           hurt. The man assured Theis that he would take care of Precious and sent a family member to deal with the dog.

                           The man sent to care for Precious, apparently on his own, decided the best way to solve the paw problem was to kill the dog. He took the dog to the late owner's garage
                           and, he told police, covered its head with a plastic bag and started swinging the sledge.
Link Posted: 5/1/2001 8:39:34 PM EST
                           "I took it upon myself because my father-in-law's been talking about bringing it to the humane society to have the dog put away," the man told Inver Grove Heights police.
                           "... I just figured, hey, this is the cheapest way out."

                           The fiancee of the late dog owner heard what was happening to Precious, unsuccessfully tried to get the man to stop and raced to the Christoffels' house. When they
                           heard the horror story, Theis, followed by John Christoffel, raced next door, hoping to rescue Precious. Harsh words were exchanged and, according to Theis and
                           Christoffel, the man with the sledgehammer made threatening gestures toward them.

                           Christoffel ran back to his home, yelling at the man with the sledge and telling him that police were going to be called. Police were called but before they arrived,
                           Christoffel returned with his rifle and says he told the man "You want to play games, we'll play games."

                           The man with the sledge claims that Christoffel also threatened him with large hunting knives, a charge Christoffel denied.

                           In retrospect, Christoffel, who has no criminal record, regrets bringing a rifle into the chaos.

                           "I know that pulling out a gun is pretty serious," he said. "I regret that, but I just couldn't believe what was happening."

                           Leventhal is preparing motions to have the case against Christoffel dismissed for a variety of technical reasons. To date, pretrial hearings have been delayed twice and the
                           Dakota County attorney has dropped a threat to add two felony assault charges against Christoffel.

                           But that one felony charge hangs over Christoffel's head and stirs the passions of animal lovers.

                           Leventhal wrote in a letter to me that, if this case goes to trial he will be going where few, if any, lawyers have gone before.

                           "Christoffel intends to defend this matter on the basis that he acted reasonably, and that he had a right to use necessary force in defense of another," Leventhal wrote.
                           "While we have not located cases that allow the use of weapons to defend a dog, we believe that this well-recognized doctrine should be expanded to include such
                           reasonable conduct. Precious was not only a neighborhood dog, she was a friend of John's, and John acted to protect her life."

                           -- Doug Grow is at [email protected] .
Link Posted: 5/1/2001 9:15:57 PM EST
Hope the guy gets aqquited.
Link Posted: 5/1/2001 9:24:06 PM EST
Now that is really messed up.  I'd be a little more than pissed if I saw someone doing that to a dog I was friends with.  I believe I'd be whippin out the pepper spray, nail the dude and cuff him till the local cops arrived.

Tracer Technology
Law Enforcement & Military Products
Link Posted: 5/1/2001 9:28:53 PM EST
Good country Amerika!

And the complacent march toward what they think is freedom!
Link Posted: 5/1/2001 11:14:53 PM EST
That's one screwed-up D.A.  I can't believe the people are not pounding on his door.

And the guy with the sledgehammer should be tied down and worked over by a few dogs.

Link Posted: 5/1/2001 11:47:53 PM EST
People have rights, dogs don't.
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 12:04:30 AM EST
People have rights, dogs don't.
View Quote

Dog's have the following rights:
Right to Live
Right to be Trained Properly & Responsibly
Right to proper Health Care & Nutrition
Right to be Bred Responsibly
Right to not be Judged Prejudicially
Rights to be Foolish & Silly to Make People Laugh

Link Posted: 5/2/2001 2:34:36 AM EST
How many of those rights would another dog recognize?

Animal rights = oxymoron.

OTOH imagine if this was a police dog.  The same DA would have Mr. hammer up on murder charges.

Link Posted: 5/2/2001 4:22:26 AM EST
I love Texas. The use of deadly force is authorized to protect personal property and livestock. I'm not sure how the courts would view the incident if it was someone else's property or livestock, but no one would survive taking a sledgehammer to my dog.

Semper Fidelis
Jarhead out.
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 5:01:33 AM EST
I think they want to make it a more serious crime to kill a police dog.  Somebody who's ready to kill a police dog or a dog faced cop for that matter aren't thinking about the extra time they are gonna do.
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 5:10:46 AM EST
Funny this should come up:

Yesterday, I had to go talk to a lady about a case of her's I was handling, and as I walked up to talk the house to talk to her, her dog slipped by her, and came after me.

The dog came within about a foot of my leg, and gave a good snap towards me, and circled round for a second try, but by then he was looking at a Glock, and he made a bee line for under her car.

The dog must have been shot a lot by a BB pistol or something: he didn't come out from under that car the whole time I was there.
I guess the dog wasn't that stupid.

The woman was P.O.'ed that I drew on her dog, and I explained that I was a human, and the dog was an animal, and that when necessary, animals are always going to loose.

She said she didn't like guns anyway, and didn't have any around her house.

I was about to ask her how she keeps everyone who comes to her house to buy meth from robbing her, but I resisted.

Link Posted: 5/2/2001 5:19:36 AM EST
Funny this holud come up (again) If nobody noticed the cat killer posting on this board-maybe he will post how dogs are better targets now, being that they have no right to live.
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 5:20:57 AM EST
I'm a dog person but I've never understood this "dogs are people too" thing. In some states its a felony to abuse a dog but a misdomenor to abuse a child! Dogs are great, but they are animals. You should not be able to use deadly force to defend your dog any more than your lawnmower.

A dog is property and property does not have rights.
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 5:28:08 AM EST
I hope that piece of SH*T that beat the dog gets what he deserves (READ: A slow and torturous death, and eternity in hell). And, if it where up to me, the man defending the dog should get a medal, and a few million. I'm just sick of people thinking it is alright to torture a living, breathing being, because they have the misguided notion that they are better, simply because they are a different species. I've known many men I wouldn't trust to hold a nickel, but dogs I would trust with my life. Just my two cents, but I think that hunting is one thing (I am not a hunter), but torture and cruelty is something totally different.
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 5:59:10 AM EST
[b] Dog's have the following rights:
Right to Live
Right to be Trained Properly & Responsibly
Right to proper Health Care & Nutrition
Right to be Bred Responsibly
Right to not be Judged Prejudicially
Rights to be Foolish & Silly to Make People Laugh [/b]

This is a quote from the DBOR
Doggie Bill of Rights.
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 6:18:02 AM EST
The charges are ridiculous. I'd be surprised if they held up in court. The phrase "terroristic threats" usually has a certain conotation to it. i.e. threat of death or physical injury to foward a political or idealogical belief. If a DA was stretching I think the most he could charge the 19 year old with would be some kind brandishing/ menacing crime. Usually the use of physical force(not deadly p.f.) is allowable in the prevention or termination of a crime such as this. It probably would have been OK were the kid to use OC spray, physically restrain, or just punch this guys lights out.

If it was a police dog in the course of it's duties, you're right. The assaulter of the dog would be charged with a felony assault.
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 6:24:21 AM EST
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 6:34:43 AM EST
Three important points to make:

First, notice how often the DA will add a count of terroristic threats to the charge sheet.  I don't know exactly what this is.  However, this is the second time I have heard of this charge applied in what was, arguably, a self defense case.  It looks great on the evening news and when the charges are read out in court.  Nobody likes a terrorist.  The DAs seem to be equating gun = terrorist.  

Second, the guy was stupid to bring the rifle  
AFTER the cops arrived.  

Third, before everyone gets too hot and bothered about the different treatment between a police dog and a family dog, please remember that this was not the man's dog.  The guy with the sledgehammer was acting with the permission of the owner.  

How many of you would be upset if someone held a rifle on you to protect a deer that you were hunting?

Link Posted: 5/2/2001 6:47:13 AM EST
I can't believe that someone had to throw the abortion issue into a discussion about cruelty to animals.

Frances, the owner of the dog instructed the man to take the dog to the humane society where it possibly could have been adopted, probably by the 19 year old in this story.  He was not instructed to beat the dog to death with a sledgehammer.  That is a slow and tortuous death unlike being put to sleep at the pound if that became necessary.  I believe even most hunters would agree that this is one sadistic creep and this is not something that a normal human being would do.  As was already said, hunting is one thing, sadism is quite another.
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 7:05:01 AM EST
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 7:28:00 AM EST
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I understood from the article that the man with the sledge hammer was the dog's legal owner.  If the dog is his property then it is his right kill the dog for what ever reason he considers sufficient.  I think the method that he chose was inappropriate for a pet.  Keep in mind though that cattle are (at least they were) bludgeoned to death routinely.  So it is not like bludgeoning animals to death is exactly unheard of.  For all anyone knows, the individual truly believed that he could accomplish the killing in a humane way.
I believe it was out here behind the lines, that a Ostrich rancher, who was absolutely hemoraging money  on the operation, divested himself of his herd with a golf club.  People saw and had the same reaction as with the dog, revulsion.  The judge ruled that there is no way that the law can be interpreted to prevent the owner of an animal from killing it.  The judge admitted that the manner of the killing was upsetting but not illegal.
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 7:34:52 AM EST
Well, Weiseguy, you did not understand the article correctly.  The man with the sledgehammer was not the dog's owner and had been told to take the dog to the shelter.  He took it upon himself to do this.  I don't care if he was the owner, if I saw someone doing this to their own dog, I would stop him.  Putting it to sleep is one thing, bludgeoning it to death is another.

Paul, this is not about abortion, wetlands, nor trees.  This is about cruelty to an animal, not equating this with hunting. I am no more a liberal than you are, but none of what you mention is on the subject at hand.
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 2:12:23 PM EST
Frances and Wiseguy, bad readers!  Go back to start, reread the article, do not collect $200!

Rifle was pulled BEFORE cops arrived.

Dog killer was not animals owner.

At the least, this guy is a cheap bastard.  Kills a dog because it's paw is cut.  No compassion at all.  I would not have gone back to the house, I would not have grabbed a knife, I would not have pulled a gun, I would have pushed the guy aside, sledge hammer or not.

I would have told him that if he swung the sledge, I'd have him arrested for cruelty to animals, and if he threatened me I would have had him arrested for attempted murder on a human.

What a sick phuk.
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