May 08, 2012

#BusterLaw - Animal Rights

Nobody ever said anything when they saw the Knowles smacking his puppy, until one Sunday afternoon while sitting in my bedroom reading a book.  In the courtyard just outside my bedroom window were other entrances to apartments in the surrounding area.  In the court yard came a screaming sound of a puppy and a loud thumping each time the puppy screamed.  Looking out the bedroom window I was able to see the neighbor but could not make out what he was doing.  Witnessing him beating the puppy previously, yes shamefully enough not reporting it prior either, I was positive that was what he was doing, except, this time around it sounded worse.

Back in 1999 while living in Troy, New York, a neighbor of mine, Kelly Knowles, that was always beating his puppy.  The Knowles was attending RPI and had so much to look forward with his life, except, he screwed it up by getting angry with his puppy. 

When something upsetting happens in my presence my entire body begins to shake and my stomach seizes up.  After calling the police and running around the front of the building to meet them and let them into the court yard, it was luck that it was a female officer first at the scene and not the male that followed her.  She immediately saw the puppy's leg was broken and became upset, the male that followed just wanted to write it off but she said no his leg is broken and called animal control.

After giving the officer a blanket to cover the puppy, animal control came and brought the puppy to the veterinarian.  What was learned later on was that the Knowles became angry at the puppy for going to the bathroom on the floor while he was sleeping.  The Knowles had been out all night partying and it was two in the afternoon when he awoke.  Obviously the puppy could not hold it anymore and the Knowles then brought the puppy outside and began to throw the puppy against the wall. 

A year later the District Attorney located and asked me to answer some questions in front of a jury, which I did.  Because they were able to track me down a year later the man pled guilty, the first case tried under the Buster Law, spent some time in jail and was never able to own a puppy again.

From the Free George:
“Joel prosecuted the first ever Buster’s Law case in New York State in 2000, which led to the first person serving jail time for animal abuse under a newly enacted law. The case involved a 24-year-old graduate student at RPI named Kelly Knowles. He broke the leg of an 8-month-old puppy in a fit of anger. He plead guilty and was sentenced under Buster’s Law to six months in jail and a fine of $2,500 and 120 hours of community service at one of the local shelters. The animal was treated for his injuries and adopted by a loving family.”
Having to tell this story because whenever I reflect back on it that old shaking feeling comes back from when it happened.  The jury memebers asked me questions, such as, how did I know he was beating the dog.  Maybe it was a look on my face and had probably started shaking all over again, the same way I shook during the incident.
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