Case Snapshot
Case ID: 12640
Classification: Mutilation/Torture
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Drugs or alcohol involved
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Tuesday, Oct 30, 2007

County: Sussex

Charges: Felony CTA
Disposition: Alleged

Alleged: Richard N. Taylor

A 46-year-old Lincoln man was jailed Wednesday after being charged with animal cruelty in the death of his 10-year-old pet boxer found buried alive in his backyard.

Richard N. Taylor of the 21000 block of Cubbage Pond Road was cited with felony animal cruelty charges following the investigation into a cruelty complaint last month alleging that Taylor beat his dog Bossman with a pickax handle and then buried him alive in the backyard, Delaware Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Executive Director John E. Caldwell said .

"He said he wanted to put the dog out of his misery because the dog had health problems," Caldwell said. "That doesn't justify it."

The SPCA received a cruelty complaint Oct. 30 about the dog, Caldwell said.

According to court records, Taylor made the statement during an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting that "he hit his dog Bossman with a pickax several times, possibly shot it and then buried it while it was still alive."

"We went there Oct. 30 and interviewed Taylor and got a search and seizure warrant Oct. 31 to exhume the remains," Caldwell said.

Following a necropsy on the dead boxer, a warrant was issued Tuesday for Taylor's arrest on one count of felony animal cruelty.

Caldwell said when SPCA cruelty investigators Debbie Lankerack and Jerry Linkerhop interviewed Taylor, he admitted he had beaten the tan and white boxer with a pickax and buried him while he was still alive.

The necropsy revealed that dirt was present in the canine's oral cavity and nasal passageways indicating the dog was still breathing when it was buried, according to court records.

"If the dog was deceased at the time of burial, it would not likely present with a closed mouth and significant dirt accumulation," the veterinarian report indicated.

Taylor was committed to Sussex Correctional Institution on Nov 7 after failing to post $500 bail.

If convicted of the felony offense, he could face a $5,000 fine and/or five years in jail.


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