Case Snapshot
Case ID: 1327
Classification: Vehicular
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Abuse was retaliation against animal's bad behavior
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Tuesday, Apr 29, 2003

County: Hartford

Disposition: Alleged
Case Images: 4 files available

Alleged: Roosevelt Rhodes

Case Updates: 3 update(s) available

Roosevelt Rhodes, 66, is facing animal cruelty charges after he allegedly attached his dog to his truck with a chain and dragged the animal several blocks through the city's North End. Rhodes told investigators he was angry with his 2-year-old Akita, Socks, because the dog had urinated in the cab of his truck while he was buying a loaf of bread at a local market, police said. The dog is recovering at a local animal hospital.

When Rhodes walked from the store to his truck about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, he found the puddle of urine in the cab and then chained the dog to a trailer hitch on the back bumper of the truck, police said.

Rhodes then drove more than six blocks from the store on Barbour Street to his home on Winchester Street as the dog struggled to race behind the vehicle with about 8 feet of slack on the chain, police said.

For at least two blocks, police said, the dog was unable to keep up with the truck and was dragged on its side. Police said they received numerous 911 calls from alarmed witnesses.

The dog was recovering at a veterinarian's office in Windsor on Wednesday from extreme wear to the pads on its paws and numerous cuts and scrapes, police said. Police said they hope to find it a new home.

Thomas Fuller, a veteran animal control officer for the city, said the dog's paws were bleeding extensively when he arrived. He said it was lying on the ground, breathing hard, but remained friendly and obedient as it was taken to the vet's office for treatment.

Speaking in front of his home Wednesday, Rhodes said the incident has been exaggerated by witnesses and police. He acknowledged chaining the dog to the truck, but he said he never drove fast enough to pose a serious threat to the animal.

"I love that dog," he said as he stood in front of a sign posted on his window saying, "Never mind the dog, beware of owner."

Rhodes said he didn't think what he did was cruel.

"That dog likes to run, so I was just letting him run along with the truck," he said.

Rhodes said he chained the dog because he was "mad" about the pool of urine in his truck, but he maintained he has always treated the dog well since buying it for $850 last year.

"I feed that dog steak once a week," he said. "These people are crazy, the way they're making this sound. I love that dog."

Rhodes was taken to police headquarters and booked on a charge of animal cruelty. He was released after posting a $50,000 bond for appearance May 13 in Hartford Superior Court.

Case Updates

Rhodes agreed Thursday to give up the animal for adoption. At a pretrial hearing, Roosevelt Rhodes, 66, also agreed to undergo a psychiatric test to determine if he is competent to stand trial on charges of animal abuse. If convicted, he faces five years in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Socks, who suffered injuries to his paws, remains in the care of Hartford animal control officers.

Rhodes is due back in court on Aug. 27.

Read More: The Advocate
Update posted on Jul 19, 2003 - 1:04PM 
We have sent letters to the DA to encourage further stipulations to the offered sentencing agreement. If you wish to send a (polite) letter to the State's Attorney's Office, you may do so at:

The Honorable Richard Morelli, State Attorney
State Attorney's Office
101 Lafayette St.
Hartford, CT 06106
Fax is 860-566-1458

(CC all letters to the prosecuting attorney, Glenn Kaas)

The letter we mailed can be seen by clicking here.
Update posted on May 15, 2003 - 9:28PM 
Rhodes is facing a recommended sentence of six months in jail as well as stipulations that would bar him from ever owning another pet and over $1,000 in restitution and fines. The sentencing offer from prosecutor Glenn Kaas is being considered by Rhodes and his attorney. The case was continued to June 4 to give Rhodes time to mull the offer.

Read more: CTnow.Com
Update posted on May 15, 2003 - 5:37AM 


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