Case Snapshot
Case ID: 17710
Classification: Beating, Shooting
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Abuse was retaliation against animal's bad behavior
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Sunday, Apr 3, 2011

County: Missoula

Charges: Misdemeanor
Disposition: Alleged

Alleged: Christopher Michael Richards

Case Updates: 1 update(s) available

A Lolo man reportedly upset that his puppy kept digging in the yard is to appear next week in Missoula County Justice Court, accused of dragging the puppy named Roscoe away to kill it as a 10-year-old boy watched.

Christopher Michael Richards faces an animal cruelty charge after a woman called law enforcement to say the boy told her he'd seen Richards kill the puppy, according to an affidavit filed by Deputy Missoula County Attorney Jason Marks.

The child and his father "heard the dog scream a couple of times and then, silence," said the woman, who asked that her name not be used. "It bothered him big time because he loves animals and it broke his heart."

The boy and his father were in their yard next door on Sunday when Richards and his wife, Jenny, returned home and found out that the dog had been digging, the affidavit said.

"Jenny reportedly 'flipped out' about the digging and Christopher drug the dog inside by its collar. Yelping was heard and then Christopher brought something out in a blue tarp or blanket," the affidavit said.

"The dog has not been seen since."

The woman who called law enforcement said Roscoe was a brindle mixed-breed, about 40 pounds, who spent most of the time on a chain in the yard.

"I really couldn't sleep at night knowing that poor little animal didn't have a voice," she said.

Richards told a Missoula County sheriff's deputy that he'd killed the dog, and showed the deputy where it was buried, it said. He first said that he had to put it down because it drank antifreeze.

But after the deputy recounted the neighbors' version of the story, Richards "admitted that he had injured the dog when he brought it inside the house to the point he did not think it would recover, so he shot and buried it," the affidavit said.

Cruelty to animals is a high misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

Richards is to appear in Justice Court next Thursday.


Case Updates

A Lolo man who is accused of killing a puppy pleaded not guilty to the crime in Missoula Justice Court on Tuesday afternoon. Christopher Richards faces a misdemeanor cruelty to animals charge for killing an 8-month-old puppy.

Prosecutors say a woman reported her 10-year-old nephew was playing in the yard when Richards came home. Richards' wife was upset the dog dug up the yard, so he took it inside. Neighbors then heard yelping and later saw Richards bring something out in a blue tarp or blanket.

During an interview with deputies Richards admitted injuring the dog to a point where he didn't think it would recover, so he shot it and buried it. The judge ordered Richards to give away his two cats and for him not to have any animals until this case is resolved.
Source: kpax.com - Apr 13, 2011
Update posted on Apr 15, 2011 - 5:06PM 

References

« MT State Animal Cruelty Map
« More cases in Missoula County, MT

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