Case Snapshot
Case ID: 18116
Classification: Beating, Kicking/Stomping, Choking / Strangulation / Suffocation
Animal: dog (pit-bull)
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Abuse was retaliation against animal's bad behavior
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Sunday, Feb 28, 2010

County: Washoe

Disposition: Alleged

Alleged: Wesley Bohannon

Being in a bad mood following an argument with his girlfriend is what ignited a rage in a 27-year-old man who beat his dog in the street until it went limp, the man said during a jailhouse interview.

"Sonny" the pit bull was taken Sunday morning to a veterinarian for emergency care after Wesley Bohannon, of Reno, said he kicked, struck and nearly strangled his dog with its collar. He said he was angry the dog had run away, and was further enraged when the 70-pound dog tried to bite him after he struck it.

A fight with his girlfriend just prior to the dog running away from his home, he said, is what initially caused his anger.

"He went limp and I stopped," Bohannon said Tuesday during his incarceration at the Washoe County Jail. "I tried to carry him home. He was foaming at the mouth. I knew I hurt him more than I thought. I wasn't trying to hurt him. I don't know what happened to me. I have never done anything like that to my dog."

Authorities said Sonny is recovering, and suffered internal bleeding that did not require surgery. He was released Monday to the county's animal services who did not return calls Tuesday regarding the incident.

Bohannon, a father to a 10-month-old boy, was arrested Sunday and booked into jail on suspicion of animal cruelty. He remains in lieu of $635 bail and was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday morning.

About two months ago Bohannon said he adopted Sonny from the local pound. He called the dog his "running buddy."

While he was beating the dog in the street, a woman driving by yelled at him, he said, and called him a -dog beater- and that she was calling police. Deputies soon arrived and saw the dog was shaking and unstable on its feet, said Deputy Brooke Keast.

Bohannon said at one point, he dragged the dog about half a block by its collar, and stopped when he noticed the dog was nearly being strangled. He then tried to carry the dog, who went limp again.

"He's all I've been thinking about," said Bohannon, an unemployed drug felon. "I love my dog. It was wrong of me. I deeply regret what I did and want to see and hold him, and give him kisses."

Bohannon said he would like to attend anger management classes, or dog ownership classes to prevent any further violence toward pets.

"I owe an apology to the community and dog lovers everywhere," he said. "I deeply regret what I did, and I would like to be able to keep my dog. That was not me as a person. I am not a violent guy."

Bohannon said he and his girlfriend adopted Sonny because they liked his mellow temperament.


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