Case Snapshot
Case ID: 4872
Classification: Choking / Strangulation / Suffocation
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Saturday, Jun 18, 2005

County: La Salle

Disposition: Convicted

Defendant/Suspect: Katie B. Soper

Case Updates: 2 update(s) available

A rural Utica woman was arrested in the early morning of June 22 for allegedly duct taping the snout of her boyfriend's dog and killing it. Katie B. Soper, 23, of 1100 N. 2803 Road, faces aggravated cruelty to an animal charges. She posted $1,000 cash bond and was released from the LaSalle County Jail on June 22, said Illinois State Police officer Dave Spawn.

Soper, a nurse's aide, has no previous convictions in LaSalle County. She faces a possible sentence of up to three years in prison or probation and fine.

Humane investigator Peggy Rizzo arrived at the home Soper shared with her boyfriend early June 18 shortly after the state police. Rizzo, who works for the Illinois Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Animal Welfare, said a neighbor alerted police after her son told her he watched Soper duct tape the dog's snout shut.

According to the investigation, Soper wrapped the tape around the dog's nose three times. Soper then allegedly left the dog in a pen outside of the home while she went to work.

When Rizzo arrived at the home, the 1-year-old Treeing Walker Coonhound, Thumper, was already dead.

"The dog had been dead for a while," Rizzo said.

Rizzo took the boyfriend's other dog, a yellow Labrador retriever, into custody, but the dog has since been returned it to its owner. Soper's boyfriend was not home when the incident occurred.

Rizzo said no other abuse was apparent, but that unless an injury was very obvious, it would be hard to know if Thumper had previously been hurt.

Soper's boyfriend got Thumper from Pet Project's Animal Shelter near Grand Ridge, with intentions of adopting the dog. Rizzo said the adoption papers were not yet signed.

Case Updates

State regulators recently took action against a local nurse who was convicted of dog abuse almost two years ago.

The Illinois Department of Professional Regulation reprimanded 25-year-old Katie B. Soper for her February 2006 misdemeanor conviction for animal cruelty. In the cruelty case, she wrapped duct tape around the muzzle of her boyfriend's beagle in June 2005 at the boyfriend's rural Utica home, saying she did so to prevent the dog from barking while she was gone from the home. The dog died.

Soper served about three months in jail and is on probation. Soper became a licensed practical nurse in October 2005 while her criminal case was pending.

With the reprimand, Soper has an official record that disciplinary action was taken against her nursing license, but otherwise, the reprimand does not prevent her from continuing to practice.
Source: My Web Times - Jan 4, 2008
Update posted on Jan 4, 2008 - 5:09PM 
A Utica woman accused of taping a dog's mouth shut with duct tape, killing it, pleaded guilty to aggravated cruelty to animals in LaSalle County court on Feb 9.

Katie Soper, 23, of 1100 N. 2803 Road was sentenced to two years probation and 180 days in the LaSalle County Jail. Authorities say she was arrested June 18 for putting duct tape over the mouth of her boyfriend's 1-year-old dog, Thumper.

She had been left in charge of the dog and was trying to stop it from barking, said assistant State's Attorney Greg Sticka.

She then left the dog unattended, outside in the heat, and the dog later died. Soper, who was out on $10,000 bond, started her jail sentence Thursday.
Source: PJStar - Feb 10, 2006
Update posted on Feb 10, 2006 - 8:44PM 


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