Case Details

Dog suffocated with duct tape
Utica, IL (US)

Date: Jun 18, 2005
County: La Salle
Local Map: available
Disposition: Convicted

Abuser/Suspect: Katie B. Soper

Case Updates: 1 update(s) available

Case ID: 4872
Classification: Choking / Strangulation / Suffocation
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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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.

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Case Updates

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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The Times - Feb 10, 2006

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