British Man Sentenced to Jail for Beating Puppy to Death

May 27, 2019 Updated: May 27, 2019

A British man will spend nearly six months behind bars after being found guilty on May 24 of beating a puppy dog to death.

Oxford Magistrates Court sentenced 27-year-old scaffolder Callum Gerken from Wood Farm in Oxfordshire to 23 weeks in prison for the suffering he caused a 17-week-old Labrador called Shadow.

Gerken confessed to repeatedly smacking Shadow with a slipper on April 3 and failing to take the pet, which was struggling to breathe, to a veterinary practice for treatment, causing the puppy to die.

He also admitted to sending threatening voice messages to Shadow’s owner via WhatsApp.

Gerken became upset after the puppy left feces “everywhere” in his home and he hit Shadow in a fit of rage.

“I have just beat it from one side of the room to the other,” he said in a message obtained by the Daily Mail.

He beat the animal so hard it could not walk.

“I don’t give a [expletive.] That is how it will be with me,” he said in another message. “She ain’t gonna do that again because she cannot [expletive] walk,” Gerken said, before sending a series of messages that there was “something wrong” with the puppy because it was struggling to breathe.

The attacker had previously denied causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and sending malicious messages but changed his plea to guilty at the last minute.

Magistrates blamed Gerken for Shadow’s death.

“You were determined to cause harm and you made threats that you would cause further harm to the dog,” they said, according to the Daily Mail. “You were in a position of responsibility. You used a slipper as a weapon. You did not call or take the dog to the vet or seek advice even though you were aware she was unwell.”

The dog’s owner, who initially entrusted Gerken with caring for the animal, was shocked to learn the attacker’s sentence was shorter than expected.

“I couldn’t believe he only got 23 weeks,” Shadow’s owner and breeder, who asked not to be identified, told the Oxford Mail. “Two years would have been more appropriate.”

A post-mortem examination revealed Shadow had died from multiple fractures to the ribs and jaw. The puppy’s liver was also ruptured.

The owner said her family was “devastated” by the loss, especially since the puppy was intended to replace a previous family pet that had died.

“We couldn’t tell the kids how she died as they would be too heartbroken,” she said. “They had only had her five weeks and they all absolutely adored her and he comes along and beats her to death.”

“She didn’t know anything else but love,” she said. “I was there when she was born and I watched her grow up and learn to walk and run.”

Gerken has been ordered to pay £250 ($318) in compensation, £1,000 ($1,274) in court expenses, and has been banned from keeping dogs for 10 years.

However, the owner said, “We don’t feel justice has been done at all.”

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