Justice petition for dog dragged to death delivered to Copiah District Attorney

Published 4:37 pm Tuesday, May 9, 2023

On Tuesday, May 9, District Attorney Daniella M. Shorter was presented with a letter calling for the prosecution of a man who dragged a dog to death.

Crystal Springs Mayor Sally Garland and Doll Stanley, senior campaigner for IN Defense of Animals/Justice for Animals, presented the letter to the 22nd Circuit DA in reference to a 2022 incident.

On Sept. 14, 2022, the Crystal Springs Police Department arrested Daniel Berthelette for wrapping a wire around the neck of his neighbor’s dog, George, attaching the wire to his truck, and dragging George to death.

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Witnesses to the crime reported the description of the truck and driver to CSPD. At one point, Berthelette exited his truck, presumably to ensure the dog was dead. It is unknown if George was dead at that time.

Berthelette drove on and attempted to dispose of the dog’s body in a city dumpster. City employees did not allow him to do so, and later identified Berthelette to law enforcement and in court.

In Defense of Animals contacted George’s guardians, the Bush family, to assist them in gaining justice for the killing of their companion and best buddy to the son. Stanley learned that Berthelette was inappropriately charged with a misdemeanor, which should have been a felony. Stanley communicated with Crystal Springs Mayor Garland and City Prosecutor John Brock Campbell regarding the charge, which was amended to felony aggravated cruelty to a dog or a cat under § 97-41-16. Maliciously injuring dogs or cats.

The letter presented to DA Shorter was signed by 17,328 individuals, and calls for the strongest possible sentencing of Berthelette. Stanley and Garland requested the letter be presented during the sentencing phase of the defendant’s trial. The two are confident Berthelette will be found guilty.

“We are a small city. We wanted the word to get out and make the perpetrator famous,” Mayor Garland said. “We are thankful In Defense of Animals is involved, because we just don’t have that kind of network or resources.”

Garland and Public Works Director Russell Brewer worked together to identify Berthelette as the man who killed George.

“We were mortified, and our hearts are broken over the very idea that someone could tie a wire around a dog’s neck and drag him,” Garland added. “No one should think they can ever drag a dog and get away with it.”

The unwarranted killing of a neighbor’s companion animal is troubling enough; it’s unthinkable that anyone would wantonly choose such a vile manner to kill any animal,” Stanley said. “We are grateful to Crystal Springs Mayor Garland, City Prosecutor Campbell, Public Works Director Brewer, and Crystal Springs Police Department for tracking down the perpetrator and recognizing the serious nature of this incident. Animal advocates intend to see justice for George, his family, and all animals of Mississippi.”


Letter to DA Shorter:

RE: Prosecute Dog Dragging Case to the Fullest Extent

I am writing to you, standing with Crystal Springs Mayor Sally Garland and thousands of animal advocates, to support you in the prosecution of Daniel Berthelette, who was charged with heinously killing his neighbor’s dog, George.

On Sept. 6. 2022, Berthelette maliciously collared George with a wire, hooked him to the rear of his truck, and dragged him to his death. Berthelette’s gruesome crime was witnessed first when he stopped, either to see if George was still being dragged or if he was dead. The witnesses reported the truck’s license plate and the description of the truck to the police.

Berthelette was later turned away from a city dumpster when Public Works employees witnessed him trying to dispose of George.

The City of Crystal Springs investigated the despicable crime and Daniel Berthelette was arrested on Sept. 14, 2022.

This defendant deserves no plea bargains, no leniency, only maximum sentencing. Also, before he is released, he must have a mental evaluation and anger management classes or therapy and not be allowed to live with animals. I will be following each proceeding in this case. Thank you for taking this and all cases you prosecute with the seriousness they warrant.

[Signed: 17,328 In Defense of Animals supporters]