Who, age What Where When Last Known Address
Toby Tousley, 55 kicked, killed a 17-year-old Pekingese-Chihuahua mix

Keene, NH

October 3, 2015  
Type of Crime Other Crimes #/Type of animal(s) involved Case Status Next Court Date /Courthouse
Misdemeanor   1 17-year-old Pekingese-Chihuahua mix Alleged 6/23/16 / 8th Circuit Court in Jaffrey, NH

Keene man is accused of killing a 17-year-old dog by kicking it when it tried to relieve itself in his yard, police said.

Toby Tousley, a 55-year-old candidate for Keene City Council, allegedly kicked Teddy, a Pekingese-Chihuahua mix, around 1 p.m. Saturday, October 3rd at a rental property he owns on Carroll Street, police said.

Tousley allegedly kicked the dog after trying to shoo Teddy away when he came into his yard, police said.

Tousley was charged with a misdemeanor count of animal cruelty. He was released on $1,000 personal recognizance bail with an arraignment scheduled for December 10th in the 8th Circuit Court in Keene.

Tousley is a businessman who owns and operates Tousley Property Management on Emerald Street.

He is also running for city council in Ward 2 against Brian Hansen and Carl Jacobs for the seat on City Council.

Update 10/6/15:
Tousley of Washington Street turned himself in to police on Monda, October 5th after police informed him he was wanted on a warrant, Keene police Sgt. Thaddeus Derendal said.

  Booking photo courtesy of Keene Police

The results of the elections is Jacobs, a councilor-at-large, received 213 votes, and will face Hansen (101 votes) in next month’s general election. The site added, “Toby Tousley was out of the running with 54 votes.”

Tousley made news earlier this year when he registered the trade names “New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival” and “Annual Pumpkin Festival” with the Secretary of State’s Office.

In April, the City Council denied a permit for 2015 for festival organizers Let It Shine Inc., which caused Let It Shine to begin planning a Laconia pumpkin festival dubbed the 25th Annual New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival.

Soon after trademarking those names, Tousley said he was upset Let It Shine was appropriating Keene’s pumpkin festival history by naming it the 25th Annual Festival.

Update 10/8/15:
Tousley says there are two sides to the story.

“Well, I’m getting crucified today,” Tousley said.    Tousley said he doesn’t have legal representation yet so he didn’t want to get into the details of the incident, but said there are two sides to the story.  “This has nothing to do with an elderly blind dog taking a dump on my property,” Tousley said. “I’m sorry that people can’t take care of their dogs the way they are supposed to.”

Tousley said tenants of his rental property on Carroll Street have complained to him before about this dog.  “People just think their dogs are the best dogs in the world and they can just let them do whatever they want,” Tousley said.  Tousley added that unfortunately police do not ticket people when they let their dogs run loose.  “There are statewide laws that require people have their dogs under control,” he said.

  Teddy, photo provided

Members of a group dubbed “Justice for Teddy” are petitioning the court to reject a plea deal from a man who kicked and killed Teddy.

Teddy, a 17-year-old Pomeranian-Pekingese mix, was in no way aggressive, said his owners Bill and Cheryl LaPlante at their Carroll Street home.  “We used to call him ‘the old goat.’ He was so old, and he was blind, and he was going deaf,” Cheryl LaPlante said.

On October 3rd, Tousley was at 143 Carroll St. working on a rental property he owns. The property is next door to the home the LaPlantes rent.
Bill LaPlante said he had just come home from work to have lunch when he put the dogs outside. Two of their dogs were on chains; Teddy doesn’t usually leave the yard, so he was just let out.

Children in the yard next door caught Teddy’s attention, though, and he went into that yard. The children saw the dog and were making their way toward Teddy to take him home.

According to police, the dog started to go to the bathroom, and then Tousley tried to shoo the dog away. Tousley told police when the dog didn’t leave, he kicked the dog once.

The LaPlantes didn’t witness it, but they said the children told police and them that Tousley kicked Teddy 3 or 4 feet into the air.

The children love the LaPlantes’ dogs, Cheryl LaPlante said, “And the kids saw it, and it was so devastating for the kids. And they were the ones that gave testimony to the police.”  She said they are also raising their 5-year-old grandson, who hasn’t been able to focus at school this week because of Teddy’s death.

Bill LaPlante said Tousley has known him for years and knew Teddy was their dog. "He could have come over and told me,” Bill LaPlante said.

Tousley that the LaPlantes had been drinking that afternoon and not watching their dog.  “If your dogs are the most precious thing in the world to you, why are you sitting inside hammered while your dog is outside running loose?” Tousley said.

The LaPlantes said Tousley is “just making stuff up” and that they had not been drinking. “I don’t drink. I’ve been sober for 7 years,” Cheryl LaPlante said.  Bill LaPlante said he had a beer after his dog died and was unable to go back to work that afternoon because he was so upset.  “He’s making it up, just like he said I swung at him. I couldn’t have — I had a dead dog in my hands,” Bill LaPlante said.

The LaPlantes buried Teddy but have since dug him up after they were approached by the group Justice for Teddy. The group is paying for an autopsy.

Cheshire Animal Hospital veterinarian Lee Pearson is performing the necropsy, according the animal hospital.

Cheryl said she didn’t like disrupting Teddy’s grave.  “But I’d rather make sure that guy pays for what he did. He had no right to do that,” Cheryl LaPlante said.

Update 12/7/15:
Tousley has waived his right to arraignment in the district court and is set to go to trial on the charge next year.  Tousley was set to be arraigned on 1 charge of misdemeanor cruelty to an animal in the 8th Circuit Court-District Division in Keene on Thursday, December 10th.

Tousley has waived his arraignment and has been given a trial date of March 22, 2016.

Update 3/29/16:
The trial was scheduled to take place in the 8th Circuit Court District Division in Keene last week, but was moved to the 8th Circuit Court District Division in Jaffrey shortly before that, then canceled.

The trial was rescheduled to take place on June 23rd at noon in the Jaffrey court.

Teddy’s owners, Bill and Cheryl LaPlante, said the community’s outrage prompted the formation of a group called “Justice For Teddy,” which approached them asking if the group could pay for an autopsy on the dog. They agreed to the procedure, which Cheshire Animal Hospital in Keene confirmed was being performed by one of its veterinarians.

Reference:

WMUR Union Leader