Joshua Albert and Matthew D. Handy

Slit the throat of a puppy – killing it

Macomb, IL

July 15, 2004

Albert, age 18 of Good Hope, IL, plead guilty to a reduced charge in the stabbing and smothering death of a puppy.  Albert plead guilty to 1 misdemeanor count of cruelty to animals.  At the time of his arrest, Albert and Handy, age 23 were each charged with 1 felony count of aggravated cruelty to animals.

Albert had faced between 1-3 years in prison if he had been found guilty of the felony charge.

The case against Handy is pending; he is free on a $10,000 bond.  He is charged with a class 4 felony.  Handy plead not guilty to the charge in McDonough County Circuit Court on September 20th, 2004.

Albert was sentenced to 60 days in the McDonough County Jail with credit for 9 days served.  He must also pay $1,000 in fines and court costs and make a $500 donation to the McDonough County Animal Shelter.

Handy’s Labrador retriever puppy was found dead in July 2004 in a wooded area near Good Hope.  Handy and Albert were arrested in August.

An investigation by the McDonough County Sheriff’s Department showed the puppy had been smothered and stabbed and left to die in the woods.  The dog was killed because it had worms and the two decided that having a veterinarian euthanized the dog was too expensive.

The two men put a plastic bag over the puppy’s head and slit its throat but the dog did not die so they stabbed the animal several times before leaving it to die.  Handy and Albert bragged about their actions after the puppy died.

On September 20th, 2004, Handy plead guilty to an amended charge of cruel treatment of an animal, a misdemeanor charge.  Handy was sentenced to 2 years conditional discharge and 120 days in the McDonough County Jail with credit for 2 days served.  The remainder of Handy’s jail time is stayed, pending a remittal hearing on June 1st 2007.  He must pay $500 to the county animal shelter, fined $500 and ordered not to own or be responsible for any dog while this order is in effect.

Update 8/4/06:

Handy plead guilty to an amended charge of cruel treatment of an animal, a misdemeanor charge.

Handy was sentenced to serve 2 years conditional discharge and 120 days in the McDonough County Jail with credit for 2 days served.

The rest of is jail time is stayed pending a remittal hearing on 6/1/07. He was also ordered to pay $500 to the McDonough County Animal Shelter, fined $500 and ordered to not own or be responsible for any dog while the order is in effect.

Lisa Dobson, then president of the McDonough County Humane Society at the time of the offence said "I am disappointed, but not surprised. My main concern is that counseling was not made mandatory. Violence against animals many times can progress into violence against humans. If the judgment made is not significant, what will stop this form happening again?"

The sad fact here is that for $10.00 Handy and Albert could have dropped the puppy off at the Animal Shelter.

Reference:

Peoria Journal Star

Macomb Journal

PETA