MADISON COUNTY, Ark. — Madison county prosecutors are charging a man in one of its first felony animal cruelty cases. According to police reports, Douglas Monette shot and killed his neighbors dog.
“He was bleeding from his neck and gasping for air. There was nothing I could do,” said Crystal Faulkner who’s dog was shot.
In an instant, Faulkner’s best friend was taken away.
She was on the way to get her mail, and Joey, her dog, would usually go with her.
Faulkner said suddenly she heard a loud boom. She noticed there were buzzards everywhere, and it’s typical for people in the area to shoot up in the air.
“I was glancing up at them, and then I glanced down at my dog who had run ahead because he hates fireworks,gun shots. And I saw him stagger,” said Faulkner. “I watched him take his last breath.”
Faulkner said then she saw her neighbor, Douglas Monette.
“Did I see him pull the trigger? No, But, I did see him immediately afterwards..gun still to his shoulders. Still pointing to the road, If I had been going just a little faster, it would’ve been me and the dog in the same place,” said Faulkner.
Madison County Sheriff’s Office arrested Monette earlier this month.
He’s now out on $250,000 bail.
“He’s been charged with aggravated cruelty to animals. Which is a class D felony,” said Matt Durrett, Madison County prosecuting attorney.
Durrett said this is one of the first cases he’s seen since the animal cruelty law changed in 2009.
The new addition makes it a felony when the crime is committed against a dog, cat or horse.
“They view it as a family member, so back when it was passed they were looking for more severe penalties for an offense like that,” said Durrett. “Those who do things to domesticated animals, they’re more likely to commit violence against others later in life.”
Faulkner said she’s hopeful with stricter animal cruelty laws, she’ll see justice for Joey.
“People need to get the message that you can’t just take your gun and shoot a dog, or a pet,” said Faulkner.
Monette could face up to 6 years in prison or a $10,000 fine.
We did reach out to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office several times, and they refused to comment on the case or animal cruelty laws.