“WTF…this is unbelievable, how the hell can you say that a man beating a puppy to death with a baseball bat; isn’t premeditated torture; with intent to kill?? It wasn’t a bloody accident, this man purposely looked for something to beat the puppy with; is that the mind of any normal sane person? NO!! I think the judges on the Iowa appeal council, need to watch some videos of evil bxxxxx’s harming animals; perhaps then, they might find their hearts, because they were obviously missing in this case…that, or they simply are as cold hearted as the perpetrator; it’s a total disgrace, this psychopath should have been locked up!!
A man who was convicted of animal torture after beating a 7-month-old Boston terrier to death with a baseball bat had his conviction thrown out by the Iowa Court of Appeals on Wednesday, according to the Des Moines Register.
In December 2011 Meerdink used a baseball bat to beat to death his puppy because it had soiled the carpet multiple times and bit the children of Meerdink’s girlfriend, reports the Des Moines Register.
Zachary Meerdink‘s conviction was overturned by the three judge panel by a vote of 2-1. Chief Judge Larry Eisenhauer and Judge Mary Tabor ruled that the prosecution was unable to show that Meerdink used “depraved or sadistic intent to cause death” as required to convict for animal torture, according to the Associated Press.
“After considering the definitions of ‘depraved,’ we conclude ‘depraved intent to cause death’ does not equal an ‘intent to cause death,'” Judge Eisenhauer wrote in his decision. “Here, the state proved Meerdink killed the dog, however, no one saw Meerdink kill the dog, and no testimony or exhibits and no reasonable inferences or presumptions from the testimony and exhibits sufficiently prove Meerdink acted with a depraved intent to cause death.”
Lin Sorenson, founder of the St. Francis Foundation for Pets, created the non-profit to advocate for tougher penalties in animal cruelty cases.
“The decision by the court is inconceivable and breaks the logic barrier,” Sorenson said. “Beating an innocent dog to death with a baseball bat meets the level of sadistic intent necessary in the Iowa Code to constitute animal torture.”
Roxanne Conlin, a Des Moines attorney who also takes in foster pets from time to time, told the Des Moines Register that beating a puppy with a baseball bat is inherently evil.
“I have some great difficulty understanding how you beat a puppy to death and not have sadistic intent,” Conlin said. “How could it not be sadistic? It would seem as if this calls for an outcry.”
Dennis Hendrickson, one of the three lawyers who worked on the appeal for Meerdink, told theDes Moines Register that it was a matter of perspective.
“Sadistic is a pretty high bar,” Hendrickson said. “I mean, in Canada, they beat baby seals over the head and club them to death, and I don’t hear anybody but the PETA people saying that’s torture. It’s ‘harvesting fur.‘”
In her dissenting opinion Judge Anuradha Vaitheswaran said that Meerdink acted in an extreme manner to what was a foreseeable event, a puppy not being housebroken, according to the Associated Press.
“A reasonable fact-finder could have found depravity based on the dog’s age, the fact that the act was precipitated by nothing more than the puppy’s weak stomach, the inference that Meerdink spent some time searching for a blunt instrument with which to kill the dog, the uncontested fact that Meerdink inflicted ‘severe physical pain,’ and the fact that the animal was a family pet,” Vaitheswaran wrote in her dissent