Firestone man, 73, sentenced to 9 1/2 years in dogs’ deaths, witness intimidation

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Posted on behalf of mum!

GREELEY — A Weld District judge sentenced a 73-year-old Firestone man to 9 1/2 years in prison for the 2011 fatal poisonings of his neighbor’s two dogs and subsequent intimidation of a witness in the case.

Joseph Losinski appears for sentencing on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, at Weld County District Court in Greeley

Joseph Losinski pleaded guilty to one count of felony aggravated cruelty to animals and one count of intimidating a victim or witness, also a felony, in October. Weld District Judge Todd Taylor said Losinski failed to take responsibility for the crimes and would be a risk to the community if not incarcerated.

The sentence came after the judge listened to arguments that Losinski had so terrorized his neighbors in Firestone that many armed themselves and had installed security cameras.

“This offense seemed to be motivated by cruelty and some sort of sadistic pleasure in causing harm to the dogs and ultimately to their owners, and that is a grave offense,” Taylor said. “That hurts people, that hurts the community, and it is as real as any other crime.”

Losinski fed strychnine-laced meatballs to his neighbors’ dogs — Dozer Boy, a chocolate Labrador; and Kyera, a German shepherd — on Aug. 8, 2011, while they were in their own backyard, according to police reports. Both dogs died. Police reported that the dogs were found about 20 minutes after they had been allowed outside at the home on the 500 block of Fifth Street. Losinski and his neighbors share a fence line.

Losinski used an Alford plea in the case, which means he acknowledged that there was enough evidence to convict him at trial but that he maintained his innocence, according to Weld County District Attorney spokesman Heath Montgomery. The Alford plea is still a guilty plea, he noted.

Losinski and his wife moved to Firestone from Minnesota a few months before Travis and Tesla Dougherty’s dogs were poisoned. The couple had moved in next door only two weeks prior to their dogs’ deaths.

Photos of the crime scene shown in court showed that the dogs died with their muzzles nestled close.

From left: Dog owners Travis and Tesla Dougherty fight to hold back their emotions while listening to statements at the Joseph Losinski sentencing, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, at Weld County District Court in Greeley

Tesla Dougherty said she found the dogs just before Kyera died. She said the dog tried to comfort her even as she died.

Defense attorney Jeffrey Larson said he is client did not kill the dogs and took the plea agreement only to put the case behind him. He said Losinski suffered from cancer and that his wife is entirely dependent on him.

“To incarcerate Mr. Losinski would surely be a death sentence in this case,” he told the judge.

Taylor sentenced Losinski to 18 months in prison for felony aggravated animal cruelty and eight years for felony intimidation of a witness. Taylor said the sentences are to run consecutively because the crimes were distinct and involved different victims.

Court records from 2010 show that a restraining order was filed against Losinski by one of his neighbors in Minnesota. The neighbor told police that Losinski once told him that he used poisoned meat to kill animals on his property. The neighbor also said his cat went missing shortly after he filed harassment charges.

Prosecutor Jennifer Hill argued that Losinski was terrorizing his Firestone neighbors just as his former Minnesota neighbors said he terrorized them. His former neighbors believed he poisoned animals and tossed the bodies of slaughtered animals in their yards after disputes. She said investigators found Internet postings in which Losinski offered instructions on poisoning animals and how to fake innocence.

Taylor said he did not have much hope for Losinski rehabilitating.

Losinski also sent a threatening letter to a neighbor of the Doughertys who was a witness in the case, according to the Weld County District Attorney’s Office

News Link:-http://www.dailycamera.com/ci_22179048/firestone-man-73-sentenced-dogs-deaths-joseph-losinski?source=most_viewed

 

Hundred people bring pets to Wausau courthouse during animal cruelty trial

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– About 100 people brought their pets to the courthouse in Wausau yesterday – the same day a woman appeared in court for the torturing-and-death of her boyfriend’s dog.

The case of 20-year-old Sean Janas of Wausau has attracted international publicity.

WAUSAU – About 100 people brought their pets to the courthouse in Wausau yesterday – the same day a woman appeared in court for the torturing-and-death of her boyfriend’s dog.

Prosecutors said she wrote in a diary about enjoying how four-year-old Mary – a German shepherd and Labrador mix – was suffering. Officials said Janas poisoned Mary to death in June. Yesterday, Janas was ordered to stand trial after she waived her right to a preliminary hearing in Marathon County Circuit Court. She’s expected to enter pleas November 12th to charges of animal mistreatment, poisoning an animal, and obstructing police.

Yesterday’s pet demonstration was called the “March for Mary.” Stacy Cole of Wausau radio station WIFC has been making people aware of the dog’s plight – and she says people from around the world are asking the defendant be fully punished. And t they’re also asking for tougher anti-cruelty laws. Almost 50,000 people have signed online petitions in support of the dog that was killed. Prosecutor Lamont Jacobson said he has received thousands of e-mails saying the same thing.

News Link:http://www.piercecountyherald.com/event/article/id/49154/

Stray dogs of Kiev rounded up and slaughtered for making Kiev look untidy for Euro 2012

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01 June 2012

 Stray dogs are being rounded up and killed in the run up to Euro 2012 so that Ukraine can look spick and span for visiting foreign football teams and supporters.

Campaign: a dog sits beside a poster during a protest by animal rights campaigners against plans to put stray dogs to death

Animal rights activists found animals were being shot, poisoned and hanged by “street cleaning” squads — with some even being taken to crematoriums and feared incinerated alive.

The slaughter, which in the last year is believed to have resulted in the death of more than 12,000 animals in Kiev alone, is allegedly continuing despite government promises to end the barbaric practice and build animal shelters.

Tamara Tarnavska, of local charity SOS Animals, said that these public pledges meant nothing as her network of investigators were still finding daily cases of stray dogs being culled.

“In Kiev they are poisoning them, and some are even shot,” she said. “The poison can take up to six hours to kill the animals so we believe some are very possibly being taken to crematoriums and burnt while not yet dead.

“I challenged the Mayor of Kiev and he admitted some people were still killing strays. Outside the capital the situation is even worse. Last year in Lisichansk there were mobile incinerators roaming the streets.”

Ukraine, which is co-hosting Euro 2012 with Poland, has spent £6.6 billion preparing for the tournament. The animal rights charity Peta, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, found the dog-killing programme was focused on the four cities hosting matches, with approximately 7,000  allegedly being killed in Donetsk alone.

Dogs not immediately killed were being taken to the municipal animal shelters and left to languish in ramshackle enclosures with no protection from the elements, the group’s German branch announced this month.

Rounded up: these are some of the lucky dogs as volunteers save them from the ‘hit squads’ patrolling the streets of Kiev

Ukraine is spending hundreds of millions of euros building shiny new stadiums but it’s the dogs on the streets who are paying the ultimate price for the country to play host to Euro 2012 matches,” a Peta spokesman warned.

But one international animal welfare organisation is attempting to help the dogs.

A convoy of 11 animal rescue vehicles from the Four Paws organisation arrived in the city in March with a group made up of vets and activists from more than 12 countries.

The team is working in mobile clinics to carry out a wide scale neutering and vaccination programme for the strays.

Dogs that are neutered are also given vaccinations, anti-parasite treatment and health checks.

Ukraine’s environment minister announced a ban on the further killing of dogs following a campaign by animal activists against the practice at the end of last year.

He subsequently pledged £2.5 million to build 200 new shelters to house the country’s estimated 500,000 strays as well as a four-month sterilisation programme.

SOS Animals said it had never received the sum promised to its shelter and reported there had been no sign of the sterilisation programme being instigated. It is claimed dead dogs’ coats are made into hats and their bones ground down for animal feed.

The Ukrainian government said it was seeking ways to enforce the moratorium on dog killing and has warned that city mayors who disobey the directive will be punished.

News Link:-http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/world/stray-dogs-of-kiev-rounded-up-and-slaughtered-for-making-kiev-look-untidy-for-euro-2012-7810764.html

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