A Sandy Springs man accused of beating a woman with a dead dog entered a guilty plea before a judge on Thursday.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Shawn LaGrua accepted Emmanuel Tadeo's guilty plea. Tadeo pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, aggravated animal cruelty, animal cruelty, and battery for the incident at Andrea Armintrout's apartment on May 19.
Tadeo was in tears as he apologized for the act, blaming his rage on his addiction to drugs and alcohol.
Prosecutors say Armintrout's 7-pound Pomeranian named Murphy came between Tadeo and his girlfriend and started barking. They say Tadeo punched Murphy across the room, then stomped on it, and grabbed its hind legs and beat Armintrout while the dog was still alive. They say Tadeo broke the dog's neck, and then used the dog's body to continue his attack on Armintrout.
Armintrout was also charged for not cooperating in the investigation.
Judge LaGrua withheld sentencing until Tadeo can undergo a psychological evaluation. A sentencing date has not yet been determined.
Some animal rights activists said that recent high-profile cases involving animal abuse will convince lawmakers to increase penalties.
Nancy Longacre, the executive director of PAWS Atlanta a no-kill animal shelter in DeKalb County, said that she is troubled by the number of animal abuse cases that are tried at misdemeanors.
"I think the offenses have to be a lot stricter. A lot stricter," said Longacre.
On Monday, Cartersville police arrested Jerry Mason after he was accused of placing his dog in the back of a closed U-Haul truck while he was moving from Savannah to Kentucky. The dog died on Tuesday. Mason was charged with a misdemeanor because officers said they could not prove that Mason acted maliciously or intentionally.
Longacre urged authorities to take the crimes more seriously.
Anna Ware, head of the Atlanta Humane Society, told FOX 5's Portia Bruner that she hopes that the definition of a felony will be broadened by lawmakers. She also said that the hopes penalties will be increased.
1551 Briarcliff Rd., NE Atlanta, GA 30306
Main Number: (404) 875-5555 News Tips: (404) 898-0100