PETITION TARGET: Macomb County Prosecuting Attorney Peter J. Lucido
UPDATE (5/8/2023): This case is now closed, with an undisclosed outcome described as “non-public” by the prosecutor but with news reporting the defendant was not sentenced on an animal abuse conviction. Formerly, Judge Jennifer Andary of the 42-I District Court in Romeo had rejected a plea deal from the defendant that would have allowed a misdemeanor charge to be erased from his record if he complies with conditions, but she then recused herself from the case. Under the original charges, the defendant faced up to 93 days in jail, a $1,000 fine, and community service, according to Macomb Daily. The family’s dogs have returned to the home after the defendant moved out. We thank everyone who signed our petition, and we will keep advocating for animals. — Lady Freethinker Staff
A terrorized dog was reportedly beaten, choked, slammed on a hardwood floor and possibly bitten by a veterinarian in Detroit who allegedly committed the atrocious acts in front of his two children.
The video, reportedly recorded by the veterinarian’s son, went viral online, prompting authorities to remove three dogs from the household and file animal cruelty-related charges. Authorities also have voiced concern about the aggressive behavior, the Detroit News reported.
“Violence against animals is also a precursor to violence against people,” an animal control officer said at the veterinarian’s arraignment.
While the dog showed no lasting injuries on examination, and the veterinarian’s defense counsel has argued the recorded actions were appropriate discipline measures, a judge said during court proceedings that the veterinarian should have acted more compassionately.
“You had an obligation, sir, to de-escalate,” the judge said at the arraignment hearing. “You have an obligation, not only pursuant to your training and expertise, but as a human being to de-escalate a situation and not make it worse. You did not do that.”
The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior also has discredited the technique that the veterinarian’s counsel described as an “alpha roll” — saying the cruel technique makes animals fearful, anxious and more aggressive rather than obedient.
Authorities have charged Wayne Gilchrist, 52, with one count of animal cruelty that could result in up to 93 days in jail, a $1,000 fine and 200 hours of community service, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Aggression against animals is not “training” and is not “discipline.” The individual responsible for these callous actions must be held fully accountable — and his treatment of the other animals routinely in his care must also be investigated.
Sign our petition urging prosecutors to treat this case with the severity it deserves, including obtaining sentencing that requires additional professional training in non-aversive disciplinary techniques and intervention services, such as anger management therapy and psychological counseling, to prevent additional acts of unnecessary violence.