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Man gets jail and probation for amputating his dog's leg

John Jenkins cannot own pets for a year after his conviction for animal cruelty

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 01:53 a.m. HST, Aug 10, 2013

A Kaneohe man who said he used scissors to amputate his dog's injured leg was sentenced Friday to a year of probation and 60 days in jail.

A jury found John Jenkins guilty of animal cruelty after a four-day trial. As part of his sentence, he's not allowed to own pets during his probation, and he must complete 200 hours of community service, according to the Hono­lulu prosecutor's office.

Jenkins, who turned 54 during his trial, said from his home after the sentencing that he didn't mean to harm the Chihuahua-Pomeranian mix named Volcano Dog. He said he fashioned a splint with tape, gauze and a Popsicle stick after a heavy-set friend accidentally stepped on the dog's leg in April last year.

"I figured it was severely sprained or broken," he said, adding that he previously used a homemade splint on his other dog, a Pomeranian named Sassafras. "I had done it before and it healed nicely."

But Volcano Dog ended up chewing through his splint and chewed his paw. "It was hanging by a ligament," he said. "I was very desperate on how to relieve the pain of the dog."

So he came up with a plan: "I put the scissors under very hot water to sterilize it. My brother was holding him, and I just used these very sharp scissors and snipped off the ligament."

In hindsight it wasn't the best idea, he said, because the leg became infected, and he ended up in court. Neighbors noticed the dog hobbling on three legs and offered to take it to a veterinarian. Jenkins said he called various pet clinics but was quoted $2,000, which he couldn't afford.

When Jenkins went to pick up the dog at the vet, where Volcano Dog underwent a proper amputation higher up on his leg, police and Humane Society officials showed up. They interviewed him and let him go home with the dog. Several weeks later a Humane Society officer arrived with a citation for animal cruelty.

Jenkins testified in his own defense. The jury deliberated for four hours before convicting him. "It was like a triple whammy," he said. "Not only was my dog injured, it was confiscated and adopted by someone else. And I got convicted."

He's learned a lesson. "From now on I'll always take the dog to the vet," he said. "I won't be trying any self-veterinarian antics."

Since he's not allowed to have any pets for a year, Jenkins said his brother will care for Sassafras.

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kaleboy wrote:
He should have gotten a harsher punishment! He should never be able to own a pet again! Cut off his finger and see how it feels!
on August 10,2013 | 02:59AM
LMO wrote:
How about from now on you don't own any pets? If you can't afford to properly care for them you should not have them.
on August 10,2013 | 03:54AM
mikethenovice wrote:
Right. What going to change after a year? Nothing. Still be a broke with no money.
on August 10,2013 | 07:15PM
atilter wrote:
wat's dis - good intentions wid a huge dose of ignorance, inability, - you name it - is a symptom of the culture we all live in today. expect to find more and more examples of this type of scenario due to many, many factors and reasons in other aspects of life. it's not going to get better - is my prediction - especially when there is no note-worthy news to put in the newspaper looking to fill space.
on August 10,2013 | 02:11PM
CriticalReader wrote:
Yes. And, for these simple aspects of being human, you can go to jail. I understand if the guy did it to a baby, or another human (without that human's consent). But this was an otherwise well-intentioned act that turned out badly (although the dog lived, and the guy was trying to keep it alive). Take no chances with your pets, folks. Either get rid of them or give them expensive, uninsured, veterinary care if there is any question about their health. Otherwise, you will end up in jail.
on August 10,2013 | 04:16PM
mikethenovice wrote:
Would he do surgery on himself?
on August 10,2013 | 07:18PM
star08 wrote:
This guy gets jail and probation for this, while folks who kill monk seals simply get a fine?
on August 10,2013 | 09:32PM
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