Man Kicks Girlfriend’s Dog, Court Finds Domestic Abuse
It is about doggone time someone stood up for our furry friends. Today in a landmark decision the Supreme Court ruled that animal cruelty committed on a domestic partner’s animal was considered domestic abuse.
Mona was the beloved Chiweenie of Julie Fairbanks. However, her boyfriend Charmarke Abdi-Issa did not feel the same way about the little pup. One night in October of 2018, Abdi-Issa insisted on taking Mona for a walk over Julie’s objections. A little while later, witnesses saw Abdi-Issa beating the poor little dog in a nearby bank parking lot, kicking the little pooch so hard she flew up in the air and into the bushes. Law enforcement arrived and rushed Mona to the vet, but she died from blunt force trauma 20 minutes after arrival. The assault caused swelling on the brain, bruising to her chest, several rib fractures including two that had been broken in half, a fractured liver, bruising to the right lung and tissue between the spine and kidney, and two large cuts on the top of her head.
The State charged Abdi-Issa with first degree animal cruelty with a maximum sentence of 12 months. However, the prosecutor asked for an exceptional sentence of adding another 6 months and a no-contact order between Abdi-Issa and Julie citing aggravating circumstances under the domestic violence act.
The domestic violence act allows certain crimes committed against an intimate partner to receive this domestic violence designation qualifying the case to receive priority scheduling and enable the judge to sign pretrial no-contact orders to protect the victim. The Act doesn’t create a new crime, it just enhances the enforcement of certain existing criminal statutes in a way that protects victims of domestic abuse.
Prior to this case, these crimes included assault, drive-by shootings, reckless endangerment, coercion, burglary, criminal trespass, malicious mischief, kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment. However, the Court reasoned that the statute which listed these offenses was nonexclusive and animal cruelty was similar to some of the crimes against property in that list (pets are considered “personal property” in Washington State).
If you or someone you know is being abused at home, get help. It is just a phone call away.
Domestic Abuse Women’s Network (DAWN) – https://www.dawnrising.org/ – 24-hour crisis line at 425-656-STOP (7867). DAWN provides domestic violence assistance including a confidential shelter, training for advocates, children’s programs and legal advocacy.
LifeWire – https://www.lifewire.org/ – 24-hour crisis line at 425-746-1940 or 1-800-827-8840. LifeWire offers services from shelter to counseling to training. Visit their site to learn more about local services and domestic violence prevention.
New Beginnings – https://newbegin.org/ – 24-hour help line at 206-522-9472. New Beginnings provides shelter, advocacy and support for battered women, and those whose lives have been affected by domestic violence.
National Resource Center on Domestic Violence – https://www.nrcdv.org/ – information and resources.
Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence – https://wscadv.org/ – find your local DV Program.