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Appeals Court: Beating a puppy to death with baseball bat is not torture


This news story was published on July 11, 2013.
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DES MOINES – An Iowa Appeals Court ruled this week that beating a puppy to death with a baseball bat is not torture.

Zachary Meerdink of Davenport appealed his 2012 conviction for animal torture arguing the state’s evidence was insufficient to support his conviction. Meerdink had beaten “Rocky” – a 7-month-old Boston terrier – to death with a baseball bat in 2011.

In January 2012, the State charged Meerdink with animal torture under Iowa Code section 717B.3A(1) (2011): “A person is guilty of animal torture, regardless of whether the person is the owner of the animal, if the person inflicts upon the animal severe physical pain with a depraved or sadistic intent to cause prolonged suffering or death.” Meerdink waived a jury trial.

According to court documents, Meerdink’s girlfriend had bought him a four-month-old Boston terrier in 2011. The woman testified the dog had accidents, “a lot of stomach problems,” and problems with “jumping up on people and [the dog] was starting to get aggressive and bite people.” The dog had bitten the woman and her kids, and the dog’s behavior was getting worse.

One evening at his girlfriend’s home – after an “accident” by the puppy – Meerdink took the dog outside and killed it with a baseball bat. Meerdink left the house and his girlfriend called police. A police officer later found the dead dog in the tall grass.

Meerdink had reportedly been reading books on how to correct the dog’s behavior problems.

The appeals court said in its ruling that it found “insufficient evidence defendant acted with a ‘depraved intent,’ we reverse and remand for dismissal of the case.”

A well-known attorney, who is in Mason City at this time for a high-profile discrimination case, told the Des Moines Register that “I have some great difficulty understanding how you can beat a puppy to death and not have sadistic intent,” Attorney Roxanne Conlin told the Register. “How could it not be sadistic?… It would seem as if this calls for an outcry.”

Zachary Meerdink CONVICTION OF ANIMAL TORTURE OVERTURNED

Zachary Meerdink
CONVICTION OF ANIMAL TORTURE OVERTURNED

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15 Responses to Appeals Court: Beating a puppy to death with baseball bat is not torture

  1. giunela Reply Report comment

    August 4, 2013 at 1:51 am

    La civiltà di un popolo si misura da quanto rispetta i deboli, animali compresi. E poi pensano di portare la libertà e la democrazia in giro per il mondo…..

  2. Federico Bortoletto Reply Report comment

    July 28, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Che schifo!!!!!!

  3. GP30 Reply Report comment

    July 14, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    This Meerdink guy is so smart that it never occurred to him to just take the dog to the local animal shelter. Way to go Einstein, hope you get yours someday.

  4. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 13, 2013 at 6:51 am

    He’s no sicker than the judge that let him walk ! PATHETIC !

  5. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 12, 2013 at 8:58 am

    This is so sad! I hope that guy burns ! Starts with a puppy ….hope a man, woman, or Child isn’t NEXT!! Although it will probably happen and be the only way this sick individual gets locked up ! Poor puppy ! This world is sad! The system is sad! Pay attention to the signs people !!

  6. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 11, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    I hope someone beats this guy with a bat! He will get his someday! The court system sucks! PATHETIC!

  7. Joe Reply Report comment

    July 11, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    REAL TOUGH GUY… Killing a little puppy?! WTH! He better be convicted of something!

  8. Jesus Iberra Reply Report comment

    July 11, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    Ladies love the neck tattoo…he’s a bad boy…

  9. LVS

    LVS Reply Report comment

    July 11, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    If you don’t like the puppy take them to a animal shelter. There is no reason to kill them.

  10. common sense man Reply Report comment

    July 11, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    The worst part of this ruling is where it says ” he failed to act with a depraved intent” You beat a puppy to death with a baseball bat…and that is not depraved intent?. I would surly like to know the courts meaning of that phrase.

  11. Sikastupd Reply Report comment

    July 11, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    At the very least, will he be charged with animal cruelty?

  12. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 11, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Is beating this guy with a baseball bat considered torture?

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      July 11, 2013 at 6:46 pm

      No, this guy is an animal, a dog! Where is my bat?

  13. common sense man Reply Report comment

    July 11, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Serial killer in training. And I have had Boston Terrier’s for 30 years…great dogs and unless abused do not act like the article says.

  14. Jody Spear

    Jody Spear Reply Report comment

    July 11, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Outcrys fall on deaf ears. There is no money to be made, politically, on this issue, so nothing gets done. How many cases have we heard of that the person gets a slap on the hand for torturing these innocent pets? Meerdink, Meer-little-dink, is a meer little man trying to make up for his short-comings. God have mercy on the soul of the child that comes in contact with him, and has an accident.