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Alleged treatment of dog by MC man involved “depraved or sadistic intent”

This news story was published on August 14, 2014.
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MASON CITY – In the state of Iowa, 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.

Mason City police said Thursday that officers went to the home of 26-year-old Dacota Witham and placed him under arrest for a violation of Iowa code 717B.3A – animal torture – as described above.

Animal cruelty is an aggravated misdemeanor which is punishable by up to 2 years in prison and/or a $2,000 fine.

Earlier this week, police said that as they investigated a child endangerment and domestic abuse situation at Witham’s home – charges he was originally arrested on – “a rotting dog carcass was discovered in the garage.”

Witham was charged with cruelty to animals for his alleged “inhumane treatment” of the dog before it died.

According to social media, the dog was a female named Kiara. Before police went to Witham’s house to investigate, the dog’s owner had “went out to the garage to retrieve her personal items and discovered Kiara stuffed in (what looks like a garbage bag inside) an empty dog food bag.”

Witham had posted bond on August 12 and was released from jail. The day before, a Mason City woman filed a petition in court against Witham for relief from domestic abuse. In 2012, another Mason City woman filed the same request in court against Witham. He stands accused at this time of domestic abuse assault and third or subsequent offense domestic abuse assault in addition to the animal torture charge.  He’ll be in court on August 20.

Prior to his arrest, on Wednesday, Witham announced via social media that he is “getting a cat” along with a picture of a orange kitten.  Later, on Thursday apparently as he was being arrested, Witham wrote “Going to jail friends please write me 17262 lark ave mason city ia”.


Dacota Witham

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10 Responses to Alleged treatment of dog by MC man involved “depraved or sadistic intent”

  1. sherryl Reply Report comment

    October 16, 2015 at 11:52 am

    this makes me sick–I would love to get my hands on this scum bag–along with the no brains judges!

  2. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    August 16, 2014 at 9:07 am

    Wouldn’t you know it this TRASH is back out in the streets! Some IDIOT bonded him out!

  3. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    August 15, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    This is another example of the symptomatic behavior of persons with chronic mental illness. Dacota is in the same system that failed Aaron Harris and Tommy Jr.

    The issues here are very complex from a social, legal and mental health perspectives, not to be excused but hopefully understood and someday managed more successfully with treatment, medication and appropriate interventions.

  4. LVS Reply Report comment

    August 15, 2014 at 10:32 am

    I read on Mason City Scanner that he poisoned on steak with anti-freeze and killed a pit bull, then put it in a plastic bag until it decomposed. If true we should do the same to him. Totally unexcusable.

  5. LVS Reply Report comment

    August 15, 2014 at 9:06 am

    If he will abuse women he would probably abuse animals as well. Damn shame to abuse something that trust him. If he is guilty we should treat him the same way.

  6. Philosophus Reply Report comment

    August 15, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Poetic justice-yes, vigilante justice-no. Work at establishing true governmental justice-yes.

    If the powers that be need firing and new hiring, than do so. Work at creating and getting the type of government and legal system you want. The power is still in your hands.

    Apathy is the only reason these entrenched crony good-for-nothings still occupy governmental spaces.

    I would like to see a criminal justice system that prosecutes heavily animal cruelty and torture cases.

  7. KJ Reply Report comment

    August 15, 2014 at 8:03 am

    Hey Dacota’ come
    “look at the flowers”

  8. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    August 14, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    How long are the judges going to allow this type of behavior to go on here in Mason City? It seems like this crap is happening on a weekly basis and the sentencing always ends up with a slap on the hands! Put this punk away and forbid him from owning any more animals. According to his face book page he says he’s getting a kitty. Is this where the Animal control should step up and take that cat away from him? Yes I think so! Do your dam jobs!

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      August 15, 2014 at 10:47 am

      The state of Iowa does not allow animal control or anyone else, for that matter, to deprive a person of his/her personal property without due process. Animals are considered personal property by the state.

      Did you ever stop to think that Animal Control and police are just as frustrated as you are? Until you’ve filled their shoes don’t be so quick to condemn.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        August 15, 2014 at 12:36 pm

        IOWA CODE ANN. § 717B.5 (2013). Rescue of threatened animals.
        After what this piece of crap did to that dog Id say this kitty is in danger.