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Owner sentenced to jail in ax slaughter of pets

June 18th, 2005, 12:48 PM
In what is being hailed as a ``milestone'' for animal rights, a Southampton man yesterday was sentenced to six months in jail after admitting he watched as a pal hacked his dog and cat to death with an ax.
The pets' owner, Shawn Lynch, 20, and the friend accused of being the actual butcher, David Betournay, 22, also of Southampton, are the first Bay State residents to be indicted for animal cruelty since the charge became a felony in November.
``Although the events that occurred are a very dark cloud, I'm hoping this imposition of accountability is the silver lining,'' said Dr. Peter Gollub, director of law enforcement for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Betournay allegedly chased 15-year-old Goodie, a black Lab mix, and Thurman, a black cat, around Lynch's basement with the ax four days before last Christmas. ``They reportedly weren't killed immediately,'' Gollub said. ``It took a bit of effort and I think we'll leave it that.
``Dogs and other pets are sometimes claimed to be man's best friend. It's truly tragic the reverse didn't apply here,'' he said.
A woman who answered the phone at Lynch's home last night declined comment, saying, ``I think the media should mind its own business.''
Betournay, who could not be reached, pleaded innocent to the charges Monday in Northampton District Court. Judge Richard J. Carey released him on $500 bail with the condition Betournay seek immediate psychiatric help.
If convicted, Betournay could face up to five years in state prison - five times the maximum punishment that would have applied when animal cruelty was a misdemeanor.
In Lynch's basement, which Betournay had allegedly tried to scrub clean with bleach, Southampton police found blood spatter on a beer can and a CD. They also found an ax caked with blood and fur.
Betournay alleged bragged about the slaughter, telling Christopher Coffelt, Lynch's sister's boyfriend, it took 10 minutes for Goodie to succumb to the blows. The animals' remains, stuffed in a plastic bag, were recovered in a field across from Betournay's house, authorities said.

June 18th, 2005, 04:51 PM
OMG!!! I can't believe that someone would do that. It brought tears to my eyes just reading it. :sad: