Petitions urge punishment in death of dog

Jan. 24, 2010 at 8:44 PM

DENVER, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- About 100,000 people have signed a Facebook petition urging severe penalties for a man accused of dragging a dog to death in Colorado, organizers said.

A German shepherd mix named Buddy was allegedly stolen by Melissa Lockhart Dec. 30 and then dragged to death by her brother, who is charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, The Denver Post reported Sunday.

Stephen Romero, 37, of Fruita, Colo. allegedly forced Buddy to run for 3 miles in steep hills near Grand Junction and then dragged him when he couldn't keep up, the newspaper said.

The dog was found with a rope tied around its neck.

Lockhart is charged with animal cruelty, felony theft and making false reports, the Post said.

A Facebook page called "Demand Justice for Buddy" has attracted members from the United States and 111 other countries urging a Colorado court to pass the maximum sentence on Romero of three years in federal prison, a $100.000 fine and a year of probation, the newspaper reported.

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