A West Virginia man faces 29 charges of cruelty to animals after allegedly using various tools to torture and kill at least 29 dogs and puppies over the course of several months.
According to reports, Jeffrey Nally Jr. told police that he got the dogs from ads in the local newspaper and that the animals were all free or just a few dollars. Apparently illustrating the link between cruelty to animals and cruelty to people, Nally is also charged with allegedly keeping his former girlfriend captive in the home for months, forcing her to watch him torture the animals, and then making her clean up the mess.
West Virginia State Police rescued the woman, along with three live puppies whom they believe were slated to be killed.
As horrific as it sounds, cases like this are not uncommon. Perhaps the most famous case is that of Barry Herbeck, who tortured, sodomized, and killed nearly two dozen animals whom he obtained through "free to a good home" ads. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
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Classified ads are magnets for abusers who would not be approved for adoption from animal shelters. (Nally was reportedly a convicted criminal under home confinement when he allegedly obtained the dogs.) Animal dealers also target such ads as sources of animals they later sell to laboratories for experiments.
If your local newspaper runs "free to a good home" ads, please contact the paper's editors, warn them about the dangers of these ads, and ask them to stop running them. And if you see such ads, call the number listed and urge the animals' guardians to take the animals to an animal shelter instead.
Written by Michelle Sherrow