A father and son claim they killed their neighbor’s German shepherd, Kuma, on Friday night only after it attacked them. The men were arrested later on Friday after surveillance camera footage showed a starkly different story.
Tony Clendenin, 52, and Sam Clendenin, 24, of Merced, California, were charged with animal cruelty and conspiracy to commit a crime. Police say that the two men gave conflicting stories and believe they conspired to kill the dog.
Sam said he was smoking outside when the dog got out of its yard and attacked him. He claims that he was scared for his life, saying, “I wasn’t expecting to see a 200-pound dog growling right in my face in the dark in my own backyard. I should feel secure. It’s my property.”
However, the video captured on the surveillance camera shows the two men approach Kuma with flashlights and baseball bats. One man pins the dog against the fence and they both beat the dog to death. Sam claims that the brutal attack was necessary. He added, “It was on right then and there. I was on a landmine. I didn’t know what to do. If I get my foot off this dog, it’s going to charge. I already know that, so you need to help me.”
Kimberley Saesee, Kuma’s owner, said, “That could’ve very well been a person. How do you beat something living? I mean [Kuma] was like family to us. He pretty much was a person to us. How do you beat someone to death?’
Saesee added, “I hope they go to prison. I don’t think anyone should be able to do that to anyone or anything. It’s not right. It’s not right.”
The family is considering filing a restraining order against the two men.