WARNING: Some readers may find content in the article disturbing.
A 20-year-old woman is facing up to 5 years in jail and a $30,000 fine for severely abusing her boyfriend's dog over a period of months and eventually killing the German Shepherd-Labrador mix named Mary.
Police suspect Sean D. Janas killed the dog in June by poisoning her with Draino, bleach and unidentified pills and slitting then dog's throat.
The criminal complaint stated that neighbors told police they had heard Janas yelling at the dog and hitting Mary with the leash. Drug abuse may have also been a factor. Janas also appears to have kept a disturbing journal detailing months of torture. She detailed her hatred of the dog and her desire to kill the dog, revelling in the dog's pain and suffering.
One entry supposedly said,"I just want to beat her till she [expletive] dies. Which I mean I have beat her I mean. I tell you I don't care how long it takes, I'm just gonna keep feeding her pills and [expletive] till she croaks."
Another reads: "I have never hated an animal so much in my life. Much less hate one or beat one. But the pleasure I get from watching her whimper in pain and cry out for help as I shove Drano and bleach down her throat is like no other."
At the time Mary died there wasn't enough evidence to establish who had killed her. The dog was a cremated before an examination could be done. But the discovery of Janus' diary gave them the evidence they needed to go forward with the case.
Janas is charged with felony for mistreatment of animals and two misdemeanours charges. Many in the Wausau, Wisconsin region and across North America have been deeply upset by the case.
An online petition has been set up here: https://www.change.org/petitions/serve-maximum-allowable-judicial-punishment-for-animal-cruelty-in-the-state-of-wisconsin.
The petition will be sent to Marathon County Circuit Judge Greg Grau and Marathon County Assistant District Attorney LaMont Jacobson, encouraging officials to pursue the maximum penalty for Janus' case and every other animal cruelty case in the state.
Update: November 13, 2012 - Mary's Law Proposed
A dog who was allegedly tortured to death by Sean Janus, has prompted Marathon County Animal Control Task Force to push forward with a proposed law, they now are calling Mary's Law.
Since August, the county has been without humane officers, after Marathon County Humane Society ended its contracts.
The proposed law recommends the county move forward with a plan to hire three humane officers for full time duty. The proposal would increase pet-licensing fees nominally in order to cover salaries for officers to work from 9am to 10pm 7 days a week.
The task force has been working on Mary's law since August, but it gained more urgency when Mary's case came to light.
"Certainly, Mary’s case highlighted the frustration many were already feeling over the lack of a working humane officer in Marathon County," said Wausau City Council member Keene Winters. "If you don't have anyone to answer the call, you can't investigate or prevent possible abuse."
Marathon County dispatchers receive nearly 2000 calls each year on pet-related concerns. Most calls are reports of barking dogs or nuisance animals. But Winters points out, "You never know when the next barking dog could be the next Mary."