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Old 10-16-2009, 06:00 AM   #1
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uhhh, yeah...

Violence erupts after dog run over
Two men face charges, authorities say
Friday, October 16, 2009


Photo by Wade Spees

The Post and Courier

Veterinarian Sarah Boyd tends to Dingo on Thursday at the Charleston Animal Society. Dingo's owner said the dog was hit by a car, then attacked with a machete and hammer. The owner and driver both face charges.

After running over a dog on a rural road in McClellanville on Thursday morning, the driver of a pickup truck tried to "put the dog out of its misery" by whacking the animal with a machete and a hammer, authorities said.

The dog's owner heard the dog's plaintive yelping and ran out of his house, grabbed the machete and hammer and started waling away with the hammer, attacking the man who had been attacking his dog.

The driver was hospitalized with a skull fracture. The dog's owner is in jail, accused of trying to kill the driver. The dog, whose name is "Dingo," was hanging on for his life Thursday night.

"There are humane ways to euthanize an injured dog," said

Dr. Sarah Boyd, a veterinarian at Charleston Animal Society. Using a hammer and machete is not among them, she said.

According to a report from the Charleston County Sheriff's Office, the incident began about 9:30 a.m. on Tupelo Road, when a dog ran into the road and was hit by a pickup truck. The driver told deputies he got out and saw that the dog was dragging its hindquarters and he suspected his back was broken.

He told deputies he didn't feel it would be right to drive away and leave the dog in pain so he decided to kill the dog. He asked a passing motorist if he had a gun. The motorist didn't have one. He said he took a machete and hammer from his truck and struck the dog several times.

The dog's owner told deputies he heard his dog squealing in pain and ran outside to see a man standing over him with a machete and a hammer. He said he grabbed the weapons and started hitting the man.

A deputy arrived about 10:15 a.m. to find the dog lying on the side of the road, bleeding, the driver sitting in his truck, also bleeding, and the dog's owner standing outside his home.

William T. Youngman, 57, of Dupre Road in McClellanville, was taken by Charleston County EMS to Medical University Hospital. A physician told the deputy that Youngman had a skull fracture on the left side of his head, multiple orbital fractures and a cut on top of his head. He was unable to hear out of his left ear and doctors were going to hold him for observation because of the head injuries, according to the deputy's report. A hospital spokeswoman said late Thursday that Youngman was in good condition.

James Brian Kennedy, 42, of Tupelo Road, is charged with assault and battery with intent to kill and malicious injury to personal property. He was being held in the Charleston County jail. His bond hearing was scheduled for today.

Kennedy's mother, Helen Kennedy, told The Post and Courier that Dingo had wandered onto her son's property about a year ago.

"You could tell he'd been abused," she said. "He's scared of people. My son's been real attached to him and loves him to death. It's taken a year for the dog to get to the point where he would eat out of my son's hand."

She described her son as an animal lover who has cats and kittens as well as the dog. The dog, she said, would not come into her son's house, but he would follow Kennedy wherever he went in his yard.

Dingo was taken by sheriff's animal control officers to the Charleston Animal Society shelter on Remount Road in North Charleston, where shelter officials were hoping to be able to save the dog.

Boyd, the veterinarian, said Dingo was a Carolina Dog and about 3 years old. She said the dog was sitting up and alert when he arrived but he that was unable to walk. He had cuts on his head and nose and a bruised left eye. It was difficult to tell which injuries were caused by the accident and which were caused by the machete or hammer. Animal cruelty charges are pending against Youngman, according to the Sheriff's Office.

About 6 p.m. Thursday, Dingo took a turn for the worse and was taken to an animal hospital.

Jim Bush, executive director of the shelter, said doctors at the clinic found no broken bones.

"It began to look like he had a broken pelvis or broken back, but he has no fractures that we can see," he said. "It doesn't look like his organs are ruptured."

Bush said doctors were "guardedly optimistic" about Dingo's prognosis.

The dog has been moved to an emergency clinic.
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Old 10-17-2009, 07:27 PM   #2
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Re: uhhh, yeah...

Man who hit dog is animal lover, family says
By Prentiss Findlay
The Post and Courier
Saturday, October 17, 2009

A man who hit a dog with a machete and hammer in McClellanville is an animal lover who was trying to end the dog's suffering after accidentally hitting it with his pickup truck, family members said Friday.

William T. Youngman, 57, of McClellanville suffered multiple skull fractures when he was attacked by the dog's owner, James Brian Kennedy, 42, of McClellanville, authorities said. Kennedy took the hammer from Youngman and hit him with it, according to a sheriff's report.

"He (father) felt it was in the dog's best interest to try to put it out of its misery," his son, Nathan Youngman, said.

Youngman's daughter, Holland Youngman, 25, of James Island said her father lives in a rural area where there is no veterinarian nearby. He did not have a gun to end the dog's pain, she said.

"He cannot stand suffering," his daughter said. "He's the victim here. We feel horrible about the dog. He's being presented as someone brutalizing animals, which could not be further from the truth."

Her parents have two rescue dogs, she said. "Every dog that they have had has been a rescue dog," she said.

Youngman was listed in fair condition in the intensive care unit at the Medical University Hospital on Friday afternoon.

The dog, which suffered a spinal chord injury, was euthanized Friday night.

The Sheriff's Office said animal cruelty charges against Youngman are still pending.

Holland Youngman said her father suffered broken ribs and a punctured lung for which doctors inserted a chest tube Friday. Doctors have not given the family a prognosis for Youngman's recovery, but the family said Youngman is conscious, alert and able to talk about what happened Thursday morning. "Overall, he's still in pretty bad shape," Nathan Youngman told Charleston County Magistrate Linda Lombard.

On Friday morning, Lombard set bail at $25,000 for Kennedy on a charge of assault and battery with intent to kill. "I think we've got some good people here with a lot of overreaction," Lombard said. As a condition of Kennedy's bond, he was barred from having any contact with Youngman or his family. "Let everyone cool down and handle this intelligently," she said.

At the bail hearing, Kennedy's mother, Helen Kennedy, said her son is a licensed residential home builder who is hard-working and responsible. "His passion got the best of him. He's not a dangerous person," she told Lombard. She said her son found the dog, named Dingo, on his property and worked for 10 months to gain its confidence so it would accept food from him.

Kennedy's brother, Greg Kennedy, said his brother is a very kind person. "He didn't mean to cause any harm or to inflict any serious injury," Greg Kennedy said.

After the bond hearing, Greg Kennedy said that Dingo was up and walking after being hit by the truck. However, Brian Kennedy did not realize that Youngman had first hit the dog with his truck when he saw Youngman striking the dog with a machete and hammer, Greg Kennedy said.

"I'm very sorry this man is injured. That's terrible," Helen Kennedy told reporters.

Veterinarians at the Charleston Animal Society recommended that Dingo be euthanized, said Kay Hyman, the society's director of outreach and communications.

The dog was put down at 9 p.m. Friday.

The dog was "semi-feral," she said. His wild nature made it difficult to effectively treat his spinal cord injury.

Dingo was heavily sedated, but when he came out of sedation he flailed about because he doesn't trust humans. That pulled out stitches while further injuring him, she said.

"He (Kennedy) got out of jail and met our staff at the emergency clinic, and our staff persuaded him to have the dog euthanized," Hyman said.

Well, for what it is worth (and I know I'm going to get vilified, called cruel and unfeeling, and generally read the riot act), if I had been the one finding someone beating on one of my furry children with a hammer and machete, they would have only had to call the vet and the coroner. I have hit one dog with my car, and unfortunately it did not survive the impact. I did find the owner, expressed my sorrow and asked them what I could do to try to make up for the loss of their pet. I have seen two other dogs hit by cars who just kept going. I stopped both times, assessed the condition of the animal, then took them to emergency vets. My dogs are my children, and I would defend them as I would defend any other child whether mine or not. My five younger pack members have proven time and time again that they are willing to interpose their bodies and lives between my wife and myself and any threat or danger including intruders, bears, and other animals. Could I be expected to do any less for them? Perhaps this was a moment of stupidity on the part of the driver, but he is lucky it wasn't his last, and I place no blame on the dog's owner. He had no way of knowing the intent of the other person. Plus, dead men tell no tales, and it is hard to get a corpse to testify against you in court. That's my opinion, I am entitled to it as you are to your's. I will not try to change your mind, let's just agree to disagree and leave it at that.
Respectfully submitted,
"Adversity that does not kill you can only make you stronger."
Good Lord! I must be Superman by now!!!
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Old 10-18-2009, 08:22 AM   #3
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Re: uhhh, yeah...

I think anyone who uses a hammer and machete to put a dog "out of it's misery" deserves enough of the same treatment to cause him to stop. Sounds like that is just what happened. I have to wonder if that managed to pass through his head just in advance of a hammer blow...

Yes, the owner was wrong for not containing the animal. That is a totally different matter, it only contributed to the accident, not the choices made by the driver after the accident.
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