UPDATE: Patrick Caleb Land was sentenced to five years and four months in prison for the brutal and torturous killings of his girlfriend’s three dogs, Pikanik, Josh and Jackie, in two separate incidents. Necropsies performed on two of the dogs indicated they suffered for hours before succumbing to death. Source (See story below. You can also watch a Fox 5 San Diego newsclip.)
Is this justice for the taking of three innocent lives?
Advocates for tougher animal cruelty laws and harsher sentences for animal abusers know that more often than not, the abuser gets no more than a slap on the wrist – if even that. Comparatively speaking, then, it is justice. After all, Land will be serving his time in a state penitentiay, rather than county jail.
For others including the dogs’ “mom,” Natasha, Natasha’s sister, Alexandra, and other animal rights activists, the answer is an unequivacal NO!
Rene, an animal rights activist, was intimately involved in this case and became friends with Natasha and Alexandra. She had the following to say regarding Land’s sentence on the Facebook page she created on behalf of the three fallen dogs (reprinted here with permission):
“Sentence 5 years, four months…
It was sickening to hear the Judge (Rodgers) take into account Lands poor childhood and his mistreatment by step parents…. Yet he still grew up to rob/burglarize a 91 year old woman in her home, a person he knew, then his conviction of grand theft auto…. the judge droned on about how “we” (HE) could not take sentiments into account and had to go by the LAW when pronouncing sentencing.
WE, you , I, us – can hope for jailhouse justice, I hope he goes to a tough prison and his time is difficult and he makes new ‘friends’.
I did get to shout at the end of the hearing that he was a murderer and deserved more time and that he would do it again, then I was asked to leave the courtroom.
This has been tough in more ways than we can imagine on the sisters Natasha and Alex(andra), I cannot even assume to know how they feel, I saw and heard the devastation in their voices and in their eyes last week when they gave their victim impact statements in court and I applaud their courage.
This page and the accompanying Petition was started to support them strangers who I had never met, but the story was so horrific and tragic I felt I needed to do something to keep the memory of Josh, Pikanik and Jackie alive and to ensure SOME justice be served.
I am at a loss, I feel truly let down. More facts and information will come and the sisters will speak as time allows.
I appreciate all of you who have been here supporting, emailing, posting, calling etc… you have not gone unnoticed.
Remember the one thing we all can do is VOTE. Vote to change laws and protect our animal friends and family members, it may not happen over night, but we can effect the change I am asking all of you to look within your own communities and ask what laws exist to protect our loved ones and then take action.
We no longer have to sit at the back of the room and keep our mouth shut on animal abuse, stand up, be recognized and if they do not listen then SHOUT.
Josh, Jackie and Pikanik will not be forgotten.” - Rene
RIP Josh, Pikanic and Jackie.
Twenty-five-year-old Patrick Caleb Land faces three counts of felony animal cruelty for allegedly beating three of his girlfriend’s dogs to death in two separate incidents.
In September 2010, Land called his girlfriend at work with the grim news that one of her dogs, Lacy, was dead in a bedroom. Coincidentally (or, not), Land found his girlfriend’s other two dogs (Pikanik and Jackie) dead in a bedroom three weeks later in October, at which time he again called his girlfriend at work to deliver the news.
Land’s girlfriend became suspicious and called Animal Services requesting necropsies be performed on both dogs. The veterinarian determined that both dogs were brutally beaten to death. According to the prosecutor, “[The dogs] had massive internal injuries.” Source “They bled to death internally and there was evidence also that there were attempts to suffocate them and restrain them with something over their heads to prevent them from biting and vocalizing what was going on.” Source
When animal control officers interviewed Land about the dogs’ deaths, they noticed he had long scratches on his arms. When asked about them, Land said he sustained the injuries after having fallen into a bush. Those scratches prompted investigators to conduct a DNA test by scraping the dogs’ nails. DNA was found underneath Pikanik’s nails, which matched Land’s DNA.
A warrant was issued for Land’s arrest; however, he took off to North Carolina a day after being questioned by Animal Services. On April 19th, Land was arrested in Greensboro, North Carolina, and extradited to San Diego, California. He was arraigned on May 9, 2011, where he pled “not guilty” to all counts. Source
Essentially, it would seem that Land is claiming self-defense. His story is that as he was attempting to put eye medication in Jackie’s eyes, she snapped at him. For that, he kicked her a few times. He said he kicked Pikanik a few times because s/he tried to attack him.
Although the complexity and average cost of DNA fingerprinting have decreased substantially in the years since it was first used in a criminal case in 1987, it still takes a significant amount of government resources to test and analyze DNA to connect an individual to a particular crime, and – if there is a match – to be used as evidence against that individual in a criminal trial. This is particularly true when the victim is an animal. In this case, there were three canine victims – all of whom had a name: Pikanik, Jackie and Josh.
Why would the state use its resources to prosecute someone for a crime against what some might say were “just animals?” In an official statement, Bonnie Dumanis, the District Attorney for the County of San Diego, said, “This is a particularly brutal and disturbing case of animal cruelty. Our office’s prosecution of animal cruelty cases like this one should send a strong message that we will not tolerate animal abuse in our community.” Source Source
The animal-loving community agrees with Dumanis’ statement. Furthermore, this is precisely why animal-lovers fight so hard for stricter animal cruelty legislation, and harsher penalties for those convicted of crimes against animals, whether the crime be intentional, or one of neglect. Although the laws with respect to animal rights and welfare often evolve much too slowly, in this case, the criminal justice system is giving Pikanik, Jackie and Josh a voice.
Land is currently being held on a $250,000 bail. A trial date has been set for Tuesday, October 4th, 2011, at 9:00 a.m., in Department 11 of the Hall of Justice, 330 W. Broadway, San Diego, California 92101. Source
The evidence appears to be overwhelming against Land; however, remember that he is presumed innocent until proven guilty. If convicted on all charges, Land faces up to four years and four months in State prison. Source
You can follow this case on the Facebook page, Justice for the Dogs of San Diego. The creator/administrator of the page is an avid animal-lover and was very disturbed by this case. She has been closely monitoring the case – even attending the court proceedings and staying in constant contact with the prosecuting attorney. Please visit the page for details and updates to this case.
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