There’s a special place in hell for someone who’d do something like this. When you leave your pet with a sitter, you’re trying to ensure your furry family member is well cared for while you’re away.
The last thing you envision is that the supposed caretaker is going to beat your dog to death with his bare hands. Sadly, for one Florida pet owner, this is exactly what happened in August.
Athena was a 16-month old red and white miniature dachshund. At a mere 12 lbs., she was a tiny bundle of love and energy much adored by her owner, Jessie Anderson. A man named Stacy Sean Glover, 24, ended up dog sitting for Athena on Aug. 8.
Reports variously describe Glover as either the husband of Anderson’s co-worker or an in-law of Anderson’s. Either way, because the home’s air conditioner had gone out, he was the person who ended up watching little Athena that fateful day.
What Glover didn’t know was that the Anderson home had a security surveillance video camera. It caught every horrifying moment of what happened that afternoon.
If you can bear to watch, here’s that video. Be advised, it’s graphic:
For those who can’t watch this footage, here’s what happened. A man alleged to be Glover flings the little dachshund out the back door onto a patio. She hides under patio furniture from him and when he comes after her, she runs desperately away, barreling off screen at top speed.
The man races after Athena and finds her, bringing her back into camera view. Seated in a chair on the patio, he punches and possibly chokes her. Moments later, he carries her, dangling by the throat, back into the house. A few minutes later he emerges from the house, carrying the limp dog, and walks off screen.
No one has seen Athena since. Her body has not been recovered and is likely in the woods somewhere. A veterinarian who viewed the video believes the blows were hard enough to kill or seriously injure a small dog.
Glover reportedly texted his wife at work to tell her the dog had run away. Jessie Anderson and some friends spent hours scouring the neighborhood for Athena. Someone finally suggested checking the security camera footage. The appalling truth became all too clear.
“When I got off work, I went over there, and that’s when they decided to review the home surveillance,” Anderson told MyFox TampaBay. “All I watched was he passed her out the door. I was so angry I had to step outside. And when I came back inside, everyone was in tears and told me not to watch it.”
Anderson, who says she’s never met Glover, is devastated. Even the police are shocked by what happened. Their reaction?
“Just disgust, that someone would victimize a defenseless animal like that,” Col. Steve Burns of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office told MyFox TampaBay.
Glover was arrested and charged with four felony counts of aggravated cruelty to an animal and one felony count of tampering with evidence. Bond was set at $50,000. Glover made bail and is back on the street, awaiting trial.
Jessie Anderson intends to be in court for any appearances Glover makes before a judge. “I don’t want my Athena to die in vain. I want justice,” she told WFLA.
This is apparently not Glover’s first time at the rodeo with respect to arrest for violent crime. He reportedly was charged in January 2014 with “domestic battery by strangulation.” Glover allegedly pushed a woman against a bed and choked her from behind until she could no longer breathe. It is not clear how authorities resolved those charges.
Let Athena’s story serve as a cautionary tale for anyone who needs a pet sitter. Know who will be watching your precious dog or cat. Know that person very well. Those who don’t make that effort — who are too trusting of people they don’t know personally — risk a similar fate for their beloved companions.
Jessie Anderson is grieving now, heartbroken over what happened. If she could do it all over again, undoubtedly she would. Remember her story when you need a pet sitter. Be careful.
Want to urge officials in Sarasota County, Fla. to prosecute Glover to the fullest extent of the law for this cruel, gut wrenching offense? If so, please sign this petition. Care2 will see that it gets to Ed Brodsky, the State Attorney for the 12th Judicial Circuit, whose Animal Abuse Unit is expected to oversee the criminal case against Glover.
Jessie Anderson needs justice for Athena. She deserves to get it.
Photo credit (all images): Jessie Anderson