Chris Dillingham, the Washington man who blew up his dog, Cabela, with a homemade explosive device because he believed that his ex-girlfriend had “put the devil in it,” will face charges of animal cruelty.
After he was arrested earlier this week, prosecutors initially said they were not planning to charge Dillingham with animal cruelty on the grounds that Cabela had “died instantly” and therefore suffered no pain.
But animal advocates including many, many Care2 members raised a huge public outcry. Skamania County prosecutors will now add the felony charge of animal cruelty when Dillingham makes his next court appearance on August 15.
Dillingham already faces a felony charge of possessing a bomb or explosive device with intent to use it for an unlawful purpose and two misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment, since this incident occurred while his teenage son and a friend were in his house.
Under Washington law, first-degree animal cruelty is defined as “abuse that inflicts substantial pain on an animal, causes physical injury to an animal or kills an animal by a means that causes ‘undue suffering,’” according to Oregon Live. It is a Class C felony that carries fines of up to $10,000 and imprisonment for up to 5 years.
Cabela’s former owner, 23-year-old Ty Freemantle, says that he was relieved to know that Dillingham will face the additional charges. Freemantle had acquired Cabela as a six-week-old puppy in 2010. When he moved to Portland for a job in March, he gave the dog to Lydia Dillingham, Chris Dillingham’s daughter, after a friend connected him with her mother. Freemantle had been in touch with Lydia Dillingham as recently as last month about Cabela’s diet and special needs. The teenage girl was not home when her father killed Cabela.
A huge thank you to Care2 members for signing the petition to ensure that Dillingham be charged with animal cruelty in the horrific death of three-year-old Cabela.
Photo from Thinkstock