Monday, October 24, 2011

Alleged animal abusers sue rescuers. What?

Posted By on Mon, Oct 24, 2011 at 10:47 AM

WBTV is reporting a case that some people will probably find disturbing: Two men accused of abusing a dog are now suing the people who rescued the animal.

How American is that?

A year ago, "Firu," an American Bulldog mix suffered serious injuries after he was dragged behind a pickup truck in Mecklenburg County.

Now the two men accused of felony animal cruelty are suing the woman who took the dog in.

Agustin Martinez, 26, and Jose Guebara-Cerda, 30, tied Firu to the bumper and drove off, dragging the dog behind. A witness saw the dog and called police.

The suit names Samantha Hodge, her rescue group, the Animal Hospital of East Burke, doctors at the hospital and members of the public.

It claims defamatory statements were made against Martinez and Cerda, saying that Hodge "made or caused to have been made numerous statements threatening the Plaintiffs" and that doctors at the animal hospital were complicit in Hodge's acts of slander and libel and benefited from the statements.

Hodge says her attorney told her not to comment on the suit. Her attorney is in the process of responding to the allegations.

The men also claim that Facebook posts compared them to Osama bin Laden, questioned the legality of their immigration status and accused them of being drunk at the time of the incident.

While what these two men are accused of doing is heinous — animals don't deserve that kind of treatment — it was the responsibility of the rescue group to monitor its page and the comments left there. However, this suit might just backfire on the defendants, who should face their criminal charges next month.

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