INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- An Indianapolis man who threw a dog in a dumpster after finding it frozen to death will serve his sentence on probation.
Gordon Turentine, 62, pleaded guilty to an animal cruelty charge and received a sentence of 365 days. Of that time, 363 days were suspended to probation and he received one day of jail credit.
As part of his probation conditions, he will undergo classes in the Moral Reconation Program.
On Jan. 30, an Indianapolis Animal Care Services (IACS) official said Turentine found a dog frozen to death inside a doghouse and then “picked up the dog and threw it away in a dumpster, as if its life meant nothing.”
“It was sub-zero the morning we got there. The dog wasn’t in the pen and we looked in the dumpster and the dog was in the dumpster,” said Darcie Kurtz with FIDO.
After Darcie Kurtz found the dog dead in the dumpster, Turentine was charged with cruelty to an animal.
Turentine told authorities it was a female dog named Remy. He said he owned Remy for 10 years before he found her frozen in the doghouse that morning, and then he placed her in the dumpster.
“We’re not satisfied with this outcome for someone who knowingly caused this animal to suffer and die,” said Kurtz.
According to court records, a neighbor and the homes landlord both say they warned Remy’s owner to bring the dog inside, knowing sub-zero temperatures could prove deadly.
Still, a local attorney not connected to the case says the cruelty to an animal charge is a misdemeanor with a maximum punishment of one year in jail, but added probation would be expected for a first offense in Marion County.
“We’re all outraged about this case, but this is one of many dogs left to suffer and die in our community,” said Kurtz.
Kurtz works for a group called FIDO, which stands for Friends of Indianapolis Dogs Outside, and assists Indianapolis Animal Care Services investigate complaints of dog left outside the cold.
She encourages anyone disappointed by the outcome of this case to lobby lawmakers.
“You know I think as a society we want better for our animals and I think we need to let our elected officials and court systems know this isn’t acceptable. We want to do better,” said Kurtz.
After the arrest, several councilors released a statement calling for Turentine to be prosecuted to the "fullest extent of the law." CBS4 has reached out to them for a statement on the sentencing.
If you see an animal left out in the cold, please call the Mayor’s Action Center at 317-327-4622. If it’s at night, call 317-327-3811. If you are a pet owner who can’t afford to take care of your pet in this weather, there are resources available to help you. Please reach out to IACS and ask for assistance.
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