VANDALIA – A Butler Township woman who pleaded guilty to strangling and fatally beating a puppy was sentenced in Vandalia Municipal Court on December 8, 2015 to knowingly committing an act of cruelty against a companion animal. Norma J. Madden, 25 was sentenced by Judge Cynthia M. Heck to:
- 180 days in jail with 60 days suspended
- $500.00 fine
- Five years’ probation (the remaining 60 days of jail time to be served if probation is revoked)
- Not to own, keep and/or harbor any companion animals during probation with probation conducting periodic visits
- Continue mental health counseling
- Attend anger management program
- Complete 40 hours of community service
The Montgomery County Animal Resource Center assisted Butler Township Police Sgt. Todd Stanley with the investigation that began in July, 2015. ARC Animal Care & Control Office J. Cusick assisted in the investigation. ARC Veterinarian Dr. Kelly Meyer performed the necropsy on the puppy Madden was accused of killing. The necropsy findings supported the claim that Madden had strangled the puppy and had caused blunt force trauma to the puppy’s head.
“No helpless animal should ever be subjected to such violence and cruelty and we are grateful for Judge Heck’s ruling,” said ARC Director Mark Kumpf. “I applaud the ARC staff and Butler Township Police for their incredible work on this extremely disturbing case.”
The dedicated officers of the ARC respond to and investigate over 1200 reports of canine cruelty and neglect each year. If you suspect animal abuse, contact the ARC at 898-4457. Every legal attempt will be made to insure the pet’s well-being.
According to the Butler Township Police incident report, Madden’s two young children, five and two years old, were trying to walk the dog with a belt around the dog’s neck. Madden’s husband, Joey, saw that the children were hurting the dog and sent the five year old to her room and spanked the younger child’s diaper.
The spanking angered Madden who then grabbed the dog and and began choking it. A struggle ensued, and another witness finally got the dog from Norma Madden, but she took it back from him and threw it against the wall.
“After that, we picked it up and it was not breathing,” the witness said in a written statement to police.
According to the statement that Joey Madden provided to police, Norma Madden laughed after the puppy died but her demeanor changed “when she knew cops were coming.”
“She said she felt bad and was crying but that she was sorry never meant to kill it. But that don’t bring puppy back or fix my daughter’s broken heart.”
Madden was booked into the Montgomery County Jail on Tuesday to begin serving the jail sentence.
Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.