In Defense of Animals applauds the ruling in the case of three dogs who were repeatedly shot with a BB gun in Hernando County last year.
Jamie Lynn Kujawa pled no contest to felony aggravated cruelty for shooting her three dogs over 173 times with a pellet gun and was sentenced to 60 months in prison, in addition to a fine and court costs totaling $2663.83.
In Defense of Animals sent Assistant State Attorney Conrad Juergensmeyer a letter with more than 15,000 signatures seeking justice for the abused dogs.
On April 19, 2022, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office initiated an investigation into a complaint by a neighbor who reported hearing a BB gun firing about 15 times over a span of 45 minutes and dogs yelping.
The responding animal control officer inspected the dogs, noting scarring on the dogs’ paws and fresh wounds on one of the dog’s paws. Kujawa told the ACO that the dogs recently fought and that she used a hose to break up the fight. The ACO gave Kujawa a verbal warning for failure to give her dogs state-mandated rabies vaccinations. He instructed her to have the dogs vaccinated within 10 days and have proof that a veterinarian treated the dog with visibly fresh wounds.
On April 20, the ACO and a deputy returned to follow up and spoke with the neighbor to confirm his earlier statement that he heard the dogs’ abuse.
The deputy peered through Kujawa’s fence and saw the three dogs limping. The officers requested to see the dogs and proof of vaccination. This time two of the dogs had visible wounds to their paws. The officers were unable to examine the dogs’ feet because they didn’t want to be touched. The officers left, instructing Kujawa to follow through with their directive to have her dogs vaccinated and have their feet treated.
The ACO did check on the dogs during the week, and on April 28, Kujawa called the sheriff’s office to inquire about the county’s surrender policy, stating that she did not have the finances to vet the dogs.
On May 3, Kuiawa surrendered two of the three dogs to Hernando County Animal Services. X-rays of the first dog revealed 61 BBs and 19 lead pellets lodged in the dog’s feet, legs, torso, and head. When the second dog was X-rayed, the veterinarian counted 71 BBs and 22 lead pellets lodged in the feet, legs, torso, and head. Collectively, the dogs suffered the impact of 173 projectiles that penetrated their skin, causing irritation and pain.
On May 10, Kujawa was arrested on multiple counts of felony Aggravated Animal Cruelty, case #2022-13665. Kujawa admitted to shooting the dogs with a gas-powered pellet gun for two months because they were trying to dig out of the yard. Kujawa’s remaining animals were seized, including three cats, a ferret, a bird, and a third dog. These animals were also vetted to determine if they were abused.
“Controlling dog behavior with brutality is despicable and counter-productive. Individuals convicted of violence to animals are a danger to animals and fellow humans. A component of sentencing must be mental health evaluation and treatment,” stated Doll Stanley, In Defense of Animals’ Justice for Animals Senior Campaigner.