Christopher Vandenberg of Mansfield, Ohio pleaded no contest this week to four fifth-degree felonies for slitting the throats of a litter of puppies.
He could receive up to four years in prison at his Jan. 10 sentencing.
The 38-year-old Vandenberg claimed he slit the puppies throats to “get back at” his wife before attempting suicide.
As a sick revenge plot against her, Mr. Vandenberg cut four of the puppies’ throats on August 30th while she was away and injured another puppy’s leg. Mr. Vandenberg survived his suicide attempt and was treated at OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital.
The five young pit bulls also survived and were treated by Humane Agents from the Humane Society of Richland County. They’ve since made a fantastic recovery.
We first reported on the story, and Vandenberg’s disturbing mugshot, here.
Here’s what county prosecutors had to say when they released indictments against Vandenberg earlier this year:
On Wednesday, the Richland County Prosecutor’s Office released their indictments, which included four charges of “prohibitions concerning companion animals.” The charges are listed as fifth-degree felonies. Suspects convicted of fifth-degree felonies can be given prison sentences depending on whether the perpetrator used a weapon or was a previous offender and can typically be imprisoned from 6-12 months.
The injured puppies have since recovered, with help from the Humane Society of Richland County.
Vandenberg could face prison time for his disturbing deeds.
He didn’t look so good before prison.
Below is the mugshot from his arrest. Try not to shudder.
The gory details of Vandenberg’s crime made headlines, and several animal lovers were ready and willing to take the pups home after they recovered.
The Mansfield News Journal reported:
The four puppies that had been cut had to have sutures, but all are expected to be recover fully, according to Humane Society executive director Missy Houghton.
[… Mr. Vandenberg] was treated at OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital after a reported suicide attempt Wednesday but told officers he was not trying to kill himself, according to a police report.
Houghton said it appeared the crime was committed as an act of retaliation against Vandenberg’s wife, who surrendered the puppies to the Humane Society in hopes that they would receive the necessary medical care and be given good homes.
The animals will be ready for adoption in a few of weeks, after their injuries heal, Houghton said.
It’s likely the shelter will find good homes for each of the puppies quickly.
“We’ve seen lots of interest,” Houghton said. “Ten or so people have submitted applications, and we’ve had several emails and phone calls.”
According to WKYC.com, Vandenberg could face up to four years imprisonment.
The puppies, though, seem to be faring better than Mr. Vandenberg. Since their recovery, having been given up by Mrs. Vandenberg, they’ve been adopted, partly because the breaking story drew attention to their needs.
Missy Houghton, a humane agent and shelter director for the Humane Society of Richland County told WKYC that all five puppies have since “been placed in homes, and they are doing great.”
Let us know what you think of this awful mugshot and Vandenberg’s potential prison time by sounding off in the comments below.