Dog Abuse

Groomer Sentenced to Probation After Violently Kicking, Seriously Injuring Dog

After a violent attack on a defenseless dog in his care, an Iowa groomer was sentenced this week to two years of probation. Was justice served?

Lucas Van Orden V

Former Iowa City groomer, Lucas Van Orden V, 22, was arrested in July 2016 after police said he kicked a Corgi named Jasper during a grooming session at the Creature Comfort Veterinary Clinic in Iowa City, where he was employed by his parents who run the business. As a result of the attack, Jasper suffered broken ribs and a bruised lung among other injuries resulting in thousands of dollars in medical bills and weeks of pain and suffering.

After the incident, Van Orden was initially charged with simple misdemeanor animal neglect, but the charge was later upgraded to animal abuse, an aggravated misdemeanor. The former groomer originally entered a not guilty plea, but later pleaded guilty in exchange for probation instead of jail time.

The terms of Van Orden’s probation require him to check in with an Iowa Department of Corrections probation officer, avoid any further law violations, follow any recommendations by mental health professionals with regard to further treatment, pay restitution to Jasper’s owners for costs associated with the dog’s treatment, and serve 40 hours of community service, Sixth Judicial District Judge Jason Burns said. Community service may not be performed with any animal shelter, rescue, or welfare organization.

Unlike those of us in the “court of public opinion”, Jasper’s owner, Christopher McCleary, is satisfied with the probation-only sentence.

“I think it was a good person that made a bad decision,” he told the Press-Citizen. “I just respect the judge. I respect his sentencing and if he feels that’s best, I agree.”

“We look at our own animals as companion pets, so they’re part of our family,” McCleary said. “They’re not a human being, but they do deserve rights. The police station had their thumbs tied because this is normally purely civil. It’s treated as the same thing as you’d get from getting a speeding ticket, but my dog had severe damaged and almost died.”

Jasper has made a full recovery. “He healed well. And he’s an extraordinary dog and he’s as loving today as he was then,” McCleary said.

Do you think Van Orden’s sentence was sufficient? Weigh in with a comment below.

44 Comments

44 Comments

  1. Michelle

    Feb 27, 2017 at 10:15 am

    No! Justice was not served. Events like this are too frequent and horrifying. Animals are innocent victims of people like this one and need better protection. I hate to see this kind of thing-it hurts my heart.

  2. Dee

    Feb 25, 2017 at 4:50 am

    Heck no..!! He needs some of the same treatment, If they even put him in jail for a short time he may get a little that he deserves..! .

  3. Nora Petez

    Feb 25, 2017 at 12:01 am

    No it was not sufficient punishment…That's the problem with the system they let these bastards off too easy

  4. Judy

    Feb 24, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    No, it wasn't and this dude needs serious evaluation!!!!

  5. Anne

    Feb 24, 2017 at 10:51 am

    No it wasn't sufficient. People that abuse animals end up committing worse crime after. He should be jailed and then under probation after, including not being allowed to ever owning a pet again. If I were the parents I would watch him closely.

  6. Janie Wolfe

    Feb 23, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    No it wasn't served he deserves jail for at least 7 years.

  7. Molly

    Feb 23, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    If you are angry about the sentencing, then talk to your legislatures. We have many that have no desire to see stiffer penalties for people that abuse animals. You want it to change, then get out, call, write your representatives, vote, make yourself heard. Otherwise this sad cycle will continue to happen in our state.

    • Marie Hernandes

      Mar 1, 2017 at 4:39 pm

      Best commit so far. Most people don't do much to help change the laws until it hits home. I can't believe this owner. It was a simple mistake. I wonder what the owner of the dog would have said if it had been him kicked and beaten by this punk.

  8. Gerri

    Feb 23, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    No, I do not think he was given the correct punishment. Until these types of incidents get the type of punishment they really deserve, this abuse will continue. No telling how many other animals he kicked and hit. If that were my dog, it would not have stopped here. This is absolute Bulls hit. He needs his ass kicked

  9. Jackie Nash

    Feb 23, 2017 at 11:22 am

    JAIL TIME! HE'S NOT A GOOD PERSON HE'S SICK IN THE HEAD!!! THE OWER OF THE DOG SHOULD HAVE INSISTED ON A STIFFER PENALTY AND I WOULD SUE THE PARENTS AND PUBLICLY ADMONISHED THIS WACK JOB SO THE WHOLE COMMUNITY KNEW HE IS PHYSCO. HE LOOKS CRAZY!!
    PLUS HE DIDN'T JUST KICK THAT DOG ONCE THAT PIECE OF SHIT DID IT A LOT!!!!!!!

  10. E. A. Coy

    Feb 22, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    Fuck no!!!

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