Two Arkansas men known as the “Snapchat Dog Slayers” were sentenced to probation and fines for the horrific killing of a dog posted to the social sharing app, Snapchat. The pair are not facing jail time despite the brutal, disturbing nature of their crimes.
In 2016, a video was posted to Snapchat that showed Arkansas men, Boots Stanley and Steven Sadler, now known as the “Snapchat Dog Slayers,” reveling in a particularly sadistic killing of a sweet-natured dog later named Justice by animal advocates who mourned her death.
On, or about August 25, 2016, Stanley and Sadler played a twisted and ultimately lethal game with a gentle pit bull dog. Warning, the details of the brutal killing are graphic and disturbing.
First, Steven Sadler put a rope around the dog’s neck, placed the dog on the back of a horse he rode over piled timbers apparently to see if he could cause the dog to fall and hang. The dog held fast, so Sadler pet the dog while saying how gentle the dog was, then turned to straddle the dog, and held the dog’s collar and nose, pulled out his knife and began raking it across his victim’s throat. When the knife didn’t cut in, Boots Stanley heartlessly told Sadler to cut deeply. Justice’s blood began to spurt from her throat and she bled to death, all for a morbid kill game. Justice never resisted Sadler until her blood began to flow.
The men filmed and then posted their macabre dog-slaying game on Snapchat where Hanna Gospin intercepted it and bravely posted the video, which led to the dog killers’ arrest.
Both men pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated animal cruelty on April 19.
The maximum allowable sentence for a charge of aggravated animal cruelty is 10 years in jail and a fine of up to $25,000. However, in an outrageous display of injustice, on Thursday, June 14, District Judge Carl Sharp in Morehouse Parish sentenced each man to three years in prison, fined each $5,000, and ordered each to perform 480 hours of community service. The three years jail time was suspended. Both will remain on probation for three years.
If each does not pay the $5,000 fine, a 365-day sentence in the Morehouse Parish Jail will be ordered.
In addition, each man was given the opportunity to make an additional $5,000 donation to the Morehouse Parish Humane Society in exchange for reducing their community service requirement from 480 to 240 hours.
Both men are prohibited from owning an animal for a period of one year and must each undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
“I am in shock,” Lisa Roberts, a Bastrop resident, told USA Today. “I feel like they have gotten a slap on the wrist over something that is an absolute sadistic murder of an innocent animal.”