Justice 4 Gage-Pitbull shot & killed by neighbor

8/25/08


We love you Gage!!!! Forever in our hearts!!!
Gage's trial date is finally HERE....This Monday 8/25/08 Gage's killer will face charges of "Aggravated Felony Animal Abuse" for the shooting death of Gage on 3/12/08.

 I will post an update once the verdict is handed down.

Also, please keep Gage's family in your prayers as Monday nears. Pray that Mr. Stanfill receive the maximum penalty for this horrific act of animal cruelty (MURDER).

I and Gage's family thank you so much for all your continued support....It has been a very rough 5 months for them and to me there isn't any form of punishment that could be harsh enough for what this man has done to this family...He took a very precious family member from them. Gage was a son, a brother and a friend to so many and I wish everyday that I had the power to bring Gage back to this wonderful family but we all know that is not possible. So, we fight in Gage's honor and memory..We fight for the life that no one had the right to take away...And we forever hold Gage in our hearts, for when it is all said and done, no one can take away the memories..Not even Ray Stanfill!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you very much
Sherry Kidwell
www. justiceforgage. com
sherry@justiceforgage.com

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CASE UPDATE:  PLEASE READ...WE NEED YOUR HELP!!!


Myspacers and everyone.....WE need you. Here is the update on Gage's courtdate. I ask that you please spread this to everyone that you know...Post it on any forums that may help...We can NOT fight this without your help.

Thank you,
Sherry Wells


Update:

Shana, Britt, and family went to court on May 28th., The neighbor was charged with "Felony Aggravated Animal Cruelty", and the neighbor plead 'not guilty,' of course. They will be going back to court in July 25th for the Status Hearing.


- The lawyer covering their civil suit had to step down because he is involved with their neighbor's home-owners insurance company. Now, the criminal-neighbor has decided to file suit against his home insurance company (b/c they refused to pay for the lawsuit brought against him for killing Gage), causing a conflict of interest for the lawyer's representation of the case.(The insurance company's reasoning for not paying is that the actions were criminal, by the way).

-To top all of that off, the neighbor has decided to sue the Burke family for defamation of character. Because everyone everywhere knows what has happened, it seems that 'Mister-Neighbor-Dog-Killer-Guy' is not very popular. Since he shot Gage, his 'comfort and quality of living' is not so nice now.



-I'd like to respond to that by saying that this man brought this on himself. This man shot a dog who was in his own fenced-in back yard. This man made a conscious decision to take another life - a life that was gentle and loving... a life that was cherished and well-cared for.



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How are we going to fight and make sure that justice is served?

1. You all signed this petition that I designed which was a huge success
    and help.  Thank you all....You all have restored our belief that there
    really is people who "care" about what happened to "Gage" and his
    family.

2. A paypal account has been opened so that everyone can make 
    a donation toward's the building of an Animal Cruelty Awareness
    Foundation.  We are in the process now of doing just that. You can 
    learn more about this by going directly to  
    www. justiceforgage. com .

Whether it is 50 cents or one dollar donated by each person, it all counts - every small amount adds up, so please spread the word! We can not continue this fight without your help..Think of it is as Cgiving up one coffee for the day, or not stopping by the convenience store for that ONE pepsi..

I know how difficult it is to spare anything with gas prices and the cost of living.  The Burke's are a very "proud" family.  They have not asked for any
help before now, but it is now impossible to continue this fight without your help.  Please...This is coming from me....a friend of the family.


3) We are also going to be raising funds during the "Walk for Gage" day in Shreveport, Louisiana. So many companies have already helped out by donating products and gift certificates that we are hoping to raffle off. Below is a list of people who are contributing materially.

Aside from the website, the donations of money, and the donations to be raffled at the walk, we are going to try to become a nonprofit organization . It's all in the works.

Please visit the website: www. justiceforgage. com

We've got a message board installed for discussions now, and a guestboook if you'd like to leave a message for Gage's family, Shana and Britt, Heather, Kenny, and Brittnie.

Thank you!!

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UPDATE #3:    Slide show added at the bottom of the petition.  I will warn you, the pictures in the  slide show are graphic, so if you have a weak stomach, or even a weak heart (emotionally that is), I don't recommend watching it. The slideshow is pictures of the scene, which include photos of Gage after being shot. If you DO decide to watch the slide, please make sure your kids are out of the room. And, please, for Gage's sake, repost this anywhere you possibly can. His story needs to be heard!

Thank you....Sherry
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UPDATE #2:   Memorial Video that I did for Gage's Family is added at the end of the petition.  Please take a moment to view.   thanks, sherry

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UPDATE #1:  Court date is May 28, 2008.  Petition will be closed on May 13th, 2008 so I can get the petition to the District Attorney. 


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This Petition is to implore  Prosecuting District Attorney J. Schuyler Marvin, to impose the maximum sentence allowed under the following Louisiana Statute of Animal Cruelty Law.

Louisiana: Statute Number of Cruelty Law
La.R.S.14:102.1 (2004)

Felony: Yes
Maximum Fine: $25,000
Maximum Jail Time: 10 years
Year enacted to a felony: 1995

Cruelty to animals generally falls into two categories: Direct Violence and Neglect.

Direct Violence: The types of direct violence that animals suffer every day at the hands of people include being beaten, mutilated, shot, set on fire or otherwise tortured. The intentional suffering inflicted on these animals can result in severe injury or death.

Neglect: Other animals suffer and die from neglect when they are denied proper food, water or shelter, causing them to slowly starve to death or die from exposure to freezing cold or sweltering hot temperatures. Hoarding animals can also cause suffering on a large scale.

All 50 states have animal cruelty laws, and 43 of those state laws contain provisions making certain types of animal cruelty a felony offense.

Mr. Stanfill's actions on March 12, 2008, unquestionably falls under the DIRECT VIOLENCE category. This is nothing short of premeditated murder..It should not matter if it was an animal or a human. Murder is Murder.

Gage's only crime was that he barked. Show me a dog that doesn't. What if this were a child?

Below is Gage's Story that was written by Britt (his human owner). Please keep in mind that this story was written only hours after this happened. There is much so much emotion in this story but I believe Gage's story needs to be heard.

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Gage's Story

March 12, 2008 was a cool morning (45 degrees) as I drank my coffee on the way to work. Peaceful and calm, with what should have been a great day. The phone rang and my world exploded. My wife was babbling and screaming incoherently into the phone "Gage is dead". "Gage has been shot.

Shortly after I left for work, my wife had let our Yorkies and Gage out for a quick "potty" break. My wife was at the back of the house when she heard a loud noise come from the back yard. She immediately ran to the back door but Gage was not there. The Yorkies were standing at the door frantically trying to get inside. You could see the awful look of fear in their eyes. She opened the door and yelled for Gage, but for the first time in his life he did not obey. He could not...for he was dying. (Keep in mind, our backyard is over an acre-fenced in)

Where to start? Gage came into our life seven years ago. Newly married and having almost grown children from previous marriages we found the house was getting quite (despite our loving Yorkies) so we talked and decided that we wanted to add another dog to our family. We were deploying overseas and I work nights mostly and I wanted my wife to feel safe. So precious little Gage came into our lives. Gage was not just a "dog" or just a "pitbull" to us. He loved everyone; cats, puppies, bunnies and kids. He made friends easy. He would endure great pain from a small child "as long as he was the center of attention" he was happy.

Gage was about two months old when we moved to the Azore Islands in Portugal. We worked so hard at teaching him proper social skills. We made sure that he knew what "NO" meant and we always had him in large groups so that he would be used to being around people. A stranger was never a stranger as long as he knew we approved. He was taught what his boundaries were, where he could and could not go. The house in Portugal had a three foot high wall and Gage never left the yard unless he was told he could and then he was on a leash. He never showed any interest in trying to escape the safety of our backyard. By the time he was six months old I knew my family was safe while I was at the base.

Gage traveled the world with us. He loved everywhere he went. Gage was an adopted brother to my troops and companion to my friends when they were lonely. The cable guy even loved him. He was loved by everyone who knew him except one person, my neighbor.

Ray Stanfill, the neighbor who had a tree cut across my fence and did not fix it. Ray Stanfill, the neighbor who asked for permission to keep his boat on my property because he did not have access to the lake. Ray Stanfill, the neighbor who asked for permission to build a small fishing pier on my land which I had no problem letting him. It was later that I learned that Ray Stanfill, overheard by my brother in-law, taunted Gage on many occasions telling him (Gage) that he was going to shoot him if he did not stop barking.

Mr. Stanfill's story for the day he murdered Gage was that he had seen a snake on his property and went to get his shotgun to shoot it. Keep in mind it was 45 degrees and snakes are cold blooded. On the way to shoot the snake he say's that Gage jumped the fence into his yard and then jumped back into our yard. He said that he was "scared" that Gage was going to jump back into his yard so he shot him. "Sorry I had to shoot your dog." was all he said to us "after" he came back outside when he saw me home. Gage had never attempted to jump our fence. In the seven years Gage was on this earth he never bit anyone, never even tried.

Looking at the crime scene, Gage was dead on our side of the fence, shot through the neck, collar blown off and blood was everywhere. He did not die instantly, for my wife was holding him, trying to stop the bleeding as he breathed his last breath. He was shot at close quarters; the shotgun wadding did not separate from the shot before it entered Gage. Gage was burned from the blast. The fence was not hit from the blast. The only angle the wounds could have been made were for Gage to be standing, all four paws on the ground and Mr. Stanfill kneeling at the fence sticking the barrel of his shotgun through the fence and firing into my yard, into Gage. There were suspicious marks on the back side of his collar that led me to believe either before or after Mr. Stanfill shot him he tried to pull Gage over the fence to his yard to try to prove his story that Gage had jumped the fence. No one gets that close to an animal that they are "scared" of. They would shoot from a distance. The Sheriff's Office issued Mr. Stanfill a summons for Animal Cruelty and told him to get his boat and pier off my property.

The rest off the 12th was a blur spent building a coffin, digging a grave, and laying Gage to rest. We answered over one hundred phone calls as the word spread to former troops and friend in far off places. Everyone wanted to know what happened to the lovable goofball that was always the center of attention. There was a lot of anger and tears all over the world. A lot for a dog, especially a pitbull, but Gage was no ordinary dog to us. He did not have a mean bone in his body.

To add insult to injury, Mr. Stanfill now claims he owns the land and will not move the boat or pier from my property. The sheriff is unable to do anything about the property dispute because they cannot decide the lines without a court order. The legal deed shows none of his property comes close to the lake. If I remove the items from my property I could be at fault. He is going to tie this up in legal fees that I can not afford.

I have warned the neighbors on the other side of Mr. Stanfill to be careful. He has complained about their dogs as well. They said they have had numerous run-ins with him about their dogs.

I want him to pay for what he has done to Gage and my family. Don't take that the wrong way. I don't want money. We only want to see the right thing done. My kids can't sleep and my wife is a mess. My children want to move and I may have to get them counseling. What was a home is now a scary nightmare. If he will do this to an animal what would stop him from doing it to a human or child he does not like.

This morning I watched my wife let the little ones (Yorkies) out and saw her cry at Gage's grave. I stood there watching the scene from the backdoor not sure if they were safe to be out there. Worried about what might happen. No one should have to live this way. No one should have to die the way Gage did.
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Here is a link to the Memorial Video that I did for Gage's Family...Please take a moment to watch.  In all honesty...I suggest you watch the memorial before you sign because I feel it is important to "see" the life and love behind this petition.  Please also, leave a comment for the family.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart...Sherry

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zy3pCyuLRZ4


Below is the link for the slideshow..AGAIN..CAUTION: VERY DISTURBING PICTURES.

http://www.slide.com/r/131DTMWZ4z_oqxLwJupcAEG0cVzZEynv?previous_view=lt_embedded_url

We the undersigned would like to pleade with District Attorney J. Schuyler Marvin to impost the maximum sentence possible for Mr. Ray Stanfill.


"On March 12th, 2008,  Bossier Sheriff's Department deputies cited Ray Stanfill, of Haughton, La., with cruelty to an animal. Mr.  Stanfill is accused of the March 12,  shooting death of his neighbor's dog.   Deputies allege that Mr.  Stanfill shot the pit bull through the chainlink fence. " This pit bull was "GAGE".

This petition is to plead that you, District Attorney Marvin, before you hand down your sentence... please ask yourself..."What if this were my dog." "How would I feel?"  "How could I explain to my children....what..how..why this happened?"  Then take just a second and see from the familes side.  They loved this dog.  Everyone knows that "pit bulls get a bad rap" but this pit bull...he was far from that. He was trained, he was loved and he brought much life and laughter into many peoples lives. And now he is "gone"  Please don't be afraid to let your heart help in making your decision."   If only for the one who deserves it the most..."GAGE"

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