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Cooney died a horrible death. She was a sweet loving beagle mix dog who was brutally tortured and killed by her owner Raymond Rios in Nevada. He cut her open with a box cutter and watched her intestines fall out while she ran around screaming, eventually bleeding to death. Rios then took her body to the SPCA of Southern Nevada, where he initially adopted her, and told them in detail what he had done to Cooney - and even though he confessed to the killing, he was let go because the most he could be charged with at that time was a misdemeanor.http://cdn2-b.examiner.com/sites/default/files/styles/image_content_width/hash/81/2b/1342425904_4678_cooney.jpg
Presented by: Kathleen Denning and Margo Larson
Last year, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed off on "Cooney's Law" making Nevada the 45th state in the U.S. to make animal torture a felony, with punishment of one to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Kathleen Denning was the animal control officer called to dispose of the body of a dog named Cooney back in October 2010.Raymond Rios, a few hours earlier, had sliced the dog open with a box cutter in a downtown Reno, NV motel and watched as the dog ran around the room, bleeding, her intestines falling out. She died of shock and blood loss.
Rios then took the dog to the SPCA of Northern Nevada, where he’d originally adopted her, and described to the staff there in great detail what he’d done.
Rios’ ex-wife told me that this was a common behavior of his and that he did it to get a horrified reaction out of others. He did.
The police pulled him over and found the dog. Rios confessed to everything and then was allowed to drive away because the most he could be charged with was a misdemeanor.
This bothered Denning — haunted her, she said — and she has worked to get legislation proposed that would make aggravated and intentional cruelty a felony in Nevada, as it is in more than 40 other states.
The proposal called SB223 will be heard at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday March 23, 2011 before the Natural Resources Committee at the Nevada Legislature in Carson City, Nevada.
Denning will present her case there for what she calls “Cooney’s Law,” speaking as a private citizen and not representing Washoe County Regional Animal Services. She urges others to come speak, too.
She is collecting signatures via petition through the website NoToAnimalCrueltyNevada.com.
“We get about 3 to 5 cases a year that rise to this level,” Denning said. “[The proposal] is basically adding aggravated or intentional cruelty to the books, which we don’t currently have."
“The FBI uses animal cruelty as a profiling technique to predict who will go onto commit crimes against people. And a 1997 study in Massachusetts found that people who commit aggravated animal cruelty, 40% committed another violent crime afterward.
“We need to send a message to potential offenders and be a voice for these animals who have been brutally murdered and have no justice in this case. Raymond Rios drove away that night as if nothing happened.”
Rios pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor and got a suspended sentence with time served and told he can’t own another dog for two years
Rios pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor and got a suspended sentence with time served and told he can’t own another dog for two years.
We need to send a message to potential offenders and be a voice for these animals who have been brutally murdered and have no justice in this case. Raymond Rios drove away that night as if nothing happened.
We the undersigned demand he is re-tried under Conney's Law and charged with Murder. Thank you for your support.