Dog Killer Bobby Loggins
Bobby Loggins of Sioux City, Iowa, fed his 5-month-old American Bulldog, “Sire,” bowl after bowl of beer, and when the puppy urinated on the carpet, beat the dog repeatedly in the head until it began coughing up blood, went into convulsions and died. District Court Judge Gary Wenell’s “…not some valuable fancy show dog” comments and slap-on-the-wrist punishment left a courtroom wailing.

In Iowa and across the nation, there’s only one thing snowballing faster than the white stuff falling from the sky, and that’s the anger and outrage — downright rancor, in fact — toward Sioux City puppy killer Bobby Loggins and District Court Judge Gary E. Wenell, who, despite calling Loggins’ actions “depraved and sadistic” sentenced Loggins to only 30 days in jail (with credit for time already served), rather than imposing the maximum sentence of two years under Iowa law.

Adding insult to injury, Judge Wenell justified his decision — witnessed by a packed courtroom of dog lovers and owners, many of whom openly wept — by stating, “We must remember the victim herein was not a person,” and “[Sire] was not some valuable fancy show dog belonging to another. It was not a neighbor boy’s dog, it was not an elderly person’s companion…We do not have a statewide problem with this kind of crime.”

Wow. Just try telling any veterinarian that one’s own Border Collie beaten 30 times in the head felt less pain than neighbor boy Johnny Smith’s Border Collie, whom he also beat. Just try telling police that just because your mixed-breed terrier is bleeding from the mouth and ears and nose after you punched and kicked him that it’s really no big deal, because, after all, “Gee, it’s not like I did this to ol’ elderly Ethel Simpson’s companion dog down the road.”

Worse, just try looking into the eyes of a 50-pound bleeding and dying American Bulldog pup who wanted nothing more than to serve and love you but really just couldn’t help himself from piddling on the floor after you fed him bowl after bowl of beer, and just try telling him how his short life and the pain you inflicted on him didn’t matter because, after all, it wasn’t like he was a fancy show dog or anything. It wasn’t like he belonged to someone else. It wasn’t like he could suffer or feel pain. It wasn’t like he wasn’t yours to use and abuse as you saw fit. And, if there were any doubts about the rights you had to inflict such heinous and hideous cruelty upon him, just remind him this is Iowa where people can get away with things like that. Tell him too, that if he doesn’t believe you, well…. he could have introduced you to a judge who’d have set you straight had you not died.

Sire, the 5-month-old American Bulldog killed by his owner, Bobby Loggins

Sire

When I wrote my original post here on the blog about Bobby Loggins pounding to death his 5-month-old American Bulldog, “Sire,” for piddling on the floor, I had no foresight of the venom about to spew forth from across the country after Loggins’ sentencing. The judge’s slap-on-the-wrist punishment sparked a chain reaction of outrage and vitriolic comments with regard to Iowa’s double-edged and reprehensible miscarriage of justice.

I also, admittedly, did not know the full extent to which poor Sire was beaten and suffered until the recent court proceedings. And though it pains me even now to include those details absent from my original post, they are precisely why our state and every other state needs to recognize that tolerating such abominable acts is precursory to eroding one’s very morals and soul. When that happens, can the breakdown of families and communities be far behind?

Show and Tell: Value’s Sliding Scale

Not until Judge Gary Wenell’s Feb. 12, 2010, decision of Bobby Loggins’ fate did I really recognize the extent to which lives are graded on a sliding scale. It’s a tough thing to swallow. Like bile. The lesson began last June.

On June 9, 2009, Bobby Loggins, then 35, spent the first part of the day drinking beer, smoking marijuana and fishing with his friend, Chad Peterson. After the two returned to Loggins’ home at 1611 23rd Street in Sioux City and were joined by other friends for a party, Loggins began feeding his 5-month-old American Bulldog, Sire, “bowl after bowl of beer,” according to Peterson.

When Sire began to urinate on the dining room floor, Loggins — who has a history of drug and alcohol abuse — straddled the pup and restrained it with one hand while using the other to repeatedly strike blows to the dog’s head. He then picked Sire up by his ears and tail and took him outside through a back door.

Witnesses said (and later testified) that when Loggins eventually brought the puppy back into the house and placed it on the kitchen floor, that the brown and white pup was bleeding from the mouth and nose, shaking and unable to move.

“To me it looked like the dog was paralyzed,” Peterson stated. “He was shaking. It looked like convulsions. He was coughing up blood.”

Peterson said he knelt down and tried to comfort the puppy while Loggins just stood there, showing no remorse for what he had done. When Peterson confronted Loggins about his [lack of] reaction, Loggins shoved him into a chair and ordered him to leave. Peterson obliged and peddled his bike to the Kum & Go station at 14th and Court streets, where he called police.

Guest Kollin Jones said he’d witnessed Loggins rubbing the dog’s nose into the carpet before pinning it down to inflict additional punches. Jones also said that he, his girlfriend, Alexandra Groves, Loggins and his wife and Peterson had engaged in a conversation about dogs drinking beer, and told police Loggins “took it way too far.”

Loggins’ wife, Rochelle Loggins, didn’t see it that way. Rochelle Loggins said her husband had only given the dog “a few taps on the head” before grabbing it by the collar and escorting it outside. She said her husband told her he had slammed the door into the dog.

Loggins was charged with animal torture, though Iowa’s current animal cruelty/torture laws allowed no more than aggravated misdemeanor charges being filed in his case, which carried a sentence of up to just two years in prison and a $6,000 fine. On June 18, 2009, Loggins pleaded not guilty to inflicting the 30 blows to Sire’s head that caused the puppy’s death.

On Friday, Dec. 18, 2009, Loggins stood trial before Sioux City District Court Judge Gary Wenell for allegedly beating Sire to death. Loggins, who waived his right to a jury trial, also was charged with making a false police report, a simple misdemeanor. Wenell dismissed that charge when Assistant Woodbury County Attorney Mark Campbell said the facts of the case did not fit the charge.

Wenell found Loggins guilty of the animal torture crime on January 25, 2010, with sentencing scheduled for Feb. 12.

As eyes across the nation focused on Iowa that day, it came as no surprise when Loggins’ attorney, John Moeller, and Loggins’ wife pleaded for a shorter sentence than the two-year maximum pushed for by the prosecutor. Rochelle Loggins argued she needed him at home to take care of the kids while she slept so she could work nights.

No one, however, ever imagined the nonsequitur the judge would deliver.

Wenell wrote that eyewitness accounts and testimony of the veterinarian clearly indicated that Loggins’ actions caused the puppy’s death. Loggins had restrained the puppy with one hand in order to inflict blows with the other, which Wenell said caused the animal severe physical pain.

Additionally, though no witnesses saw what happened outside, Wenell wrote that circumstantially, the evidence supported that additional blows took place outside, and that Loggins took the dog outside because he knew his actions would be deemed unacceptable.

“Restraint of a more or less helpless creature to administer pain to such a creature connotes depravity and sadism,” he wrote.

Yet after noting all these facts, the judge then stripped 95 percent off the maximum sentence, sentenced Loggins to only 30 days in jail and credited him for time already served.

“[Sire] was not some valuable fancy show dog belonging to another,” he said.

A fancy show dog? Belonging to another?

The sliding scale nosedived. I choked on the intimations: Show me a plumber and I’ll tell you why his life is less important than a bank’s vice president. Show me your next-door neighbor’s 5-month-old daughter and I’ll tell you why her life matters more than your own little girl’s. Show me a champion greyhound on the track and I’ll tell you why his life is valued more than that happy-go-lucky family retriever racing to fetch the frisbee your son threw in your back yard.

Wenell also stated that Iowa didn’t have a statewide problem with animal torture and that there was no evidence that Loggins — whose prior convictions include drug possession and traffic offenses — would commit similar violent acts against people. Loggins will be on probation for 18 months upon his release, and the possible $6,000 fine was shaved down to only $650.

Loggins was to report to the Woodbury County Jail by 6 p.m. on February 17th.

“We have to start as a community to change this, and today we didn’t do very good,” said animal rescuer Terry Mann, who added she was more motivated than ever to continue her fight against abuse. “We’ll be watching,” she said, “we’ll be watching, and you’ll be seeing us.”

In a landslide of raging injustice across Iowa and beyond, one question remained consistent: How could something like this have happened in our justice system?

For the answer, my friends, look no further than the voter registration card in your wallet or desk drawer, and if you hold it just right, you’ll see the state legislature in its reflection.

Making the Grade

Remember your school report cards? Yeah, me too. We may not always have liked all those grades, but how else were we to know if our efforts added up to usual, customary and reasonable standards? Report cards measure progress. They highlight our strengths, punctuate our weaknesses and enable us to work toward realizing our own individual capabilities.

Report cards don’t end after high school or college. The follow us throughout our lifetimes: in our jobs, in our families and communities, and even all the way to the legislature and beyond. We’re constantly being summed up, evaluated, measured and compared, and assigned a grade. Terry Mann knows this well; people are watching.

Rep. Steve King

Iowa Congressman Steve King

When it comes to Sioux City, Iowa, it’s really no exception to other states and cities. One thing Sioux City has that other cities don’t, however, is Iowa Congressman Steve King.

According to tabs kept on Rep. King by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), one might even say he’s a good friend to the likes of Bobby Loggins, who, fortunately for Loggins, just happens to reside in Steve King’s district. The HSUS, you see, also does report cards. Legislators nationwide are scored according to his or her vote on specific pro- or anti-animal related issues — everything from puppy mills and horse slaughtering to pet abuse and grinding chicks alive and using electrified prods to bring “downer cows” to their feet.

The Humane Society’s Legislative Fund just recently released their Mid-Term Humane Scorecard reporting on legislators either leading the way or blocking pro-animal legislation, and anyone living in western Iowa’s 5th Congressional District won’t even bother to ask how King fared. Of 100 possible points (equivalent to an A), King, not surprisingly, scored not only an “F” (Zero percentage points) but was singled out by a long row of bright red Xs used to denote those who specifically took an “anti-animal” issue with one’s vote.

Don’t for a minute think this “F” will cause King to lose a minute’s sleep; he’s repeatedly stated in the past he won’t support bills aimed to prevent animal torture and abuse until Roe v. Wade is overturned. (No, I am not making this up.) And while I truly understand and respect opinions on both sides of the abortion debate, I also recognize that it doesn’t preclude the crime behind beating to death either a 5-month-old puppy or 50-year-old woman and that each issue should be addressed on its own merit.

One might think a legislator would take into consideration the values and opinions in his or her legislative district, yet King places no more value on the HSUS report card than he did with the one at Northwest Missouri State University, where he dabbled in a few courses before becoming a college drop-out. His opinions regarding whether legislators should be educated mirror those pertaining to animal abuse and even human torture; he simply does not care what other people think. As has been noted repeatedly by the press, he actually brags about having said or done something that would render a decent human being embarrassed and ashamed.

To wit, King’s intense hatred and/or disregard for any animal’s welfare made headlines yet again as recently as yesterday. In Iowa’s bitterly cold temperatures, a raccoon seeking refuge from our latest blizzard had begun scratching at King’s rural home in search of shelter. King grabbed “Desert Eagle” (his gun) and went after the raccoon, who fled. King then chased down the cold but trusting animal and shot and killed it. And, once again, instead of feeling remorseful for his actions, King used the opportunity to brag about his “kill” on his Twitter page, going so far as to use the juvenile phrase “Desert Eagle 1, Crazy Raccoon zero.”

Bret Hayworth

Bret Hayworth

Sioux City Journal political reporter Bret Hayworth — one of the most unbiased political journalists I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing and calling a friend — wrote yesterday about the King/raccoon incident on his Politically Speaking blog. I’ve known Bret for a number of years and have long admired his ability to remain impartial while still drawing in readers with his engaging writing style and commitment to certitude vs. slant. But in between the paragraphs of his King’s raccoon conquest post, I saw lurking between the lines a human being troubled by the story about which he wrote.

It’s that kind of character that earlier this month earned Bret the Best Blog by a Newspaper award by the Iowa Newspaper Association annual convention. The blog contest wasn’t simply for political blogs, but for blogs of any subject matter for Iowa newspapers. And, at the risk of offending other newspaper bloggers whom I regularly follow, nobody deserved that award more than Bret.

There are parallels here, you see, between the work Bret does and the work our congressman is supposed to be doing and the death of a 5-month-old American Bulldog named Sire. Perhaps if Rep. King led by Bret Hayworth’s example — that being the providing of fair and equal representation to both sides of those whom one is hired or elected to represent — it’s possible Sire might still be alive today and joyously chasing after a frisbee thrown in the back yard by one of Bobby Loggins’ own children.

16 Responses to Malice toward dog killer Bobby Loggins escalates, expands to include wrist-slapping judge

  1. Mary Smith says:

    What can we do to get rid of Steve King and Judge Gary Wenell? This is outrageous. It’s difficult to read about this without experiencing deep sorrow and uncontrollable rage. Steve King is a complete idiot. I’ve known this since he put the bag over his head. Gary Wenell is an incompetent fool to judge the horrendous nature of this crime on the basis of the monetary value of a living creature.

  2. Denise LoRusso says:

    What can I do personally to help this poor dog? and the plight of others in this state?

  3. Kent Butler says:

    The junkie animal abuser belongs in jail for a long time. He clearly can’t be trusted with children. What if a child vomits on the floor? Will he beat it to death? Do we want to find out?

    In my opinion, the so-called judge is almost as irrational, cruel, and useless as the Congressman. Good people of Iowa, do you really want these heartless creeps in positions of authority? Your call… impeachment is a useful tool.

  4. Jon Henry Bond says:

    If we think that families and communities ARE far behind, we are not fooling anyone but ourseves. This kind of Justice has been practiced for some time! Not only involving animals, but even human beings themselves. Just look at the case of Barry Getchy, in Northumberland County Pennsylvania. A 12 year old boy sent to an adult correctional facility for nothing other than missing school, raped repeatedly, threatened by the men who raped him in the case that he reported them, and then by the warden, to whom he reported it! This case was filed less than 5 years ago (in a civil, industrial nation – the USA?). In one word, YES!

    In the end, the courts found THEMSELVES, along with all others involved, not guilty or liable, because they openly admitted that ALL the allegations and injuries were factual.
    Try getting this judgement for yourself (I admit that I did it. Hah hah, you can’t hold me liable because I’m being honest about it now)!

    “Judge McClure found that no concealment had occurred. While Getchey

    may have been dissuaded from reporting his assaults, Judge McClure observed, Warden

    Dungar did not deny their occurrence – a prerequisite for fraudulent concealment.”

  5. Jeanette says:

    I find it difficult to contain my anger and disgust at Loggins, Wenell, King, and the people who sat by and did nothing while Loggins beat his puppy to death. A puppy! Let this be a lesson that cruelty is still alive and well in the human species, and a reminder that we must fight to increase punishments for people who abuse those who cannot defend themselves. For anyone to do this to an animal demonstrates that they are an unstable person and have no place in our society. Wenell will be hearing from me. But thank goodness Chad Peterson was man enough to at least report the crime, otherwise Loggins would have gotten off completely.

  6. icare says:

    What a bunch of BS!! 1 month??!!! What the hell is wrong with this judge? 1 month??!! So they are saying here’s a slap on this wrist, don’t do it again! It is because of senseless operations like this and the wrong people in charge that animal cruelty continues to take place. This guy is a sick and sad excuse for a human? being and needs a dose of his own sick and twisted medicine. This guy gives his puppy beer to drink and drink and then scolds him to death when he messes on the floor? What the hell??!!!!!!! It hurts to much to look at that dogs picture, what a god damn shame!!!!

  7. Mary Kaskey says:

    The unspeakable cruelty of what Loggins did to that puppy is worse bestial. And what kind of a man feeds a puppy beer and then beats him to death? That man should never be allowed to have another pet of any kind. The judge’s decision was a disgrace on the human race, and it was stupid. He should be removed. It doesn’t matter what kind of dog it was or if it was someone’s beloved companion or a valuable show dog, or a mutt. It feels things just the same way humans do. Steve King is a disgrace to the state and especially a disgrace to the constituents that continually vote him back. He should be voted out. Someone should have stopped this violent act, but at least one person turned Loggins in.

  8. Goalielocks says:

    “Rochelle Loggins argued she needed him at home to take care of the kids while she slept so she could work nights”
    This woman wants an alcoholic like this around her kids? Christ.

    • Jody Ewing says:

      Yeah, that’s the kicker. What kind of woman could even stay with a man like this, let alone expose her children to that kind of monstrosity? I doubt either Rochelle or her dog killing husband have any clue as to the psychological trauma these children have been forced to endure. Thank you for writing.

  9. Gumboz1953 says:

    The dog-beater is just a murderous, sadistic loser — but so is “Rep” King. I doubt that a “rabid” raccoon is going to be trying to get into somebody’s house. If rabies is manifesting itself, he’s going to be acting irrationally, isn’t he? Trying to get shelter from the cold is not an irrational act, is it?

    And then boasting about it, as if this poor creature’s life didn’t matter.

    God, I’m tired. And hey, King — I am 100% against abortion, from the moment of conception, unless the mother is going to die. I feel that way for the same reason why I could never kill an innocent animal searching for shelter. All life is precious. So tell ME — what’s your problem? Just like killing?

    • Jody Ewing says:

      Thank you, Alice, for making some excellent points here. No “rabid” raccoon is going to try to get inside a home for shelter. But it’s hard to explain these kinds of things to an uneducated man who only places value on white men, and then only if they’ve followed him off the right side of the cliff — a gun in their right hand, of course.

      When it comes to the “rights” of all lives, he is the epitome of hypocrisy. He continually gets reelected by one-issue voters — either abortion rights activists or gun rights activists. Note that King always uses the word “abortion” vs. “right to life” because his concept of “right to life” is subjective. (With both human beings and animals.) He does not represent the right to life, and were it up to him, abortion would be illegal for whites but mandatory for all other races.

      And yes, he’d likely even brag about the fact that he and he alone wrote and sponsored the bill all by himself.

  10. Art says:

    It’s an absolute disgrace that in this day and age we still do not give animals the protection that they deserve. The monster who committed this atrocity should be locked up for at least fifteen years and banned for life from keeping animals.

    Why is it that we still treat animals as inferior beings? If I had my way I would make sure that animals have better rights than humans because at the end of the day they are at the mercy of individuals and more often than not are completely defenceless.

    Also, this judge should have born it in mind that the vile perpertrator of this crime is of no use to society. Research shows that people who commit cruelty against animals are more likely commit cruelty agains humans. Do we really want people like this in our midst? I think not.

    I urge everyone who reads this to join animal rights organisations because at the end of the day if more people voice their opinions then the people who are in charge of law making will be forced to sit up and take note.

    We can make a difference. Lets do it!

  11. paws4justice says:

    So my question is, how do we get Steve King and that dumbass judge impeached???? How many signatures, and where do we begin? I can probably come up with 100 signatures in one day alone. Steve King is a joke, and his ignorance is so apparent, I really do not know how he got elected. It can’t be just the gun lovers or the anti-abortionists. I, myself, happen to have a gun, in the event somebody would like to deny me of my given rights, come on over. Bobby Loggins should consider himself lucky that I have a conscience and don’t believe in murder. As for the judge, he’s basically a chickenshit who can’t stand up for himself for fear of losing some voters. You can bet neither him or King had a dog for a pet, for which I am eternally grateful for, imagine that poor animals life with one of those two! King is the biggest kind of hypocrite-he’s all for “life”, but then kills a helpless raccoon, then brags about it???? What a moron. I believe in karma, and what goes around comes around, so King and the dumbass judge will get their’s eventually. God will take care of them. As for Loggins, he’s an ignorant redneck, pot-smoking, dog killer, and probably wife/child beater to boot. Maybe the judge will grow a pair of balls after Loggins beats one of his kids to death for wetting the bed. God help us all with these people.

  12. Byron Thurman says:

    This is horrible to say the least. It’s difficult for me to believe that there isn’t something that we can do to get these hypocritical *cough* leaders (I use that term very loosely in this case) out of office. I’m fairly certain I could get a few hundred signatures myself if not many more. This is a disgusting failure in the interpretation of law and the means by which they are justifying their morally lacking decision.

    “We must remember the victim herein was not a person,” the victim may not have been a person, but it cannot be refuted that the aggressor became physically violent at another person when confronted about his actions?! Is this not enough to clue in a man supposedly educated in law to the understanding that it is a very small line indeed by which this man did not commit an act of violence against another person? Let me throw some psychology your way I wouldn’t want this man to go out of his way to have understand the psychology behind such abusive actions.

    According to a 1997 study done by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and Northeastern University, animal abusers are five times more likely to commit violent crimes against people and four times more likely to commit property crimes than are individuals without a history of animal abuse.

    Many studies in psychology, sociology, and criminology during the last 25 years have demonstrated that violent offenders frequently have childhood and adolescent histories of serious and repeated animal cruelty. The FBI has recognized the connection since the 1970s, when its analysis of the lives of serial killers suggested that most had killed or tortured animals as children. Other research has shown consistent patterns of animal cruelty among perpetrators of more common forms of violence, including child abuse, spouse abuse, and elder abuse. In fact, the American Psychiatric Association considers animal cruelty one of the diagnostic criteria of conduct disorder.

    If there is anything that I can personally do to have these incompetent persons removed from their office please do let me know. I will be writing a letter as suggested and will have several others do the same. This is utterly disgusting.

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