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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Make the Connection; Buddy's Story

Buddy's story demonstrates what statistics have told us for years - animal cruelty is a predictor and indicator of violent crimes and domestic abuse.

· In a 20 year study, 70% of animal abusers were found to have committed other crimes and 44% went on to harm people. (Arluke, A. & Luke, C. 1997)
· State and national surveys of domestic violence victims consistently find that as many as 71% of battered women report their partners threatened, or killed, the family pet. (Ascione, 1995)
· Researchers found that there was animal abuse in 88% of families who were under State supervision due to the physical abuse of their children. (DeViney, Dickert & Lockwood, 1983)

April Boyd was motivated to become an animal advocate the day she met Buddy while working as the office manager at a Mitchell veterinary clinic. At that time in July 2009, Buddy was hooked up to IVs and the staff was providing supportive care because when Buddy arrived he was barely alive after someone tried to cut off his ears. “I've heard many variations of the story, but they used either a steak knife or a pair of scissors to dock Buddy’s ears," says Boyd. “One guy apparently held the dog while the other cut his ears off, and after the deed was done Buddy was crying and howling in pain so they decided to pour liquor and Vicoden down his throat.” In this case the perpetrator was identified and charges were filed. Buddy was left with permanent scars and he is unable to go outside in the rain or snow without some sort of hat or hood on, as his mutilated ears act like funnels. Fortunately this story has a happy ending, Buddy recovered and Boyd eventually adopted him - their story pasted below can be found at: via the Daily Republic in Mitchell.

The malicious and intentional torture Buddy suffered led us to do further research into his perpetrator. According to public records, Rudy Garcia has a long criminal history, which includes: 

July 29, 2009 - Charged with Inhumane Treatment of Animal (cutting off Buddy’s ears) 
  • Plead guilty & was sentenced to 180 days in the local jail, with 90 days suspended.
  • Pay a fine of $500 and courts costs of $60.
  • Also ordered to pay Kevin Hubbert, DVM $576.68 in restitution for Buddy's vet bills.
March 2, 2011 - Charged with Burglary-3rd Degree and Simple Assault
  • Plead to lesser offence of Entering or Refusing to Leave.
July 6, 2011 - Charged with Domestic Violence Aggravated Assault
  • Plead to a lesser offense of Domestic Violence Simple Assault.
  • The victim reported to the police that she had a broken eye socket, a broken nose and received 12 stitches to her upper lip.
  • The victim and Garcia lived together and had two children together.
  • The victim stated she & Garcia had gotten into an argument the night of July 3rd and afterwards, Garcia had transported her to Wagner for medical attention; she then took an ambulance to Avera in Sioux Falls for plastic surgery.

Garcia was charged with animal cruelty in 2009 and domestic violence in 2011 - this demonstrates that animal cruelty is a predictor and indicator of violent crimes and domestic abuse. We will never know if Garcia’s most recent episode of violence in 2011 could have been prevented if he would have received a stiffer penalty and a mental health evaluation & counseling for the 2009 animal cruelty case.

Contact your legislators now because this does happen in South Dakota and we want felony penalties for malicious acts of cruelty to protect our pets and communities in 2013.


  1. I have much respect and love for April and Dr. Hubbert for what they did for Buddy. Buddy is an awesome dog. He doesn't like men much but eventually warms up if given enough time. Thank you, Dr. Hubbert and April, for all you do for the animals of Mitchell and the surrounding area.

    1. Thank you, Steffi. We really appreciate that!

  2. Thanks Steffi - we agree and feel very lucky to have April telling her story and advocating to change state laws in SD.

  3. Cruelty to companion animals needs to taken seriously - it should be a felony with a mandatory mental health evaluation and counseling. This isn't just about animals - this is about community safety.