AR-News: Animal Cruelty in Rural Connecticut

Pat Wolff wolffnm at
Thu Jun 26 19:30:35 EDT 2003

Reward Offered In Dog Stabbings
Police Investigate Strange Animal Cruelty Case In
Rural Sterling

June 26, 2003 
By ANDRE BOWSER, Hartford Courant Staff Writer 

Kelly Marchesseault lives in Sterling in far eastern
Connecticut, a rural place where she felt free to let
her two dogs roam.

But last week, Marchesseault's pets returned home with
grievous wounds. Both nearly died after being stabbed
with long wooden stakes.

The state police are now trying to find out who
brutalized the dogs, and an animal welfare
organization is offering a $500 reward for an arrest
and conviction.

Marchesseault is slowly nursing Indy, a 4-year-old
German shepherd, and Buddy, a 2-year-old black
Labrador retriever mix, back to health. 

"That morning, I left the house to bring the girls to
school at 8 a.m.," she said. "They were both fine in
the yard - the dogs - and when I came back at 10:30
a.m., Indy was lying in front of the garage and she
was bleeding from the chest and crying."

There was no sign of Buddy.

"When I found her, I put Indy in my vehicle and took
her to the veterinary clinic," Marchesseault said.

Indy had a 10-inch-deep wound to her chest and
required hours of surgery, she said.

As Marchesseault waited, she said she worried about

"I couldn't stop thinking about him lying somewhere in
the woods dead. I was in shock," Marchesseault, 31,
said. "Whoever did this was not right in the head."

Marchesseault said she wondered whether the dogs might
have fallen victim to a cult, remembering the rumors
she listened to while growing up.

"There's always been rumors of cult activity, but
nothing was ever proven," she said. "Who knows, but I
honestly don't want to imagine who would do such a

At about 8 p.m., Buddy came staggering home. 

"A piece of a wooden stake was still inside him,"
Marchesseault said. "He had a 22-inch-deep wound in
his chest ... the same kind of hole Indy had." 

She said she rushed Buddy to an emergency veterinary
clinic in Montville. 

After a 45-minute drive, Marchesseault said Buddy was
rushed into surgery.

"He was still, quiet, taking shallow breaths," she

Marchesseault said both dogs suffered similar wounds
to the same portion of the chest.

State police have not conjectured on Marchesseault's
idea that cultists wounded the dogs.

"It's being considered a cruelty to animals case,"
said state police Sgt. J. Paul Vance on Wednesday. He
said Sterling Resident State Trooper Donald Hill is
investigating. Hill could not be reached for comment.

Sterling Animal Control Officer Karen Negron said the
reward has been offered by Second Chance Sanctuary, a
nonprofit organization based in the Oneco section of

Patrice Brodeur, dean of religious studies at
Connecticut College in New London, said that "the use
of animal sacrifice is not unusual in religious and
cultic practices." But the use of dogs would be
"highly unusual."

So far, the dogs' recovery has been slow, particularly
for the Lab.

"I have to put Buddy's dog food through a blender
before spoon-feeding him," Marchesseault said.,0,6177740.story?coll=hc-headlines-local

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