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Man gets 90 days for hurting dog

June 05, 2007|by ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN - A Hagerstown man who says he is an animal lover who was only violent because of drugs was sentenced Monday to 90 days in jail for breaking his dog's leg.

John Edward Mock Sr., 47, pleaded guilty in Washington County Circuit Court to one count of animal cruelty.

Other charges against Mock were dropped in exchange for his plea.

Mock, whose last known address was 719 W. Washington St., picked up his chihuahua, Poncho, by his back legs and pulled them apart, Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Arthur Rozes said.

Breaking the leg of a "defenseless dog" was an "inexcusable act," Circuit Judge John H. McDowell said.

The judge imposed the maximum sentence with credit for eight days that Mock has served.

Poncho still lives with Mock, and the dog greets him every day, "like nothing ever happened," Mock's wife said in court Monday.

Mock owns six dogs, three cats, birds and a rabbit.

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On Feb. 24, 2007, Hagerstown Police officers responded to Mock's home for a call of a man attempting to kill a dog, Rozes said. Witnesses said Mock had been acting strangely that day.

In court Monday, Mock blamed the drug PCP for his strange behavior when he picked up the dog and pulled its legs apart, Rozes said.

The dog tried to get away and bit Mocks' hands and Mock's wife's hands before police arrived, Rozes said.

When officers arrived, Mock made his way to a gate and attempted to release three Rottweilers, Rozes said.

Officers told Mock not to release the Rottweilers and subdued him with a Taser.

Poncho was shaking and his back leg was dangling by the skin when officers arrived, according to court documents. The dog was treated and is doing fine, Rozes said.

Mock owns many animals and his violent behavior was an aberration, Assistant Public Defender Loren R. Villa said.

Mock had taken the drug PCP, which caused him to behave strangely, that day, Villa said.

Drugs were no excuse for Mock's behavior, McDowell said.

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