NEBRASKA -- A Fort Calhoun man whose dog died after it was left out in subzero temperatures was ordered not to own any animals for five years as part of his sentence Tuesday in Washington County District Court.
Jason Franke, 42, pleaded no contest to an amended charge of intentional animal cruelty, a Class I misdemeanor, May 9.
Judge John E. Samson also sentenced Franke to 18 months probation, a $1,000 fine and 250 hours of community service to be served at an animal shelter.
Prior to sentencing, Washington County Attorney Scott Vander Schaaf argued for a jail sentence because he suspected Franke did not understand the seriousness of the crime.
“He believes the trigger is he didn't come home on a snowy night,” Vander Schaaf said. “The [dog slowly starving and suffering in the freezing weather] happened over a period of time.”
Franke apologized to the judge.
“I realize that I made a huge mistake,” he said. “I'm extremely sorry. I wish there was something I could to to bring Daisy back, but there isn't.”
Samson acknowledged Franke's remorse, “but you caused your dog to suffer,” he said.
He's just saying this because his attorney told him the judge would go easy on him if he pretended it was an accident, a horrible mistake, that if he could take it back he would, blah, blah, blah... and you can see that it worked. NO JAIL TIME. Not even one single night. Of course, this isn't just Nebraska -- it's everywhere that animal abuse, neglect and cruelty is dismissed. Yet someone who drives without a license can be thrown in jail for weeks.
Washington County sheriff deputies were dispatched Jan. 5 to Franke's property, 9228 County Road 28, for a report of animal neglect.
A deputy found one deceased dog, Daisy, and a dog running around the property. The dog that died was described as a large dog with short, gray hair.
Temperatures on Jan. 4 and 5 were in the single digits with windchill factors below zero, the online commercial service Weather Underground reported.
Deputies did not find any food, water or shelter for the dogs on the property. An outbuilding had a hole in it large enough for the smaller dog to access to get out of the cold, but too small for the other dog to enter.
A necropsy was performed on the dog at Rohrig Animal Hospital in Arlington. The report stated the dog appeared to be malnourished. The rib and hip bones were “predominantly visible.”
JASON FRANKE PREVIOUS ARRESTS
DRUG DEALING AND BOUNCING CHECKS
Nebraska Department of Correctional Services
DCS ID: 500808 -- JASON D. FRANKE
Date of Birth: 05/21/1975
Charge: Felony - ATTEMPTED DELIVERY OF MARIJUANA.
County of Commitment: JOHNSON
Release Date: 04/04/2005
Reason for Release: WEC RLSE-SUCCESSFUL
Douglas County Sheriff Open Warrants
Last Name: FRANKE
First Name: JASON
Middle Name: D
Address: 226 NORTH COMMERCIAL SEYMOUR
Eye Color: BROWN
Charge: FAILLURE TO APPEAR-PASSING BAD CHECK BOND $4000-00 SURETY OR 10% CASH
(Blair Enterprise Publishing - June 23, 2017)