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Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter

From 23 March 2004 Issue

Update - Animal Sexual Abuse Arkansas Case - LETTERS NEEDED

**Alert prepared by  [email protected].  When forwarding this to others, please do not alter the content of the alert, including the letter/information from PeTA that is within this alert. 
Update:  Prosecutor Terry Harris of Garland County, Arkansas, has confirmed that there is a trial set for April 1st  regarding contempt of court charges for the case involving Derek Dunaway who was arrested and charged on Sept. 17, 2002, with one count of sodomy for his admitted attacks on his dog.  In November of 2003, Animal Services of Hot Springs confirmed that a dead dog was found at the resident of Dunaway's during his probation period, which he was previously ordered not to have any animals.
The sample letter below is lengthy because it contains both background information and current information re this case.  Please be polite and personalize your own letter.  Remind the authorities that jail time is mandatory, Dunaway was given a light sentence previously with no jail time and he broke his probation by having a dead dog in his resident during his probation.   (Hot Springs Animal Services stated they found the dead dog after neighbors complained of a dog crying at Dunaway's resident).
Thank you.
Source: Lisa Marie
[email protected]
More info/media:
Please Contact:
Honorable Terri Harris - Garland County Prosecutor
501 Ouachita Avenue
Hot Springs, AR 71901
Fax:  (501) 321-2592
Main Office Phone: (501) 321-2556
Honorable Steve Oliver - Garland County Prosecuting Attorney
501 Ouachita Avenue
Hot Springs, AR 71901
Main Office Phone: (501) 622-3720
Email: < [email protected] >
Garland County Sheriff's Department
Larry Selig - Sheriff
Email: < [email protected] >
525 Ouachita Ave.
Hot Springs, Ark. 71901
Main Office Phone: (501) 622-3660  

Dan Bugg, Supervisor
Hot Springs Animal Services
Fax: (501) 262-2091
Email:  <[email protected]
Letter sent to authorities from Peta- Information:
(the recipient's phone numbers are listed)

January 21, 2004 

To: The Honorable Terri Harris, Garland County Prosecutor (501-321-2556)

The Honorable David White, Prosecutor, City of Hot Springs (501-623-4023)

Sheriff Larry Selig, Garland Co. Sheriff’s Office (501-622-3660)

Chief Gary Ashcraft, Hot Springs Police Dept. (501-321-6789)

Dan Bugg, Supervisor, Hot Springs Animal Services (501-262-2091)

Mary Ann Taft, Director, Garland Co. Humane Society (501-501-538-0167)

From: Martin Mersereau, Manager, Domestic Animal Issues & Abuse Dept.

Re: Derek Dunaway, convicted animal rapist

Your urgent attention is requested. In October, 2002, our office was contacted by someone in reluctant e-mail contact with Hot Springs resident Derek Dunaway. During their correspondence (which harmlessly began on a “pet lovers” message board), Dunaway bragged of raping animals, and that he’d worked for, or attempted to secure employment at various local animal shelters and veterinary hospitals in order to access his victims. He also expressed his intent to advertise himself as a pet-sitting service to this end. Through extensive contact with our complainant and review of said dialogue PETA determined that our complainant’s report had merit. Local officials were contacted and, on September 17 of that year, Dunaway was charged with one count of sodomy for his admitted attacks on his dogs who—according to news reports—were found by Katherine Bolton, DVM, to be “[severely] bleeding from the colon.” He was subsequently convicted, and his sentence included a prohibition on his owning or harboring animals for one year (the second half of this prohibitive order was to run from June 6 to December 6, 2003).  

In November, 2003, Hot Springs Animal Services officers responded to a neighbor’s report of a dog screaming from the vicinity of Dunaway’s residence. When officers arrived, they reportedly found a dog in Dunaway’s custody, dead from causes unapparent. Field Services Supervisor Dan Bugg states that a necropsy was performed and that “trauma could not be ruled out.” Dunaway appears to have violated court orders by having this animal in his charge regardless, and there is some question as to whether Dunaway was in possession of other animals at the time of this investigation.

Further, Dunaway has recently surrendered to the Garland Humane Society a female dog who was apparently in heat. A subsequent veterinary examination reportedly determined that sperm was present in the animal’s vaginal cavity. We understand that, at the request of the county prosecutor’s office, the sample in question is to be analyzed to determine its origin, animal or human, and that results are still pending.  

We are alarmed to learn that Dunaway allegedly and currently has in his charge two red Doberman pinschers, a black Labrador and a cat—at least two of these animals were given him by his father who was present during the 2002 court proceedings (Dunaway was reportedly found in possession of two Doberman pinschers at the time of his 2002 arrest, as well). On January 15, we requested that humane officials visit Dunaway’s animals with an eye for trauma consistent with non-canine penetration. However we are unable to determine if Dunaway’s dogs have in fact been examined by any law-enforcement official, last week, or ever, and would appreciate some clarification regarding such efforts if they were made at all.

Repeat crimes among animal abusers—particularly so-called “zoophiles”—are the rule. Given this and recent events, we urge your respective offices to do whatever is necessary to ensure the welfare of all animals currently in Dunaway’s charge, to hold him accountable for any injuries sustained by same, and to expedite whatever processes are in motion to hold the suspect accountable for sentencing violations. May we suggest that the animals in question be taken into protective custody, or, if a field examination can determine the existence of swelling, tearing, bleeding or any other form of trauma, that they be seized as evidence? Surely you agree that their safety should be of utmost concern, and that any and all avenues available to secure their safety be vigorously explored?  

Please allow us to hear from you soon regarding this matter. If there is another entity to whom we should appeal for proactive assistance in this matter, please advise. 
Very sincerely,

Martin Mersereau, Manager
Domestic Animal Issues & Abuse Department

Return to Animals in Print 23 March 2004 Issue

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