Accused of beating and stabbing a puppy into a bloody heap and killing it, a Fremont County man faces up to two years in prison and $5,000 in fines.
Cedric Shakespeare, 37, has pleaded not guilty to fatal animal cruelty, a felony, and is set for a March 18, 2024, jury trial in Fremont County District Court.
Puppy In A Blood Pool
The investigation started Sept. 16, when a Shoshoni, Wyoming, landlady contacted Shoshoni Police Chief Christ Konija to report an altercation that had happened in one of her apartments.
The tenant, a 33-year-old woman, had told the landlady that her boyfriend and her boyfriend’s friend, Shakespeare, had been up since early that morning drinking in the home — and that Shakespeare had brutally attacked the woman’s puppy, according to the case affidavit.
Konija and the landlady went to the home to look around.
There, Konija found fresh blood on the exterior of the front door, a splattering of blood on the entryway floor and along the walls, a trail of blood leading into a bedroom, fresh blood in the middle of the room and pools of blood along the southwestern corner of the room, says the affidavit.
Looking into a trail of dried blood, Konija allegedly saw little paw prints leading to the area under the bed, indicating the puppy had crawled there for shelter.
The landlady lifted the bed, and Konija saw a blue heeler puppy in a pool of blood against the wall, says the affidavit.
“It was apparent based upon the pools of blood in various locations and the crawling marks in dried blood, the dog had been repeatedly beat before crawling under the bed where it ultimately suffered until it was deceased,” the police chief later wrote in the affidavit.
Is My Dog OK?
Konija called the tenant, who asked if her dog was OK.
Konija told her the puppy was dead.
The tenant became emotional, says the document.
She said her boyfriend and his friend, Shakespeare, were at her home and already drunk when she woke that morning at about 8. And they drank all day, she added.
The woman said Shakespeare’s 9-year-old daughter was also there and was playing rough with the puppy.
The dog nipped at the girl, scratching her cheek and caused slight bleeding, said the woman.
Shakespeare started to beat the dog, the affidavit alleges.
The woman said she tried to get him to stop, but as she rushed to the puppy, her boyfriend blocked her and wouldn’t let her go into the room where Shakespeare had allegedly taken the dog. She eventually got around her boyfriend and grabbed her dog from Shakespeare, so he threw the dog against the wall and it fell to the ground, says the affidavit.
The woman stands 5 feet, 4 inches tall, is six months pregnant and showing, Konija wrote in the document.
Shakespeare reportedly stands about 6-foot-1 and weighs 230 pounds.
The affidavit says Shakespeare kept beating the dog.
The woman fled to the Fast Lane gas station and called her grandmother, who picked her up and took her to Riverton.
At The Baseball Fields
The tenant’s boyfriend called Konija four days later. The two men met at the “majors” youth baseball field in Riverton. The man got into Chief Konija’s patrol vehicle passenger seat, says the affidavit.
Konija told the man he was not under arrest, didn’t have to answer questions and could leave at any time.
The man started in to describe that day: the drinking, the dog bite. And that was all he could remember, the man added, according to the affidavit.
Konija said he didn’t believe him. The police chief asked if the man would feel more comfortable telling the truth if Konija wasn’t recording.
The man said yes.
Konija deactivated his bodycam.
The man continued, saying Shakespeare’s daughter had stepped on the puppy’s back leg right before it bit her on the cheek.
Shakespeare grew furious, the affidavit relates. He allegedly grabbed the puppy and started hitting and beating it.
Shakespeare also pulled a knife and started stabbing the puppy, the man told Konija.
The man said he didn’t stop Shakespeare because he was nervous he or his girlfriend could get stabbed if he did.
The man then started crying, saying he loved that dog and it didn’t deserve what had happened, the affidavit relates.
Clair McFarland can be reached at Clair@CowboyStateDaily.com.