In Chesapeake, Virginia, Ashley Fowler, 22, is our latest example of an a human who allegedly expresses her feelings by killing or torturing a pet. In this case, it was a pet piglet of her friend’s former boyfriend, Zach Sawyer, who raised piglets as therapy after an accident. Fowler is accused of decapitating the piglet.
Fowler is charged with two felony counts of killing/maiming livestock, one count of misdemeanor vandalism (for cutting his car tires), and one count of possession of prescription pills.
She is accused of breaking into the property and decapitating the piglet, which was found with multiple stab wounds. The head was then left on the porch. Another piglet had to be put down with stab wounds.
She was arrested later in the day at her work in Portsmouth.
She could receive 50 years for the array of crimes, though that would be unlikely if she is a first offender.
We often discuss these cases in torts as claims under the intentional infliction of emotional distress. It is disturbingly common for pets to be killed or taken in retaliation of breaking up (here, here and here and here and here and here and ). The Restatement (2nd) of Torts, section 46, states:
One who by extreme and outrageous conduct intentionally or recklessly causes severe emotional distress to another is subject to liability for such emotional distress, and if bodily harm to the other results from it, for such bodily harm.
Criminal laws often do not offer sufficient deterrent for animal cruelty, which is often punished in the same sentencing range as property damage since pets are viewed as chattel. This not only fails to recognize true status and personal connection of pets, but also the dangerous propensities of people who torture or kill innocent animals.
Unless Fowler can claim that she was not at the scene, this would appear an obvious case for a plea since self-defense is probably out.
18 thoughts on “Virginia Woman Accused of Stabbing and Decapitating Piglet”
This seems a little unjust…mespo….The higher end is 50…the actuality is 12 months…therein lie (figuratively and literally) the justice…I presume the Adderal was for ADHA….or ADD…maybe a defense lies…
That was some pig
“This not only fails to recognize true status and personal connection of pets, but also the dangerous propensities of people who torture or kill innocent animals.”
You mean like Dubya?
No, no … she was reading 1960 dirty hippie literature about pigs …
Bron: I agree with everything you said.
Mespo: I do see the difference. That’s why I said “she should be punished for what she did.” But the vast majority of pork that we consume cannot be described as “humanely harvested,” and what this lady did is not fundamentally different than what we do a hundred million times every year in slaughterhouses — at least from the animals’ perspective. I just don’t see how 50 years in prison is an inadequate maximum punishment for this crime.
Very nice, Gene.
“Human brutes, like other beasts, find snares and poison in the provision of life, and are allured by their appetites to their destruction.” – Jonathan Swift
Mere chattel, eh?
Query to JT:
Which photograph in your post is the “animal?”
What OS and Mespo said! This lady needs to be kept away from society for awhile.
“She’s facing a potential 50 year sentence and yet “criminal laws often do not provide sufficient deterrent for animal cruelty? … but anyone who eats bacon should probably dial down the moral outrage in this case.
She’s facing 50 years. She’ll get 12 months suspended and perhaps a weekend with work release, anger management counseling, a letter of apology, and a $2,500.00 fine.
If you don’t see the difference between wanton cruelty to animals as a substitute for aggression against another human and humanely harvesting animals to survive, I think you need to dial up the moral differentiation.
“Fowler also plead guilty to charges of possessing Adderall and breaking and entering.”
You dont senslessly kill a living creature for vengence on another person.
I dont think I would give her 50 years but I would make her go to a therapist and pay restitution for the pigs and tires. She destroyed someones private property.
With that being said, I wonder if they are going to have a pig roast?
She’s facing a potential 50 year sentence and yet “criminal laws often do not provide sufficient deterrent for animal cruelty?” What should she get, the death penalty? She killed pigs, not people. I agree that she should be punished for what she did, but anyone who eats bacon should probably dial down the moral outrage in this case.
This sort of behavior is definitely not kosher.
The law’s indifference to animal cruelty is curious. From our earliest times animals were our lifeline, providing all manner of services from food production, transportation, to protection and companionship on the prairie. American soldiers have used animals during wartime for carrying messages and warning of attacks since colonial times. Still the law regards man’s best friends as nothing more than a hammer. Maybe a return to something closer to frontier justice where horse thievery was regarded as a serious offense is in order. No need to hang ’em high, just a stiff jail sentence for violence directed at another but projected onto a beloved defenseless animal.
Some people are less human than their animal victims. Give me one of the piglets over this poor excuse for a human any day. The boyfriend, Zach, is well served by being rid of her.
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