Brian and Christa Caponi of Gulf Breeze Florida loved to watch their pet “Tom the Turkey.” It appears that their neighbor, Jacob Hayden Provo, 18, saw something more tangible: a Thanksgiving dinner.
Joshua Warren Anderson, 19, and Provo (shown below) used a bow and arrow to kill Tom. While the Caponi’s have 50 dogs, cats, chickens, and other animals, “Tom the Turkey” was like a dog to their family. They have been charged with armed burglary, armed trespassing, theft of livestock and animal cruelty.
The crime was captured on the surveillance system of the Caponi family. When police pulled over Provo, he allegedly lied and said he killed the bird in a nearby city. He later confessed.
As we have discussed, these cases are difficult in torts because such pets are valued at their replacement costs rather than their sentimental value. In the eyes of the law, Tom is simply an Eastern wild turkey worth $300. To capture the pain and suffering in such acts, plaintiffs will often proceed on negligent or intentional infliction of emotional distress claims.