Man Wanted in Christmas Day Dog Abuse Case Arrested

“I’m proud of the efforts put forth by Detective Jillian Ashley and Detective Cpl. Al Bush,” said Michigan City Police Chief Mark Swistek.

Chance is on the left, foster sister Polly on the right.
Chance is on the left, foster sister Polly on the right.


According to reports coming from El Paso, Texas, a man wanted in connection to the abuse and torture of a dog found on Christmas day has been arrested.  Richard Cope faces a massive heap of charges as he is brought back to Michigan City, Indiana to answer for his crimes.

Cope faces one count of torturing an animal, which is a Level 6 felony in Indiana. According to a website run by The Law Office of Ross G. Thomas, a defense lawyer in Indiana, a level 6 felony is, “the lowest level of felony in Indiana.  It carries a penalty upon conviction of a fixed term between six (6) months and two and one half (2 1/2) years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.00.  In certain instances, when a person is convicted of a Level 6 felony, the Court may nonetheless enter judgment and conviction as a Class A misdemeanor.”


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Along with that, he also faces three Class A misdemeanor charges as well.  All three of those charges are related to cruelty to animals.  According to Indiana law, a Class A misdemeanor conviction carries a penalty of imprisonment for a fixed term of up to one year and a fine of up to $5,000.00 for each count.

Law enforcement from LaPorte County and Michigan City are now pushing for Cope to be sent back to Indiana immediately to answer for each charge.  Michigan City Police Chief Mark Swistek lauded the efforts of the detectives in the case in finding Cope, and bringing him to justice.


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“I’m proud of the efforts put forth by Detective Jillian Ashley and Detective Cpl. Al Bush,” said Swistek.  “They quickly followed up on leads and their diligent work led to the warrant being issued for Cope.”  Cope was picked up on Sunday evening at about 7:30 pm by United States Marshalls.

According to law enforcement official’s reports, the dog was found on Christmas day in Michigan City.  The dog was found by Camille Germain and her friends, after they finished eating dinner on the evening in question.  They had gathered in the backyard when they heard the labored breathing of the dog as he pulled himself over to them with his mouth taped shut.


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They got medical attention for the dog immediately by taking him to the North Central Emergency Veterinary Center.  While there, it was discovered that someone hadn’t just beaten the dog and taped his mouth shut, but also broken both of his back legs at the hip.  Doctors and surgeons worked for hours to put his legs back together again.

Doctors believe that not all of the injuries that the dog sustained were from a human abusing him.  It’s believed that the dog was also used as a “bait dog.”  These poor dogs are used in training dogs to fight, and live short, and horribly brutal lives.


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The news for the dog is not all bad however.  He has been renamed Chance Christmas, and thanks to some loving humans, he is expected to make a full recovery.  Hopefully, after the physical healing is finished, Chance will finally know what it is like to be with a loving forever family, that will keep him happy, safe and warm for the rest of his life.

Things are far from over for Cope as well.  The investigation is still ongoing, and there is potential for Cope to face many, many more charges before all is said and done.  Hopefully, this sick, sadistic creep will be put away for a very long time.


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139 thoughts on “Man Wanted in Christmas Day Dog Abuse Case Arrested

  1. And the poor women who found this dog should sue this POS in civil court for emotional distress. I hope this bastard gets the maximum penalty for each charge and then some back street justice finds him as well.

  2. This is great news !!! Now send him back and pray that what is said in this article comes true on all his crimes towards this dog! And this should be on every news station in America that you will pay for abusing and torturing and even killing an innocent animals! Please keep us updated on this. Thank you

  3. This sadistic person should get put in jail with dog lovers. That should teach him a lesson! How dare something like this man do the things he’s done to this beautiful dog. Things like this amaze me!! Sick excuse of a human being and I hate even calling him that!!

  4. To Richard Cope: There will be No Mercy for those who have not shown Mercy to others and that includes animals. But if you have been Merciful, God Will be Merciful when he judges you. – James 2:13

  5. ” Do unto others what you want done unto you. ” The guilty criminal should be held legally and financially accountable. He is telling society and the justice system what he wants done unto him. Death sentence!

  6. Imagine the indescribable pain and terror this poor little would’ve felt. I’m so happy you’re now safe!
    You evil gutless monster, I hope the same treatment you forced upon this beautiful innocent and helpless dog finds you in jail, and that you suffer immensely!?

  7. Heartbreaking for this precious baby. The sick person who did this needs to be GONE as he will do it to other dogs again and most likely this is not the FIRST dog to suffer at his hand — many others before most likely. SICK

  8. Needs to spend YEARS behind bars for the torture of this dog- so glad the dog was found and got the medical care he needed. The POS should have to pay every cent for the medical care too!!!

  9. Never ever should he ever be allowed an animal for the rest of his life!!! Too much penalty will never be enough for this person!!!

  10. Sometimes I’m ashamed to be a human, we can be so cruel. Thank you to the people who saved this dog and to all other rescuers, you give me hope.

  11. so sick of these bastards that think they are so much better than any other living thing. This abuse of animals needs to be treated with so much more seriousness, The penalties need to include sentences that are equivalent to the sentence the animal has received. Chance will be scarred for life;;;how about a life prison term for the abusing ass!

  12. Hope the judge doesn’t go soft on the punishment. This evil horrible excuse of a human being should be given a life sentence and all his possessions sold and the money go to animal causes.

  13. Why don’t we save our taxpayers money and shoot the bastard off!! He surely is a repulsive creature who needs to be bump off NOW!!

  14. This POS needs to go to prison with inmates looking for a new wife. There is a special place in hell for big tough guys like this.

  15. Maximum penalty is nothing. What ever happened to good ol burning at the steak? There are youtube vids out there of people… one in particular, a young woman tossing puppies out of a bucket out into a fast moving river. I think our animal abuse laws are way to lenient. I say find them and burn them!

  16. please judge, tie him/them up, tape his mouth, then throw him or them to a pack of lions. Let him feel how it is to be a bait!!!. putting him in jail is wasting of other people’s time, wasting of food and water, but still not repent!! Extinguish him from life! It is better to love the useful dog then to love that cruel piece of shit!

  17. These persons who make such things have serious mental problems. So they are a huge danger for society. They are capable of making atrocities.

  18. Throw the book & him , that poor puppy & the pain & confussion she must have felt !! I hope he gets the harshest punishment they can give !!!!!!!1

  19. Bet he wishes he played pro sports.. He’d get off with a wrist slap and a multi million dollar contract. Hang the SOB.


  21. i am so happy the officers found that creep. mayby he will be willing to help them catch the others that were probably involvrd in dog fighting? he should get in my opinion up to six years for the torcher that dog went thru. they have so little time on earth that any hurt and pain they go thru takes up a lot of their time with tryen to heal , that is if they leave the dog alive. i know after i see these dogs hurt, my heart would feel no pity if i caught anyone hurting an animal, i just might lose it. thanks to everyone involved with saveing thid dogs life. just one other thing, the convicted person should have to pay the medical expenses and food and boarding to compensate the people who did it without a thought of being paid.

  22. Misdemeanor? NO WAY. This POS needs to be charged with and convicted of a felony for this abuse and the same for everyone one that can be proven. sentences to run consecutively. He should not see the light of day for many years!

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