Another Imbecile Gets Herself Arrested for Posting Her Dog Abuse on Facebook

Boothby thought she was teaching her dog a lesson, but hopefully it’s she who will learn something: don’t be an abusive jerk, and don’t post your crimes on Facebook.

8.30.16 - Moron Posts Dog Abuse on Facebook1



Some people feel compelled to post absolutely everything about their lives on social media, and thankfully some people are so foolish that they get themselves in trouble because of their posting addictions.  That’s what happened when Sarah Beth Boothby shared a picture of her dog on Facebook, showing it with shoelaces tied around its muzzle.  People quickly reported her and she was charged for her crime.

The Shiloh Police Department was bombarded with messages from concerned Facebookers who came across the photo Boothby posted of her dog that was accompanied with the caption, “When you chew up mommy’s shoelaces…”

They responded and charged the woman with misdemeanor animal cruelty because the shoelaces were tied “in a manner that appeared that it could restrict the dog’s air flow.”

She claims that her dog’s snout was only bound for about 45 seconds, but the fact that she would do it at all is highly disturbing.  Dogs often chew things that they’re not supposed to, but that’s why it’s important for owners to train them well and to give them things they are allowed to chew.  Positive reinforcement is far more effective than positive punishment.*

Sadly, because the dog was otherwise in good health and appeared to be well cared for, the police were unable to do nothing more for it.

It’s clear that Boothby thought she was teaching her dog a lesson, but hopefully it’s she who will learn something here:  don’t be an abusive jerk, and don’t post your crimes on Facebook.


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* The term “negative reinforcement” is a misnomer, and what people often mean by it is punishment.  Negative reinforcement means subtracting something to reinforce a behavior (i.e. hitting snooze on the alarm – when the noise is taken away, a person will repeat the behavior of shutting the alarm off).  Positive reinforcement is adding something to reinforce a behavior (i.e. giving a dog a treat for learning a trick).

Positive punishment is the addition of something to curb a behavior (i.e. striking a dog – adding pain – to stop it from barking).  Negative punishment is the removal of something to stop a behavior (i.e. taking away a video game because a child misbehaved).

Incidentally, punishment only works on the conditions that it is immediate, severe, and contingent upon the behavior for which one is being punished.  (No, I am not suggesting that animals be punished severely for misdeeds – positive reinforcement is the best method of teaching.) While in this case it was severe, if it took place even more than a few minutes after the dog chewed on the laces, punishment would do no good because the dog wouldn’t know what it was being punished for.  It might have done 10 other things since – drunk out of the toilet, licked itself, barked at a neighbor – so it would make the connection of punishment with only the last thing it had done.


66 thoughts on “Another Imbecile Gets Herself Arrested for Posting Her Dog Abuse on Facebook

  1. “Incidentally, punishment only works on the conditions that it is immediate, severe, and contingent upon the behavior for which one is being punished.”

    “Severe”? Is this what you intended to say? I do not believe punishment to any animal needs to be “severe”. Nor do I believe that animal behaviorists recommend “severe” punishment. Please be more responsible if you are going to post stories on the Internet. Think about your word choices, and how what you write has consequences.

    1. Yes, that word was disturbing. Let’s hope it was a mistake for meaning it would be associated with the behavior and the behavior would not be repeated.. Let’s give the person the benefit of the doubt. Let’s be better people than witch hunters or blood libel slanderers.

      1. She was the one who posted the picture. It’s not funny. If it was a child with its mouth tied closed, or an old person, would you think it’s still funny?? Protect the innocent. She should be prosecuted for cruelty.

    2. How about taping this “broad’s” face and not letting her eat or drink for a week – not only will she loose some much needed weight but it may teach her a lesson as well!!!!

      1. Really? While I agree with the punishment… fat shaming is not the way to go here. You can be overweight and not be abusive to animals. Her weight has nothing to do with this.

    3. “Severe” is precisely what I meant to say, but no, I’m not suggesting that people punish animals severely, so I will edit that. I was speaking about how punishment works in the psychological sense, as I was trained in college. If a person murders someone else just because they wanted to, and they were fined $10, do you think they would be terribly inclined to not not it again? No, because $10 is not severe. If the punishment for murder was to have the hands sawn off with a rusty hacksaw – something very severe – the inclination to murder would be considerably less. Again, I am not suggesting that animals be punished severely. Positive reinforcement is the best method of teaching for both people and animals. =)

        1. If you get a puppy please make sure that all of your valuable items are put where the pup cannot access it….secure drawers and doors.
          Never mind the fact that the language you speak is very foreign to them… you understand what their bark means?
          This message is for people that have never had a baby animal… matter what specie.

        2. What makes you think they don’t care about people as much as animals?? Just because you defend an animal DOES NOT mean you don’t care about people!! With that being said people should treat LIFE as they want LIFE to treat them!! This is ABUSE of life PERIOD!! Now if she thinks this a correct punishment then it should also be done to her!!

  2. Why don’t we pass a law that sentences those pigs that abuse animals to the same abuse they were convicted of?
    I hope people are smart enough to keep children away from this monster.

    1. You are the monster.
      “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” You must get your kicks out of trying to make a mountain out of a molehill and having an otherwise happy animal lose its home…potentially never to find another and/or to be euthanized. SHAME ON YOU!

        1. I have a feeling this Gypsy is an abuser, if not this woman who was charged. What needs to happen is a website that lists animal abusers by State, even further by city, so people can look for them before giving or selling animals to them.

      1. How do you know it was just a mole hill.. It is rather disturbing that a grown woman would do something so hideous and even more disturbing that you would take up for them. Lets tie your mouth shut for a while and see how you feel.

        1. Gypsy needs to have her neighbors keep a close eye on her animal family. Her last name might just be Vic.

      2. A happy home? So occasional torture is ok?? People who abuse or are cruel to animals need to be punished. Protect the innocent animals. Sick people don’t need to own animals.

  3. This is so stupid!!! Why would you do something like that? But yet she still is allowed to have pets!!! She should be made to volunteer to clean all the kennels in her area for 6 months!!!! Enough Said!!!!

  4. It would have been a cute photo for a dog shaming book, but not everyone has a sense of humor. You learned that lesson the hard way. I didn’t take you for one of the many abusers who have harmed animals that way, many of which have been written up in Yahoo News for some time.. Be glad you still have your loving pooch and don’t give any busybody a chance to change all that.

    1. It’s not about people lacking a sense of humor. A dog shaming photo would have included the so-called guilty dog, the chewed up laces, and a sign held up/propped up in front of the dog OR hung loosely around the dog’s neck so as not to impede breathing.

  5. I think people who think they have to ‘punish’ a dog for licking itself haven’t really understood something at all. Bigots.

  6. nobody should do this to an animal and post it this is just wrong and not the proper way to train an animal. I have had many dogs they chew you buy bitter apple spray it on things and they learn that is a no no. but to do this is a crime and could have led to some damage to the dog.

  7. What does it take to see the inhumane treatment of animals. The way I treat my animals is just as humane as I treat my children. Take the dog away from her before she kills it.

  8. She needs to be locked up awhile. People that do things like this to animals need to know what it feels like too. Too many sick people in this world.

    1. I have a feeling this felonious nitwit is on this site posting as Gypsy as we speak. Give her a piece of your mind!

  9. ‘don’t be an abusive jerk, and don’t post your crimes on Facebook.’ I agree and disagree:
    I agree, don’t be an abusive jerk, but if you are – please post to Facebook so that you can be punished for the crime.

    I’m glad it was posted so now she knows that this is considered abuse.

  10. While what the woman did was disturbing and stupid, I find the following line in the article as stupid since I assume the writer attended school at some point.
    “Sadly, because the dog was otherwise in good health and appeared to be well cared for, the police were unable to do nothing more for it.”

    Unable to do nothing more? Hand over your English card right now.

  11. OMG this is really considered abuse?? How about those people who put muzzles on dogs? How is that any different. Oh….ok I guess all the things we do to farm animals are ok because we EAT them. Practice what you preach.There are too many hypocrites and contradictions in the world

  12. This is the weirdest comment thread I’ve ever read. The language, the name-calling, the hyperbole! Directed at the original story as well as at other commenters. Or am I being gullible and you all are trolling?

  13. Author is making a mountain out of a mole hill. Yes, it was wrong, but let’s not act like she was intentionally abusing the animal. Comments like ‘don’t be an abusive jerk, and don’t post your crimes on Facebook’, make the author looks like an immature, condescending prick.

    1. Ray, I agree. I find this author offensive. Her bio says she is into grammar, but the article has a glaring error, This story doesn’t need a dog training psych lesson. It’s a moral issue. People come here to talk about the story, be indignant, discuss what the punishment should be, etc.

  14. I would not advertise the fact that she is stupid for posting her incriminating images online. Even stupid sadists and evil morons can learn simple lessons. Do not encourage the action but by all means, when an idiot does something like please do not help them out by implying that next time it needs to be done in secrecy … PLEASE post it online so that there is a chance justice can be served.

  15. I am sure she had done this before, the dog should be taken away from her, she will do it again…and actually with her IQ she may do it just because she feels the dog got HER in trouble…IDIOT and a total stupid Bitch!!!

  16. What an ass. How about picking up things the dog will chew on? How about training the dog? I swear some people should not have kids or pets.

  17. What an ass. How about training the dog not to chew on things? And how about picking up things that the dog will chew on?

  18. I can’t believe all the crazy knee jerk homicidal reactions over something so stupid. My friends used to tie me up/each other up and gag as kids, should we have been put in jail, executed? What she did was stupid but all she needed was to be told to not do that as it’s not effective and it may hurt the dog but holy moly, it’s like executing someone for duck taping you to a tree. It’s insane. This country has gotten so over reactive, over sensitive, blood thirsty and vengeful. Yet there are plenty of things that if people found out you did they would come down upon you with irrational judgement. Your outrage is unwarranted when you should only be expressing concern. I imagine if murder were legal all you people would be doing much worse than tying a dog’s muzzle. Huge hypocrites. You sound like extremists.
    Today you can’t let your kids play in the yard or they take them away, you can’t be a father taking your kids to the park or someone will call you a pedophile, your kid can’t have a bruise or cps will be called, you can’t let your dog be in the yard or they’ll call animal control for ‘abuse’. I have always done everything I could to keep my pets healthy and happy but you can’t treat them like people unless you want them to be given independence, human rights, bodily autonomy (no breeding or forcing them to the vet without consent), social security numbers, compulsory education, have them keep jobs and pay taxes etc. I don’t want kids so I can afford to treat my pets well but what if I did? Human children would definitely have to come first. Kid bites dog, dog bites back, dog may have to go. Can’t afford baby food and dig food? Would you rather they give up the dog or feed it less often/low quality food like rice? What’s next? Making it a felony to butcher for food? What if an animal kills another animal, especially in nature? Sentence them to death? Animal abuse should be a felony but only if 1) the animal was harmed purposefully (getting mad at a dog isn’t animal abuse unless it’s systematic and done to purposefully get back at the animal, same as humans), 2) the animal was tortured 3) the animal was purposefully killed (running an animal over accidentally isn’t animal abuse and can easily happen) 4) withholding basic care such as food, water, shelter and if you can afford it, medical care. You can’t charge someone with a felony if they can’t afford the best dog food or take them to the vet for surgery, instead help them pay for it. If everyone that has less than ideal conditions for their animals has them taken away you’d see a lot of euthanized pets. How about people stop breeding animals as pets? Is it that hard? And only adopt from shelters but I bet several of you who made death threats to this woman prefer getting a puppy from a mill. Now who is disgusting?
    You lack perspective and that indicates a very low level of moral development. It’s like a toddler who smacks a kid for smacking him, but also smacks him for taking his toy. They’re both unacceptable, but one even more so. Shameful behavior towards your own kind.

    1. Just so you know, very seldom will anyone read a post as long as yours, and why would they? Mainly because we aren’t interested in someone’s rant.

  19. This Woman deserves to be severely punished… You know if she did this she has done worse, The dog needs to be taken away and she needs to be banned from ever owning a pet again..

    fucking Stupid Bitch! oh yea tie up her hands and wrap that lase around her neck and tie it as tight as you can.. And Maybe she will stop Breathing.. Humans are for the most Part Garbage!!

  20. There is absolutely no way I will believe that what this woman did should be a crime.

    Lighten up, bleeding hearts.

    Animals are not as important as people.


    And if you think they should be, there is something seriously wrong with you.

  21. NO i am sorry but no… i realize there must be more to this if there is a charge but muzzling a dog is not a crime.. once more a training method that is legit… The dog has smell and other attributes that goes with bad behavior and the action that this item is a nono is quite relevant to the dog… alarmist extremist activity is all this is with the comments… i HAVE used electrical tape on a dog that has since past away of old age. 21 years of all things in the 80s… she was never subject to abuse, or negative training… however a dog that sticks its nose in a mouse trap is going to learn where a person can not explain… the action was supervised as the dog had removed new trim of doors and woodwork around the house… other things were tried but failed… even pepper juice.. instead of testing and chewing she removed the trim entirely.. after several weeks of fails… i took her to each door way and she sniffed the damage but when she took a lick or begun to chew she was muzzled with tape and after 5 minutes again let go… to the next door… and repeat… this was the only strange or destructive thing she ever did but included the car doors and anything that opened and then closed… after repeating this for 3 days and several hours of waiting around corners and again the tape.. she was broken and never did this again… i should add she had removed the inside of a car door and begun chewing on the metal… she required several stitches at the vets… something had to be done… self punishment was not effective either…

    we seek ways to explain to those who does not reason or understand as people do… and each must find ways,, including spankings… rather then a newspaper a metal hanger can be used providing a sting that is attention getting right away… these are animals not people they respond and communicate WITH TEETH… a upper hand must be gotton to have control… sometimes dogs that have never had positive training must have the choice of the type of training they choose… this is also effective as they will choose not to have pain and seek reward instead… it is nature and our communications that must win…

    In truth i am tired of seeing stories like this with difficult dogs where owners are run to the limits and the minimum infringement of negative training becomes necessary… she should not have been charged instead a simple counter method be suggested buy trained animal control personnel that could offer assistance rather then negative training of someone that could choose a more effective method if told… we use negative training of peoples money and our time way to much in minor cases like this… however let me catch someone using helicopters or extreme methods used in many guard dog schools and the chances of my interference leaving a court date un-nessisary is extremely high… i dont condone negative training but no where does it suggest in this story an alternative… there you go… the whole nine yards in your face and mine… dont complain about ignorance teach instead

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