Animal Cruelty Charges Dropped Against Man Who Blew Up Dog

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8.7.13 - Blown-Up Dog3As if blowing up a dog wasn’t enough to spark outrage in anyone with a heart, it has been made all the worse because charges of animal cruelty have been dropped against the man in what some believe is a ridiculous loophole in the law.

At 3:45 am on August 4th, Stevenson, Washington resident Christopher Dillingham blew up Cabela, his family’s golden Lab, by attaching a homemade explosive device to her collar.

It sounded like a high-power rifle outside my window,” said Skamania County Sheriff Dave Brown, who was awoken by the blast.

A number of neighbors called authorities, who arrived at Dillngham’s home to find the dog’s remains scattered about the yard. Deputies said Dillingham was throwing furniture that he claimed was possessed “by the souls of demons,” outside in preparation for “the rapture.”

The deranged man said that he killed Cabela because his ex-girlfriend, who had given him the dog, “put the devil in it.” He distracted her with treats while securing the device around her neck.

Dillingham owns a fireworks stand called Thundershack, and made the bomb using black powder from the fireworks. He protected himself and detonated the device, which killed Cabela instantly.

8.7.13 - Blown-Up Dog1

He was arrested and charged with animal cruelty, but the charge was dropped due to wording in Washington law, which states:

(1) A person is guilty of animal cruelty in the first degree when, except as authorized in law, he or she intentionally (a) inflicts substantial pain on, (b) causes physical injury to, or (c) kills an animal by a means causing undue suffering, or forces a minor to inflict unnecessary pain, injury, or death on an animal.

(2) A person is guilty of animal cruelty in the first degree when, except as authorized by law, he or she, with criminal negligence, starves, dehydrates, or suffocates an animal and as a result causes: (a) Substantial and unjustifiable physical pain that extends for a period sufficient to cause considerable suffering; or (b) death.

Because Cabela died instantly, it was determined that she did not suffer, and animal cruelty laws revolve around the concept of suffering.

Apparently, violently and unnecessarily murdering a dog is not illegal.

Christopher Dillingham
Christopher Dillingham

We’re taking this very seriously because it is clearly a violation of state law,” said Undersheriff Dave Cox. “It’s a pretty laid back bunch of folks here who own a lot of animals, so it was fairly disturbing to have this happen.”

I don’t think anybody in my office or prosecutors or the criminal justice system will sit back and say the dog is no big deal,” Brown said. “I think it’s a tragedy.”

Dillingham is no stranger to law violations: he has previously been in trouble for felony unauthorized use of a vehicle, assault, and two charges of drunken driving.

He is due back in court August 15th, where additional charges may be filed.

We are reviewing the animal cruelty statutes and case law, and if the law allows we will file additional charges in relation to the killing of the dog,” said Adam Kick, the Skamania County prosecutor.





8/8/13 – UPDATE: After receiving hundreds of complaints from outraged citizens across the country, county officials have reversed their decision to not press charges against Dillingham for animal cruelty. The power of the people has been effective, and he is now being charged with animal cruelty in addition to other charges. He is still being held on $500,000 bail.

Impassioned people created Facebook pages to help see that Dillingham would be charged with animal cruelty – Justice for Cabela and Justice for Cabela the Labrador.



0 thoughts on “Animal Cruelty Charges Dropped Against Man Who Blew Up Dog”

  1. that’s the biggest bunch of BS I have ever heard. Shame on you Skamania County Prosecutor…this man is clearly a danger to animals and humans. How’s about he moves into your neighborhood…I’m sure you would do something about him then. Don’t unleash this POS on society!!! SHAME SHAME!!

  2. I hope this piece of crap gets taken out by people who agree their laws and politicians suck big time, and I hope someone puts explosives around his neck and blows his ass to hell! And what kind of girlfriend woman gives a sociopath an animal to begin with?? She definitely deserves her fair share of blame! May she also join him in hell!

  3. All they need to do is to get this loser into jail, even for a short time, and then let the prisoners take care of him. He would wish to be so lucky for a quick death, but I hope the prisoners make it long and slow.

  4. how dare him get off these charges this is outrages he needs to get the same sentance if u were a child molester sex offender or murderer in this case he is he needs to face his justice get life with no parole bastard

  5. With all the recent gun violence and discussions on gun control, why is a crazy man, allowed access to fire works, gun power and for God sake, the ability to make his own IED? HELLO PEOPLE? Anyone paying attention here???? This nut case needs to be locked up in a loony bin and preferably, humanely put to sleep. If he thinks devils are in dogs and furniture, someone should convince him the devil has really been put in him and give him the gun power necessary to make a bomb he can wear around his own neck and let him set it off.

  6. Something is missing here. Who determined that the law didn’t apply? The prosecutor? If it didn’t apply they would not have filed in the first instance. The first section covers injury, which would include death. Additionally, the second part of the statute would apply even with immediate death. And, who knows that the dog died immediately unless the explosion decapitated him? Was someone standing there? The biggest problem would be proving that a “deranged” person could form the necessary intent to commit a crime, although the fact that he protected himself when he killed the dog would certainly be evidence that he had an understanding of what he was doing. As I said, something is missing.

  7. He is a piece of shit. It is good I don’t live near him. If you can’t charge him then your town has a big problem.


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