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Friday, December 5, 2008

Dog beaten with hammer, buried alive in Oregon

A father, Hyrum Long, and his daughter, Susan Johnson, from Forest Grove, Oregon are facing possible animal abuse charges after police say the two tried to euthanize a dog by hitting it on the head with a hammer then burying it up to its neck in their back yard.

Captain Aaron Ashbaugh with the Forest Grove Police Department said someone called dispatch to report a dog buried alive at a house on Laurel St in Forest Grove around 4:00 p.m. Friday.

When officers arrived they heard a dog yelping in the back yard. No one was home at the house, according to police.

Captain Ashbaugh said the officers entered the back yard and found a dog buried up to its neck with an obvious head injury.

Officers dug the still-alive dog out of the ground and, with the help of Washington County Animal Control, the dog was taken to the Humane Society.

Ashbaugh said the dog's owners, 75-year-old Hyrum Long and 49-year-old Susan Johnson, told police that the dog had been sick so they tried to euthanize it by hitting it on the head with a hammer.

That didn't work so, according to Captain Ashbaugh, the owners said they buried the dog in a hole "in an apparent attempt to limit the amount of blood on their property."

Police said the two put a pillow under the buried dog's head and put a large log on top of it. A neighbor apparently removed that log before police arrived.

The dog, a female named Molly, was taken to the Humane Society in Portland. Spokesperson Barbara Baugnon said the animal was in extreme pain and in terrible condition when it arrived.

Baugnon said, "after X-rays and blood work they decided the only humane thing to do was to euthanize the dog." She could not comment on whether or not the dog had been sick before coming in.

The owners told KGW the dog was a beloved family pet that had been sick for weeks and they couldn't stand to see it continue to suffer. They said they did not have a gun or the money to put the dog down, so they decided to euthanize the animal by hitting it in the head with a hammer.

Long said he thought the dog was dead after he hit it with the hammer.

The owners told KGW they were so distraught after the experience they left the dog in the ground and went out to dinner.

Monday, Dec 8, 2008: Johnson's pre-trial conference
Friday, Dec 12, 2008: Long's preliminary hearing

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