Kathryn Tucker was hired to trim the nails of Gooch, a disabled woman's pit bull mix. Ignoring the cries of his owner, Tucker handled him so roughly, even sitting on top of him, that by the time she left, his organs had ruptured and he was dead. At first, authorities declined to file charges. Gooch's family didn't give up on getting justice for him, and neither did Change.org members, who sent more than 6,000 messages to local officials. Several months later, Tucker was finally charged with animal cruelty.
Ultimately, Tucker received probation and fines, a sentencing which many, including Gooch's family, felt did not fit the crime. However, authorities were forced to take his death, and the cruelty that led to it, seriously. Gooch's family plans to continue to fight for stronger laws to protect companion animals.
In October, 2010, Laurie Crouch of Oakland County, Michigan, hired a local groomer to trim her dog's nails. When her beloved pit-bull mix, Gooch, became agitated, the groomers tied a leash around his muzzle and used a pronged choke collar around his neck to control him. The groomers lifted him up by the leash and forced him to the ground where they sat on top of him, pinning him down by the neck.
Moments later, Gooch was dead. A necropsy performed by the College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University concluded that Gooch suffered from suffocation and internal injuries severe enough to cause organ rupture.
Laurie -- who suffers from multiple sclerosis -- threw herself onto the ground from her wheelchair and crawled to Gooch to his lifeless body.
Waterford Township police and Oakland County Animal Control investigated but claim they have no authority to press charges even though it is a clear case of animal cruelty.
Sign the petition to urge Waterford County and Oakland County authorities to launch and in-depth investigation and fully prosecute those responsible for the death of Gooch.
Photo credit: Steph Skardal