Keep Dog Killer Amanda Klapp in Jail
Keep Dog Killer Amanda Klapp in Jail
Why this petition matters
Last year, Tennessee House Bill 0733 (Senate Bill 0166) was enacted which removed limitations on prior legislation to prosecute those accused of aggravated cruelty to animals. The legislation stated that a person commits aggravated cruelty to animals when, with no justifiable purpose, the person intentionally or knowingly kills, maims, tortures, crushes, burns, drowns, suffocates, mutilates, starves, or otherwise causes serious physical injury to a companion animal. This represented a step forward in the protection of animals especially those who are part of our families. It was a commendable action by the Tennessee Governor and State Legislature, and I am grateful for that forward thinking action. This is now a Class E felony passed with all "Yes" votes in the House and Senate. I had no idea that within less than 6 months, I would have reason to care so deeply about the actions of our legislature and House Bill 0733.
To make a long, and tragic story short, on December 7, 2021, Amanda Klapp was arrested in Hardeman County, Tennessee on 20 counts of aggravated cruelty to animals. There were other charges as well, but the aggravated cruelty to animals affected us directly as Ms. Klapp had in her care my dog, Murphy. My family dog, Murphy, who was with Amanda Klapp for training was the impetus for the arrest as I became increasingly alarmed that Ms. Klapp would not give me a clear answer for any part of Murphy's training or care. She finally told me that Murphy had been run over by a logging truck. That was not true. Murphy, according to the autopsy done after his body was recovered, had been starved to death. I alerted the Hardeman County Sheriff's Office who found deplorable conditions with dogs starving in cages, tied out without shelter, sick, and others dead. Murphy had been buried, and his body was dug up at the insistence of my family who, instead of taking our beloved dog home, took his body to be autopsied. All the dogs were seized by animal control and I'm so grateful that most were able to go home, even though many had health issues due to the filthy conditions that they were living in.
I, along with all victims, are asking the Hardeman County District Attorney's Office to consider whether the intention of the legislation passed last summer is being met in the prosecution of this egregious crime. The intention as I understand it was to put some teeth into a prior version of the law that made these crimes difficult to prosecute. The facts of this case appear to be exactly the kind of case that last year's legislation was intended to make prosecutable. I understand that there may be a deal in the works with Ms. Klapp rather than go to trial. While I don't know the outcome of any of this, the legislation passed intended that matters such as these be taken very seriously with the potential for significant imprisonment for each count. As I understand it, Class E felonies carry penalties of 1-6 years in prison per count plus financial penalties available. In this case, there are at least 20 charges of aggravated animal cruelty and numerous other dogs missing. What Ms. Klapp is charged with only scratches the surface of the numbers affected by her actions. Ms. Klapp deserves a fair trial, and the victims in this case deserve a fair hearing as well with no fast deal made for expediency. I am asking for the Hardeman County District Attorney to use the law as the State Legislature intended to prosecute this matter to a fair conclusion and if she is found guilty that appropriate penalties are applied given the numbers of victims and the harm done to our families.