Maximum Charges/Sentencing for Simba’s Burn -Animal Cruelty- and Related Acts of Violence

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On March 17th, 2018, Simba, an 8 month old Pitbull puppy was found with third degree burns, his flesh falling off, full of infection being kept outside in a feces covered travel crate on a second story balcony in Rockford, Il, allegedly. 

Simba had been rehomed by his original owner to a high school acquaintance a month earlier. Once Simba’s condition was discovered, the original owner made a plan to get him back, along with a mutual friend.  

Once recovered, Simba needed ER vet care. He was hospitalized for 4 days in 24 hour care and initially wasn’t expected to make a full recovery. The vet noted “suspected abuse and secondarily burns caused by hot water or chemicals.” Simba’s skin was falling off and the whole side of him was described by the vet as “mush”. She noted that his burns were so severe that he couldn’t feel the pain. His nerve endings were dead. Simba intially needed to be put under general anthesia the first 10 days for dressing changes and wound care as his skin continued to fall off and new skin struggled to generate. 

Simba continues to make progress every day but has a long road to recovery. He’s in foster care during medical treatment. 

Samantha Anderson and Bobby Horton Jr have both been served with warrants/notices to appear for animal cruelty. Anderson bragged on Facebook before her arrest that all the attention was making her popular and people should “call her Michael Vick”. Horton also took to Facebook saying in part, “F*** Simba. He’s just a dog. People want to be killed over a dog.....” He subsequently fired retaliation shots, allegedly, at the mutual friend that helped get Simba out of his care and drew attention to him. An 8 hour standoff with Rockford Police followed the shots fired call with Horton ultimately being arrested on aggravated discharge of a weapon. 

Study after study shows that violence towards animals is linked to violence towards people, as was already displayed in this situation. Anderson has a bond amount for her two misdemeanors of $500. Horton’s was also set at $500, which he posted within 3 days, but had only been charged for the aggravated discharge at the time. 

We are asking our State’s Attorney’s Office and Winnebago County Judges to seek and carry out maximum charges and penalities for all of the criminal activities that have taken place related to Simba’s case; violence towards Simba and residents. As our elected officials chosen to represent “the people”, let our voices be heard.