This is a case of horrific animal cruelty involving children. While it may be difficult to read, it’s an important case because it shows just how depraved animal abusers are.
An Oregon man named Theodore Alberta Dodenhoff, 49, of Salem was charged back on July 24 of one count of first-degree aggravated animal abuse, first-degree animal abuse, first-degree aggravated animal neglect and first-degree theft. He is accused of trapping a 9-year-old cat named Titan, then torturing and killing Titan in front of his young son.
He would likely have gotten away with his crime if the son hadn’t shown a few of his young friends what “they” do to cats. Dodenhoff apparently thought this was a good father-son activity. Children learn from their parents, especially a father figure. It’s disturbing to think what this child will grow up to become if he doesn’t have therapy to deal with what happened.
At first it was thought Titan, who had been the family cat since kitten-hood, had been trapped and left to die of heat exposure from not having food or water. Chilling details found on the Facebook: Justice for TITAN, the cat trapped in Salem OR and left to die community page stated Titan’s death was much worse, and other cats in the Robbins Lane neighborhood may still be in danger.
“We now know that several (5-7) cats have mysteriously gone missing from this neighborhood recently. We know that TITAN wasn’t just trapped and left to die, he was put in a cage and tortured and dissected. He didn’t die quickly. TITAN was found in a garbage can. He was turned in because a child in the household decided to show some friends what “they” do to cats.”
There is a glimmer of hope that Dodenhoff will be convicted on all charges. That hope comes in the form of special prosecutor Jake Kamins, an Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) lawyer. Kamins is the only ALDF prosecutor in the United States who specializes in animal abuse cases.
In 2014, ALDF was awarded a three-year grant to hire Deputy District Attorney Kamins, who is based in the Benton County District Attorney’s office in Corvallis. He serves any of Oregon’s 36 district attorneys and understands the value of a pet, and is devoted to convicting animal abusers. Kamins stated the goal of his job as
“Focusing one prosecutor’s resources entirely on the issues of animal neglect and abuse ensures that these defendants are held fully accountable.”
Please keep Titan and the animal advocates who are fighting hard to see Dodenhoff convicted. This has to be a difficult week for all involved. Your comments are welcome on this case.
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P.S. Unless something comes up, and it often does in cases like this, the hearing (which is closed to the public) is set for Thursday October 22. I’ll update when I hear the outcome.