16 May 2017

Dog Poisoning Suspected Captured Following In Defense of Animals Reward

A suspected dog poisoner has been captured just four days after a $1,000 reward was offered by In Defense of Animals, the international animal protection organization that runs the Winona, Mississippi-based Justice for Animals Campaign. Jonathan Perrigen has been on the run from the Yalobusha County Sheriff’s Department for eight months following the alleged poisoning of at least three dogs in June 2016. This is the second time this year that an In Defense of Animals reward has led to a successful capture of a suspected animal abuser, following the capture of a fugitive in Moss Point who scalded a cat to death.

Justice for Animals Director, Doll Stanley, said, “It is a huge relief that this allegedly dangerous man has been apprehended, and I am so glad that our reward offer played a part. People who harm animals are not only criminals, but a danger to our entire community. Mississippi has some of the weakest animal cruelty laws in the country, but I will do everything in my power to see justice done for each and every one of the six dogs mercilessly poisoned by Perrigen. Causing innocent animals to suffer is a despicable and cowardly act and it is vital we put strong laws in place in Mississippi to justly protect the community and deter criminals from moving on to other victims.”

Perrigin is charged with the “Willful Killing of Animals”. Mississippi has two animal poisoning statutes punishable by a maximum $500 fine, and up to three years in the penitentiary, or one year in the county jail. It is not yet clear which statute will apply, but Perrigin could face a felony charge.

In June 2016, Vincent Robertson, of County Road 229 in Yalobusha County, contacted In Defense of Animals’ Justice for Animals Campaign following the deaths of six of the family’s dogs. Mr. Robertson believes the killings stemmed from a failed home invasion days prior to the deaths. Intruders made it into the house but fled when Triton, their largest dog, met them in the living room.

Days later, Mr. Robertson’s son found Triton as he lay dying at their door, and became violently ill himself while attempting to help the dog. Containers of food were discovered in the yard, and it is believed that tainted food was put there for the dogs to find and eat. Six of the Robertson’s seven dogs were killed.

Mr. Robertson told In Defense of Animals, “My dogs were family. Triton was like my kid, they all were. He saved our lives when someone broke into our front door knowing my family was in here sleeping. I can’t say what I really want for this guy.”

Mr. Robertson learned that Johnathan Perrigin had bragged to neighbors that he was paid to kill Robertson’s dogs and had been supplied a regulated pesticide to carry out the crime.

The Mississippi Bureau of Plant Industries confirmed that the dogs had been exposed to Temik, a highly regulated pesticide that is often mixed with food and left by burglars, neighbors who kill animals that enter their property, and by psychopaths in serial animal poisonings.