A 40-year-old Vancouver man was sentenced Monday to 300 days in jail for stabbing his family’s dog.
Richard T. Halls, 40, has been in custody at the Clark County Jail since Dec. 13 on suspicion of first-degree animal cruelty. He pleaded guilty to the charge Monday. Court records say the jail will calculate the time he’s already served and factor it into his sentence.
Jail booking documents state Halls has “known, stated or observed mental health issues.” His mother told police he has a mental illness and had not been taking his medication.
Vancouver police were dispatched Dec. 13 to the home Halls shared with his mother in the Mountain View neighborhood. Halls attempted to kill the family’s black Labrador retriever by stabbing it in the back between the shoulder blades, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Halls reportedly told police he became upset over the dog because it would not love him back but was loyal to his mother. He said he had become increasingly aware of the dog’s “evil nature” because it barked at him every time he moved, the affidavit says.
Halls’ mother wrote in a victim impact statement to the court that his actions have changed her life and the lives of his children — ages 5, 10 and 17 — forever, as the incident caused them to relocate from their home of 12 years.
She wrote that Halls has shown “signs of (a) mental health issue, and I was extremely worried he was not there mentally. As I tried to call the crisis line, he broke into my house and proceeded to stab my dog,” the mother wrote, adding that she has tried for nearly four decades to get him help only to have him decline.
The dog, named Abby, which was a great support to the family, did not survive its injuries, according to the statement.