Man who poisoned dog to spend 30 days in jail

Thursday, February 5, 2009 | 11:12 a.m. CST

JACKSON — A southeast Missouri man will spend 30 days in jail for poisoning a neighbor's dog.

The sentence was handed down Wednesday after 58-year-old Ralph Ziegler pleaded guilty to one count of animal abuse. His attorney called the sentence "gross overkill."

Lola, a German shepherd mix, died in November after eating ribs laced with antifreeze. Ziegler and the dog's owners, Brian and Mindy Hodges, are neighbors in Cape Girardeau.

Ziegler confessed he left the plate of ribs out for the dog because the animal barked at night. He apologized during the hearing.

In addition to jail time, Ziegler was placed on probation for two years and ordered to pay the Hodges $1,650 for veterinarian care, cremation bills and the cost of a new dog.



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Lindley Paxton Barden February 5, 2009 | 11:45 p.m.

Thirty days is not enough for this malicious poisoning . . . Mr. Zeigler should not only be punished for the terrible cruelty itself, but for taking the law into his own hands!
And apparently the COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN knew better than to list the name of Mr. Zeigler's less-than-intelligent attorney--"gross overkill" indeed!

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro February 6, 2009 | 12:06 a.m.

Mr. Ziegler pleaded guilty and probably feels remorse.
While he did take matters into his own hands, by poisoning the pup, it is difficult for me to determine an appropriate punishment for him, set an example to others or think that the courts could deter this from happening to other night barkers which drive neighbors to the brink of insanity.
All dogs go to heaven and Mr. Ziegler probably lives in his own private hell.
Just another example of "man bites dog."

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 6, 2009 | 8:01 a.m.

I doubt the Missourian left the name of the attorney out of the story seeing as this is an AP story.

(Report Comment)
Ann Ruthenebrg June 11, 2009 | 6:39 p.m.

The attorney's name is Al Lowes....SHAME on you Al Lowes, you are a POS. 30 days is NOT enough time for maliciously killing a family pet, I hope your career and your personal life suffers after the cruel comments you just made on national tv. You are a heartless pathetic despicable little man.

(Report Comment)

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