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Dog Hung From Fence, Doused In Accelerant, Set On Fire; Punish Her Killer

Published: September 22, 2021 at 07:37 PM Author: Penny Eims

Los Angeles, California – On August 22, a seven-year-old dog named Hennessy was hung from a fence, doused with an accelerant, and set on fire. The authorities have identified 24-year-old Brandon Jerold Smith, the dog’s owner, as the killer.

Hennessy’s death was not quick, or painless. After spending two days at an animal shelter, A Purposeful Rescue took the grievously injured corgi mix under its wing. Though she received round-the-clock care from an emergency veterinarian, her widespread burns proved to be fatal.

Carrie-Lynn Neales, a volunteer with the rescue group, said, “I’ve never witnessed something that horrific.”

The rescuers who tried to save her life had dubbed the injured dog, Eponine, from the strong female character in the play, Les Miserable. They had hoped she would have the strength to recover from her severe injuries, but their hope was not enough to save her. On September 8, the rescue group vowed to fight for justice, writing:

#justiceforeponine who we now know was named Hennesy.
We will NOT stop fighting for her and other innocent animals who suffer at the hands of individuals like this.

Before Hennessy died, the rescue group explained that she had suffered burns on literally ever portion of her body. They said, “Every single part. Inside her mouth, ears, paws, stomach, back, neck, nose.” Suffice to say, this dog suffered greatly before death released her from the unimaginable pain.

Smith’s ex-girlfriend, Serena Prentice, is horrified and disgusted by what happened, but she isn’t completely surprised. She alleges that Smith was burning birds alive this summer, and posting video of the cruel acts to social media.

The heartbroken woman expressed sorrow over Smith’s act of cruelty to their pet:

“I never thought that he’d do that to her, he would hurt me, but why her?”

Brandon Jerold Smith was arrested and he is facing one felony count each for cruelty to animals and arson of property of another; we need your signature on the petition to help convince the court that this man deserves the maximum sentence for his charges. Hennessy was an innocent victim who did not deserve the cruelty which she was subjected to.

*Individuals are presumed innocent until being found guilty in a court of law.


NY Post

ABC 7 News

Los Angeles Times

Fox LA

Petition Letter

Update 9/29/2022: Court has been delayed to November 15, 2022, because the public defender was not ready. 

IMPORTANT UPDATE 9/21/2022:  Animal Victory has been in communication with Deputy District Attorney, Samantha Borghi. We would like you to know that the next court date is 9/28/22 at the Hollywood Mental Health Court, 5925 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles in department 203. The judge is James Bianco. The court is an open courthouse which means the public is allowed to be present. It generally starts at 8:30 am. 

The defendant has been found competent and should be returned to the criminal courts, but the judge in the mental health court has decided to keep the case there and consider a mental health diversion which would result in a dismissal of this case. DA Borghi will be present at the hearing and her office will be objecting to any diversionary offer. Hillary Rosen, founder of A Purposeful Rescue, and the person who took care of Hennessey has hand-delivered over 600 pages along with the petition to the courtroom to Judge James Bianco on September 23.

Below are notes and options for you to use your voice for the hearing:

  • The hearing room is #203  
  • CASE # ZM066141 Brandon Jerold Smith 
  • They only let in 50 ppl to the hearing. 
  • There is no parking lot /limited street parking 
  • The nearest subway is Hollywood and vine & can walk. 1/2 mile. 
  • We can also ATTEND (they will know we are
  • There) via WEBEX APP code #1875267017
  • Anyone can CALL in 213-306-3065 with the same code #1875267017 to listen. 
  • Letters to the judge can be faxed to 492-247-3957
  • Letters can be dropped off at 5925 Hollywood Blvd bet 8:30-4 pm in person. 
  • NO EMAIL to the judge. They don’t have email. 

Update 9/12/2022: Revised: Animal Victory has sent 33,222 signatures to DA Samantha Borghi. The court is NOT on October 6 as previously mentioned. Please continue to sign.

Update 11/3/2021: Animal Victory has learned that the next scheduled court appearance is on October 6, 2022, at 8:30 a.m. at the Compton Courthouse. This is not a typo. The court date is in October 2022. At this time Animal Victory has sent 23,985 signatures and comments to DA Daniel Gerbo. Please continue to sign as we work on the case.


Dog Hung From Fence, Doused In Accelerant, Set On Fire; Punish Her Killer

33,715 signatures = 169% of goal


33,715 Gertrude Alimo I hope he gets the maximum JAIL TIME and gets to experience some of the same pain he inflected on this innocent animal. There is no excuse for this kind of behavior. Oct 03, 2022
33,714 Michelle Cormier Oct 03, 2022
33,713 Kari Oates Lock that monster up and throw away the key. It will be a person next. Oct 03, 2022
33,712 Zandra Cummings This is a sorry piece shit has no good in him needs to be hung Oct 03, 2022
33,711 Jean Mullikin I hope the judge in thus case has some balls and doesn't let this pansy ass punk off with nothing. May this bastard roast forever in the fires of Hell when his punishment on earth is done because we all know he sure won't get what he deserves here. Oct 03, 2022
33,710 Betty M Perry Oct 03, 2022
33,709 Dottie Peterson Oct 03, 2022
33,708 Ann Gallagher Oct 03, 2022
33,707 Amy Naveira Oct 03, 2022
33,706 Janet Gressel Oct 02, 2022
33,705 michele largman Oct 02, 2022
33,704 Denise Martin This is a horrendous, horrific crime against this beautiful, defenseless soul. Why? I will never understand. JUSTICE must be served here for her. Oct 02, 2022
33,703 Shannon Muessman Oct 02, 2022
33,702 laska van buren Poor Hennessy deserves JUSTICE!!! Please punish that evil monster Brandon Jerold Smith to death! Make that sick coward suffer!!! He belongs in hell ASAP!!!!! Oct 02, 2022
33,701 valentina van dijk That evil psychopath Brandon Jerold Smith must die!! Hang that evil devil by his balls and make him burn!!! We want justice for poor precious Hennessy!!!!! Oct 02, 2022
33,700 JACQUES Bernard Oct 02, 2022
33,699 Sonia Wright Send her to jail. That's a crime. She is s monster!!! No abeing should suffer such horrific punishment Oct 02, 2022
33,698 Iris Martin I wish we could do to this monster what he did to his dog and the other animals he did this to. I hope he is locked up for a long time and monitored forever... Oct 01, 2022
33,697 Vinnie Passerino The pain and grief we feel towards any abused animal is indicative of the rage we all express towards inhumane people like this murderous mongrel. He will one day suffer the same horrific treatment when karma comes around to seal his fate. Oct 01, 2022
33,696 Vinnie Passerino Oct 01, 2022
33,695 Vinnie Passerino Hang the murderous venom from a tree & then douse him with petrol & set fire to this evil POS Oct 01, 2022
33,694 Dee Kelley Oct 01, 2022
33,693 Don Steininger Hang him and set him on fire. This crap needs to be stopped. Oct 01, 2022
33,692 Kathy Sharp This guy is a menace to society. Punish him to the fullest extent possible. Oct 01, 2022
33,691 Renee Lash Oct 01, 2022
33,690 Ina Vonk Oct 01, 2022
33,689 Annalie Van Dalen Oct 01, 2022
33,688 Melissa Clark Evil must find evil. Sep 30, 2022
33,687 Kimberley Farr Sep 30, 2022
33,686 Kimberley Yout Sep 30, 2022