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 to which she was subjected to.
*Individuals are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law.
Update 1/17/2023: Animal Victory spoke with the clerk of the court’s office. The case file notes state there is no further movement since the 9/28 mental health diversion hearing. Please continue to sign. ” Smith
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:
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.
Prior Signatures 35,022