Four animal-rights activists gathered Sunday along the shores of Capitol Lake to remind dog walkers about Diamond, the 3-year-old pit bull mix who was found dead, hanging from a tree in March in the Summit Lake area.
The four — Cyndy and Dan Hahn of Bucoda, Amanda Powers of Olympia and Shayla Hemphill of Olympia — posted signs with pictures of Diamond and other animals that have been abused. They also wore “Just us for Diamond” T-shirts, the name of the group that has followed Diamond’s court case since spring.
They plan to attend a change-of-plea hearing and sentencing this week for James Leroy Evans, the man arrested in connection with the dog’s death. Court records show Evans is scheduled to appear before Thurston County Superior Court Judge Carol Murphy on Wednesday.
Hemphill said she used to react to awful animal abuse stories by saying, “I don’t want to hear it.” But after she became a mother and learned more about Diamond, she said she had a change of heart. Hemphill and others at the rally said they believe that animal abuse can lead to child or adult abuse.
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“I gotta do something,” she said Sunday, recalling that moment.
The group supports harsher penalties for animal abuse in Washington and were supporters of Senate Bill 5356, which addresses the unlawful tethering of a dog. Gov. Jay Inslee signed that bill into law in April.
Besides the case of Diamond, the group is following the cases of a dog that was shot with an arrow in Grays Harbor County last month, and a cat — Jay — that was “beaten, stabbed, hit with a rock and dropped from a balcony by multiple people before he finally died” in April 2016, according to Q13 news.