United Poultry Concerns
Promoting the compassionate and respectful
treatment of domestic fowl

PO Box 150 • Machipongo, VA 23405-0150
(757) 678-7875 • FAX (757) 678-5070

January 8, 2002
Contact: Karen Davis 757-678-7875
Animal Activists Urge Top Penalty for
Boulder County Christmas Day Turkey Killer
Man on Probation Who Killed Pet Turkey with Pool Stick and Cue Ball Should Pay

Machipongo, VA - United Poultry Concerns is calling upon Boulder County Prosecutor Karen Peters to seek the maximum 18-month jail sentence for 21-year-old Luis Contreras for cruelly killing his girlfriend's family's pet turkey with a billiard ball and cue stick after consuming twelve cans of beer. He was arrested and charged with animal cruelty.

This is the second time in 4 months that Luis Contreras has been arrested for abusing a bird. On October 26, 2001, he was convicted of cruelty to animals for throwing a small pet bird against a wall in September. He was placed on 18 months probation. Contreras broke probation when he killed the turkey and drank alcohol on December 25. He should now be sentenced to 18 months in jail without probation-the maximum jail time for the "misdemeanor" crime of animal abuse in Colorado.

Luis Contreras's killing of the turkey on Christmas day was an act of violent aggression, not self-defense. Law enforcement recognizes that animal abuse is an integral part of domestic violence involving children and spouses which often leads to escalating levels of violence to both nonhuman animals and humans. The fact that 33 states have elevated animal cruelty to a felony offence shows that society increasingly does not tolerate people who vent rage and frustration on companion animals and other innocent creatures.

Luis Contreras's behavior bolsters the demand by Colorado citizens for stronger laws against animal cruelty crimes in the state. On October 28, 2001, a guest editorial in The Daily Camera urged the legislature to set tougher penalties for severe, violent acts of animal cruelty. "People who beat up on animals, set fire to them, hurl them against walls, smack them with pool sticks and cue balls, are dangerous citizens who will abuse anyone too weak to defend themselves," says United Poultry Concerns President and former Juvenile Probation Officer Karen Davis. "If our laws do not reflect the serious and violent nature of animal cruelty, what's to stop such people from their savage acts of aggression against some poor dog or cat or bird who just happened to be in their way?"

United Poultry Concerns is a national nonprofit organization which promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl. For more information visit www.UPC-online.org.

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