Five Dogs Reportedly Left Outside in -16 Degree Temps Deserve Justice

Target: Scott Rueter, States Attorney, Macon County, Illinois
Goal: Seek maximum punishment for couple accused of leaving dogs outside in below zero temperatures.

Five dogs were apparently found freezing to death outside a home in Decatur, Illinois. Thanks to concerned neighbors, authorities were notified of the situation.

When sheriff’s office deputies arrived on scene, they reportedly found the dogs in bad shape. According to accounts, one of the five dogs was in such bad shape that it was immediately confiscated and transported to a local vet. Unfortunately, this poor animal, an American bulldog, was suffering from extreme hypothermia and was euthanized at the University of Illinois Veterinary Clinic in Urbana.

The sheriff’s office reports that 42-year-old Mark Miller, Jr., and 39-year-old Nyssa Richards were both charged with animal cruelty and neglect, Class A misdemeanors. As is often the case with animal abuse, both Miller and Richards were simply given a citation and a notice to appear. They were not arrested or jailed.


Dear Mr. Rueter,

It is important to forgive and to be kind, but there is no excuse and no forgiving for animal abuse.

Sheriff deputies in your jurisdiction recently cited two individuals for apparently leaving five of their dogs outside in negative 16 degree wind chills. One of the dogs suffered severe hypothermia, causing vets to euthanize the poor animal.

There is no reason five dogs should be left outside to freeze to death in these conditions. As is often the case with animal abuse, the two individuals accused of this crime are not sitting in jail, but are walking the streets free. We ask that you please prosecute this case to the fullest extent allowed under the law.

[Your Name Here]


  1. Laura Rolder says:

    What is wrong with the Justice system these dogs deserve Justice these people are worthless scum and they deserve to be locked behind bars and not be free to harm any other living being. Felony charges!! What they did is not a misdemeanor they caused an innocent animals death.Shame on the Justice system.

  2. I agree! These people knew what they were doing and allowed their pets to almost freeze to death. One actually did die. It’s the legal system that’s broken in most states. Judges need to recuse themselves rather than pass off this crime as a case of not being able to determine if this was caused by the owners. Who else was there to do something like this? Until we get some assistance from the federal government to uphold these felonies, judges will allow this to continue. Our true of law is broken!

  3. Gerri Burkhart says:

    Judges r 2 afraid of criminals. But l agree it is the white house along with who can push any of these bills thru. But if someone is in the big seat that does not like animals, we r up the creek without a paddle. I can’t believe 😪 😢 there r not stricter laws for animal abusers. Our animals suffer daily. U hear of the 1000’s of animals of dogs and cats that r killed daily. The thing of it all, these idiots that r in charge of killing them, drags and chokes all dogs as they r being pulled to the chamber. All animals r abused daily except for the fur Babies that are lucky enough to have really loving homes and families. I just wished this world would get their heads out the clouds and not be so angry and volatile. The world is out of control 😪 😕 😔

  4. LOCK UP the PSYCHOS Mark Miller, Jr. & Nyssa Richards — they belong nowhere near Animals — they’re MENTAL cases — make them PAY for abuse & death to DOGS — we NEVER AGAIN want repeats of such crimes — We MUST PROTECT our Animals — they are vulnerable and always at our mercy

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