A judge sentenced a man accused of animal cruelty to 18 months in jail followed by an18-month probation while also forbidding him from owning pets or living in a home with pets for 10 years.
Last November, prosecutors claim Nathan Mayer, 34, chased his mother’s dog, “Shoes,” throughout their northwest Omaha house while stabbing and beating him.
“This is a terrible case that this dog had to endure,” says Mark Langan with the Nebraska Humane Society. “The crime scene shows he ran to at least the second floor to hide behind a couch, tried to hide in a closet.”
Dozens of animal rights activists gathered Friday for the sentencing of Mayer inside Judge Marlon Polk’s courtroom – packing it to capacity with overflow spilling into a nearby hallway.
According to the humane society, “Shoes” was placed in a white plastic bag on the deck of the family’s home while Douglas County Sheriff’s investigators also say the defendant repeatedly hit the dog in the head with dumbbells.
In August, Mayer pled guilty to the charge of felony animal cruelty.
As he entered and exited the courtroom, his appearance remained stoic, unnerving onlookers from within and outside the judicial system.
The demeanor convinced Douglas County prosecutors Amy Jacobsen and Sean Lynch that he didn’t feel remorse for the crime.
“He didn't take responsibility for doing this,” Jacobsen says. “He was claiming it was self defense and that didn't fit the crime scene.”
It also unnerved Denise Saner, who works at the humane society.
The case striking a chord with Saner who says her colleagues documented the crime scene and performed the necropsy on the battered German Shepherd mixed dog.
Before “Shoes’” death, few had seen or knew of the dog but the humane society claims roughly 300 to 400 people wrote a letter to Polk, urging him to mandate a strict sentence.
Saner says the sentence is light considering the gravity of the crime.
"I hope in that time period that he can get the help that he needs.".