Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Washington: Pet-Napping on the Rise, Defendant Found Guilty of Plotting to Kidnap, Ransom Bulldog, To Serve 3 Years in Prison

On Saturday, March 2, KOMO 4 News reported that a Kelso, WA defendant, Jesse James Clark, 39, was convicted of first-degree extortion and second-degree possession of stolen property in his scheme to ransom an English Bulldog by the name of Jagger for money and prescription drugs.

Jagger’s owner, Jennifer Lynn Thomas, 40, an MS patient, received photos of Jagger accompanied by untraceable text messages demanding $1,000 and painkillers three days after Jagger was stolen on October 5, 2011.

Two other participants in the ransom scheme, Ivey Rose Svalseon and her boyfriend, Johnny Lee Jordan, both of Longview, WA, were convicted last year [2012] of dog-napping Jagger and sending the extortion messages to Thomas. 

After a two-day trial, jurors deliberated for approximately four hours, delivering their guilty verdict on Friday (March 1). According to prosecutors, Clark kept Jagger at his home after the dog was taken from its driveway in Woodland, WA.

The extortionists threatened Jagger’s life if Thomas did not provide the ransom. Unfortunately, Sheriff’s deputies were unable to locate the missing dog, whose dismembered body was found late in October 2011 along the railroad tracks in Kelso.

COMMENT: Interestingly, Ms. Thomas is a compassionate person and had been collecting baby supplies to support Salveson, who was homeless and pregnant at the time that Jagger was stolen. Thomas wept when she recounted the loss of her beloved pet on the witness stand.

According to the DAILY NEWS OF LONGVIEW, prosecutors in the case report that Clark will face at least three years in prison for his crimes when he is sentenced on March 7.

For the benefit of our readers, increasingly, the abduction of dogs from their owners for money and other property is on the rise globally, which is why every pet-owner should have an AVID bar code chip painlessly implanted by a veterinarian.

Consequently, if the pet ever turns up missing, the animal can be promptly taken to a veterinarian or a Petsmart franchise where the vet can read the chip to see who the owner is and how to reach him/her.

As a matter of interest, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC) English Bulldogs are the fifth most popular dog breed, largely because of their lovable and gentle dispositions.

To counter pet extortion, owners should do the following:

1. Not leave your pet outdoors, particularly overnight;

2. Have an AVID bar code chip implanted;

3. REGISTER your chip by going to:

http://avidid.blogspot.com;

4. Include a metal tag on the pet's collar stating that the animal is chipped and that a cash reward is offered;

5. If you are the victim of pet extortion, call any police agency;

6. Have emailable photos of your pet in the event your pet is taken some distance from home; and

7. Go to: http://www.akc.org/press_center/pet_theft