Mendota man strangled puppy in La Salle, police say

Ramey to appear Thursday on a charge of felony animal cruelty; bond set at $50,000

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A Mendota man strangled a 4-month-old puppy in La Salle, officials said, and was ordered held on $50,000 bond Sunday.

Lucas R. Ramey, 20, appeared for a Sunday bond hearing in La Salle County Circuit Court, where Judge Todd L. Martin approved Ramey’s request for the services of the public defender. Ramey, who needs to post $5,000 to be released from La Salle County Jail, will next appear in court Thursday. A judicial assignment is pending.

Ramey is charged with cruel treatment of animals, a Class 4 felony carrying one to three years in prison. During the bond hearing, Assistant La Salle County State’s Attorney Nick Navarro said Ramey became angered after stepping in animal excrement Friday while visiting a home in the 500 block of Bucklin Street. Ramey’s response, Navarro said, was to berate the animal, causing it to urinate and defecate.

At that point, Navarro said, Ramey strangled the dog. Its body was found wrapped in a garbage bag at the residence.

Lucas Ramey

Ramey would, if he posts bond, be prohibited from returning to the Bucklin Street residence or having any contact with the dog owner.

La Salle police had previously released a report identifying the female puppy was believed to be about 4 months old and appeared to be a mix of a German shepherd and Australian cattle dog, sometimes called a blue heeler.

“Animals do not ask for much in life other than human affection and a safe and sheltered home,” La Salle Police Chief Michael Smudzinski said in a statement. “This type of grotesque behavior needs to have consequences.”