Larry Allen Hanson, 61, of Centerville was sentenced Sept. 2 for an incident that happened in December 2019.
According to the criminal complaint, a Centennial Lakes Police Department (CLPD) officer was dispatched to an animal cruelty report just after 12:30 p.m. Dec. 4 at a residence on Clear Ridge in Centerville. Buddy, a 3 1/2-year-old dachshund, had severe injuries. Otter Lake Animal Hospital confirmed that Buddy's injuries were not caused by another animal, but rather from a pellet gun. A pellet gun projectile was lodged in Buddy's brain and he died from his injuries.
Hanson was charged with one count of cruelty to animals. The felony carries a maximum sentence of up to two years in prison and/or a fine of $1,000 to $1,500.
On July 23, Hanson pleaded guilty to the charge. On Sept. 2, Buddy’s owner, Danielle Rajewsky, and her 15-year-old daughter Lillian read victim impact statements to Hanson and the judge.
“I am what many would consider not only Buddy’s owner, but his mother. Although some may just see Buddy as a dog, he was a part of my family, one of my children. After all I had been through, Buddy was a gift from God to our family. I loved him as much as I love my own children, and often feel there is a hole in our family since his death,” Danielle said.
“Today and for the rest of our lives, our family will miss Buddy and wonder how different our lives would be if he would’ve been allowed to live his full life. We do find comfort in knowing Buddy has died with a purpose, with a voice, and a family who will fight for him and for justice not only for him but for all other dogs who have died suffering from the same cruelty.”
Lillian’s statement read in part, “Before Buddy was killed, my day was going pretty amazing. But I came home and saw my mom with tears in her eyes. I felt numb as she told me what had happened. The emotions that came from his death overwhelmed me to a point I stayed home from school. It broke my heart thinking that someone could be so careless and take something from a family like mine. Buddy was my hero and my fighter. I hope to see Larry feel the same pain as my family did in this situation. Buddy, in my point of view, needs justice and to be able to rest in peace.”
Hanson was sentenced to 30 days of home monitoring and two years of supervised probation. He will also have to pay restitution for $1,250 to Buddy’s family to cover the vet bills.
Lead Editor Shannon Granholm can be reached at 651-407-1227 or email@example.com.