Florida Man Found Guilty of Animal Cruelty After Stabbing Rottweiler

Posted by Stephen Wells, ALDF's Executive Director on July 25, 2011

Today, thanks to an Animal Legal Defense Fund attorney, an animal abuser
sits behind bars in a Florida jail cell. Last Wednesday, in a case
prosecuted by ALDF Attorney Geoff Fleck serving in his dual capacity as
an Assistant State Attorney (ASA), a jury found Thomas Martin Nebus
guilty of felony animal cruelty for stabbing his neighbor’s dog Rosco at
least a dozen times in two separate locations, almost one year ago

At ALDF, one of our mottos is "Abuse an Animal, Go to Jail!" Your
support makes possible our fight to ensure that abusers like Nebus
don’t get off with a slap on the wrist — and to win real justice for
animal victims like Rosco.

Thomas Martin NebusThe
trial testimony showed that, on July 21, 2010, at approximately 8:30 in
the morning, Thomas Martin Nebus was drinking beer at his Florida home
when he heard barking dogs outside. He got up to investigate the noise,
to discover Rosco, his neighbor’s Rottweiler, biting his landlord’s
Schnauzer. In what could be described as a violent, vigilante attempt to
separate the dogs, Nebus stabbed Rosco with a knife; the Schnauzer ran
off, and the wounded Rottweiler limped off to his owner’s yard, where he
left a pool of blood from his injuries.

Rather than waiting for
help from law enforcement, Nebus went back into his house, then
re-emerged and followed the injured Rottweiler into his neighbor’s yard,
where, the trial testimony showed, he hemmed in Rosco and continued to
stab and cut him with a knife. Rosco’s injuries were so extensive that
he was euthanized later that day.

ASA Geoff Fleck asked that
Nebus be remanded to custody while awaiting his sentencing date in
August, and the judge agreed, commenting, "This is a very serious
crime." No animal deserves a vicious, painful death at the hands of a
violent neighbor. Join ALDF in our continued fight to get justice for animals like Rosco today.

10 thoughts on “Florida Man Found Guilty of Animal Cruelty After Stabbing Rottweiler

  1. nonblonde421 says:

    I just don’t get how people can think of hurting any being like this. It’s such a cruel way to end an animals life, it’s just horrible. Yes, the rottweiler should not have attacked the little dog but it’s instinct for an animal to do something like this, as a human being there could have been so many other solutions in separating the animals. It just breaks my heart to know there is people out there who commit evil, inhumane violent acts like this to an animal. My heart goes out to the family who had to experience this.

  2. stephanie says:

    This man deserves what he gets….even though its instinct to want to help another animal thats being attacked doesnt mean its ok for him to take it into his own hands…especially since it was none of his business to start with…if this dog was to be deemed vicious its up to animal welfare to do so..I hope this man gets whats coming to him, especially since he followed that dog back into his own yard and proceeded to keep stabbing him….shame on you, you dumba** for killing an animal

  3. mountainfairy says:

    Just look at the guy! Would you trust him with any animal, a child even your Grandma? NO, I think not! He is right where he should be for what he has done. I hope he is there for a long time. I hope that the only thing he is allowed to see at night in his cell is the beautiful dog with the stab wounds that he gave him. I hope they are posted on his wall in a way that he can not take them down. He needs to be reminded of the horrible thing he did to a trusting, loving animal that he was to be taking care of.
    You had better be watching your back that you aren’t treated in the same way. Remember what goes around comes around all in good time.

  4. Debbie says:

    I cannot believe anyone could hurt an animal at all, but this was beyond comprehension. I cannot even imagine the pain the poor rotti felt during the time of this vicious attack. I can only hope this man will feel the same pain as he inflicted upon the poor defenseless dogs, who could have torn him apart; but, he did not. RIP you sweet dog, you did not deserve what happened to you, but at least someone did something about it this time. You are loved.

  5. Tammy Jones says:

    So at 8:30 in the morning this guy is Drunk. Make no mistake this man is A DRUNK, I know because I am a recovering Alcoholic 4 years next month. Only a Drunk drinks beer at the time of the morning. Regardless of what he says happened he was in no condition to make an honest account of what happened, he stabbed this dog because he wanted to and for no other reason. Drunk or Sober this Dog was viciously attacked and it’s horrible. Send this guy to jail or worse, apparently he doesn’t care about himself or anything else. There is no excuse for what he did and I have no sympathy for him or anyone else who hurts and innocent creature.

  6. murray McCory says:

    Dangerous dogs kill smaller animals in a vicious and violent manner. Owners of such dogs know they are responsible for what amounts to a lethal weapon, yet they continue to let them run loose, and kill cats and dogs belonging to neighbors, as well as harassing people walking by. where I live the sheriff can do nothing to enforce state laws, and there is no community leash law, as our Commissioners will not approve one. I lost a family cat that was terribly chewed up and suffering. I got her into town to a vet but it was too late. Three dogs were on my back porch, and one bit me on the wrist. I have shot them before with a pellet gun to no avail. I now have a .22 magnum pistol that I practice with on the shooting range. Will you call me a ‘violent vigilante’ for shooting a killer dog on my property to protect my remaining two cats? Will I be arrested? My neighbor owns the dogs and cares nothing of the pets of others. I have put in security cameras and a board fence around my home. At a cost of 3000.00 I am protecting my cats, as his dogs run free. The previous comments are typical liberal one sided injustice aimed at the victim, not the criminal. This man was protecting another little dog, and you judge him to be a felon? If you stand by while a big violent dog attacks a little passive dog, then you are a liberal turning your back on victims, and promoting crime. The emotion the man experienced arises in some people when they experience such injustice, and they commit wrong doings such as this man did, and suffer for the deed, but this is not justice. Justice is the mean dog is dead, but suffering was cruel and unnecessary. this mean dog suffered, but will not kill again.

  7. Alison M says:

    In regards to the above comment by Mr. McCoy, I must point out that this drunk had already “succeeded” in stopping the dispute between the two dogs. He should have stopped there. But no; he went back inside his house and emerged again to pursue the already injured and defenseless rottie. This was absolutely unneeded, unnecessary, and anyone who would condone such a senseless act of violence makes me not in the least surprise why our society is the way it is. And furthermore, the one who really needed to be stabbed was the rottie’s owner, NOT the rottie. He clearly did not know any better, it was the owner who was responsible.
    This man was not justified, nor are you in your clear defensiveness of his actions. This redneck drunken animal abuser is exactly where he needs to be, and I hope he is there for a LONG time.
    Rest in peace, dear dog.

  8. Reading things like this make me ashamed of being a human being. Then I read the other heart felt comments and think about the world ALDF is doing and I feel better again. I hope there is a “special kind of hell” for people who abuse children and animals. Not very forgiving of me, I know…

  9. Denise Overy says:

    I am not a liberal and believe this so called human was totally out of line. Who is to say he is telling the truth about the Rottie attacking the other dog anyhow. If so how is the other dog? I had a Rottie that if she wanted to could have killed another dog quickly. Not sure I believe his story anyhow. My Rottie died of cancer at 10 and was the sweetest dog ever. She loved all children! This man separated the dogs as he said and then went back to savagely KILL the Rottie. This is not a normal human being that I want around. He belongs in jail and I hope he gets the maximum sentence as he deserves it.

  10. Rana says:

    Even if the rott had gone after the little dog, that did NOT give the man the RIGHT TO KILL! I’ve had to separate dogs many times, but I never killed one to do so, nor even harmed one. I had both a rott and a bulldog that got into it many times. That’s what animals do sometimes, just like humans. Not all of them like each other. But, just like children fight sometimes and you don’t go out and kill the child, dogs fight sometimes, and you don’t go out and kill the dog. The guy belongs where he is…in jail!

Be a Partner in Protection!

Donate monthly to help animals.

or make a one-time gift »

ALDF's Online Store

Help fund our lifesaving work!


Stay Connected

Sign up for Action Alerts.

Join Us

Follow ALDF on these networks:

Stay Connected

Sign up for Action Alerts.