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Iowa man sentenced to two years in prison for beheading rabbit at animal shelter

Posted at 1:36 PM, Mar 04, 2020

An Iowa man was sentenced to two years in prison after he beheaded a rabbit at a Des Moines animal shelter.

The Des Moines Register reports that 64-year-old Bobby Carothers was sentenced on Feb. 13 after he pleaded guilty to animal torture charges.

The Associated Press reports that Carrothers visited the Animal Rescue League shelter in Des Moines on Dec. 15. When the shelter closed for the evening, he was the last guest inside.

On his way out, the Des Moines Register reports that Carrothers told an ARL employee that he was "having rabbit stew for dinner."

Employees at ARL later found a rabbit, named Petunia, dead in her cage. The rabbit's head and ears had been removed.

According to the Associated Press, Carrothers was arrested later that evening after pulling the fire alarm at a nearby trucking company. As deputies arrested him, he told them about how he killed a rabbit with a stick.

"2019 was an exceptionally challenging year, none of the least of which was when Bobby Gene Carothers brazenly violated our safe haven for animals by horrifically murdering Petunia, a pet rabbit in our care," ARL of Iowa CEO Tom Colvin said in a statement Tuesday, according to the Register. "This has been an incredibly painful journey of recovery for our team and while we are relieved to have a resolution in the courts for this case, our fight to improve Iowa's animal welfare laws continues and is now more personal than ever before."