Ax killing of dogs gets man up to 10 years in prison

A Susquehanna Township man will spend up to 10 years in state prison for killing two family dogs with an ax on Aug. 24.

Frederick L. Clark, 36, of 67 Second Ave., was drinking on a Friday evening when he and his wife had a quarrel. He became violent, and his frightened wife and three children ran to a neighbor’s home.

By the time state troopers investigated the domestic incident the next day, Clark sent several text messages to his wife telling her he had killed her dogs, dachshund-pit bull mixes named Buster and Sita. He buried the bodies in his backyard.

Clark admitted to investigators he had killed and buried the dogs, but initially claimed he killed them with his hands.

On Tuesday morning, Judge Richard Gray sentenced Clark to 22 months to five years state incarceration for two misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty.

“We asked for a deadly weapon enhancement and it was granted by Judge Gray,” said Assistant District Attorney Melissa Kalaus.

Clark was on probation from a previous DUI charge, and the violation added a minimum of one up to five years to the sentence.

At sentencing, Kalaus read a piece entitled “If Your Dog Could Talk,” that included the line “treat me kindly, my beloved friend, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for your kindness than mine.”

Clark’s children made a memorial slideshow for their pets that included pictures of the balloon release they held when they reburied the two pets together. Kalaus showed the slideshow to the judge on DVD.