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Pit bull who was set on fire and beaten attends his abuser's parole hearing

Louis MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- A scarred but friendly pit bull named Louis Vuitton was the star witness Tuesday as an Alabama state board denied parole for the man convicted of spraying him with lighter fluid, setting him on fire and beating him with a shovel.

After the 8-year-old dog was led into the packed hearing room, the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles voted 3 to 0 to deny early release to 23-year-old Juan Daniels of Montgomery, who was sentenced in 2009 to nine years and six months in prison, a record in Alabama in an animal cruelty case.

Daniels, whose supporters said he had been sentenced far more harshly than criminals who harm human beings, will be eligible for parole again in July 2012.

The dog stuck his head forward for everyone who wanted to pet him as he entered. He bears burn scars from his head to his wagging tail, including white lines on his brown body where the burning lighter fluid seared his skin.

"You have to see the scars to see what was done to him," said the dog's owner, Dee Hartley of Montgomery. She and her husband adopted the dog after the torture incident.

It's unusual for a dog or other animal to make an appearance before such a panel.

"I don't recall every having one here before," said Cynthia Dillard, executive director of the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles.

The September 2007 attack on the dog drew wide notice. The Montgomery Humane Society got as many as 50 calls a day about the case, some from other countries. The dog was given the name of a French fashion brand, Louis Vuitton, in honor of a dog named Gucci, whose torture case in Mobile in 1994 led to passage of Gucci's Law, which made animal cruelty a felony in Alabama.

Louis3 More than 60 law enforcement officers, animal rights advocates and other supporters of Louis crowded into the hearing. Relatives and friends of Daniels also faced the board and asked that he be released.

Montgomery County Dist. Atty. Ellen Brooks asked parole board members to make Daniels serve his entire sentence because of his cruelty to the dog and the nine disciplinary actions taken against him in prison.

"The first reason to deny parole is to prevent him from hurting another animal or a person," Brooks said. She said he was accused of torturing the dog, which then belonged to his mother, because he was angry at her for not letting him use the car.

His mother, Vellica Daniels, asked for leniency for her son, so that he could get on with his life.

A cousin, Thomas Hudson, said after the hearing he didn't think it was fair because Daniels is behind bars with "folks who committed more extensive crimes than he committed."

Holladay Simmons, the veterinarian who treated Louis immediately after he was burned, told the board the dog's wounds were as bad as she had ever seen.

Matt Cooper, the county animal cruelty officer who responded to the call, said after the hearing: "I've worked cases where people let their dog starve to death, but this was the worst case of animal cruelty that I've seen."

Louis stood patiently outside the parole board offices after the hearing as people lined up to pat him on the head. He nuzzled up to many of his admirers, giving some a big, juicy lick on the face.

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-- Bob Johnson, Associated Press


Photos: (top and middle) Screen grabs from a YouTube video about Louis Vuitton's progress, as documented by his new owner. (The video, and additional videos of Louis, are available on dogdocAL's YouTube channel.)

(bottom) Louis Vuitton at the veterinary clinic where he was treated after being sprayed with lighter fluid, set on fire and beaten in September 2007. Credit: David Bundy / Associated Press

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I live in australia and i wish we could get our laws were as good as Alabama,good on you it's about time people are'ent getting let off with fines and a slap on the wrist.Animals deserve the same rights as us they have feelings and hurt as much as we do,i hope this mongrel has to serve out his whole 9 years....

I think he got what he deserved and the dog should get all the love and attention needed for healing. I hope the pooch find a loving home. After all this the dog deserves it.

been round pits 20+ yrs only mean if taught like any creature

Let me get this straight: Daniels' supporters' whole argument is that he is being punished more harshly than criminals who hurt other human beings...and their solution to this is to lighten his sentence? Where are they when a creep who hurts a child gets only 6 months? Shouldn't they be petitioning the court for harsher sentencing for those degenerates? Wouldn't that be a wiser and ultimately more useful way to spend their time and effort?

Get on with his life?! He is a MONSTER! His mother is an idiot for excusing what he did, and so are all of the other people who are supporting this evil man. There is absolutely NO excuse at all for what he did to this dog. It is about time someone has to pay the price for what they did. I am sick and tired of people getting off easily because of the mentality that it is "only an animal and not a person." Thank God Alabama has stepped up to the plate and done the right thing!

The thing that done this to the poor dog deserves everything that he got! He has to be a horrible person without any feelings at all. I wonder how he would feel if what he did to this poor dog was done to him???????? Some may say whats the big deal but i say the big deal is that that poor dog has feelings and feels pain!!!!!! I do hope that cruel person answers for what he did!!!!!Im very happy that the poor baby is now adopted and will live a good life with lots of love. TO THE GOOD PEOPLE THAT HAVE ADOPTED HIM ALL I CAN SAY IS GOD BLESS YOU.

Let him rot. Oh, and please note that this loser has been subjected to disciplinary measures NINE times while in prison. He isn't just cruel; he's also really, really dumb.

The guy that did this deserves everything he gets...he's a borderline serial killer...they say that's how it starts..the sicko tortures poor defenseless animals and probably has from the get go...then on to people..just think of what he would do if u really pissed him off..u kinda gotta worry about the sanity about the people that want him released as well...I mean come on people...thanks for taking one more monster off the streets...and thanks for getting justice for that poor dog

That is just crazy! There is something wrong with a person if they are to harm an animal like that, period. It makes you wonder what a person like that might do if they were left unchecked. If a person acts like that because they were denied the privilege of driving a car, what happens if that person is denied other privileges in the future? I think the full sentence is appropriate.

i hope he is denied parole in 2012 he does not need to be on the streets we have enough bad do good and keep him in jail

it is sad to see what people do to their animals and i'm glad that he has to spend his entire sentence behind bars. i'm very happy to see Louis happy and healthy as well as mending. i live with a pit and he is so gentle, patient and loving to the 6 month old beagle.

it is aweful what has to happen to animals. this poor dog. im so happy he was able to be given a second chance to such a loving family. i hope he is happy and feels safe. im also so happy they are keeping the guy in prison. if only more states would do it, there might be less abuse.

I am so glad to hear that Alabama's justice system protects their pets. I can only hope that at the next parole hearing, he is once again denied. It is time people realize that the animal abuse is at an epidemic state, and those that abuse an animal must pay for their crime. I believe Alabama stands as an example for the rest of the US. Wake up the rest of the US and follow Alabama's lead.

This is GREAT news. All states should follow. It's about time.

The man belongs in jail, period!!! He's a very sick individual and sounds like his family is no better! There is never a reason to do something like this to an animal. I hope the piece of crap rots in jail.....seriously!! Glad the law sent him back to jail!!!

Hope the idiot never gets released from prison. I have four dogs and they are all rescues..heaven forbid if anyone should ever harm them. I would end up in jail for beating the crap out of them or worse. Glad he has a forever home with people who love and cherish him.

YOU ARE A WELL I CAN NOT WRITE WHAT I THINK YOU ARE.I am glad you recieved the sentance that you did I wish my state had the same laws. As for sll you friends and relatives they must be just as bad as you if they think your sentance was harsh. Next time it will be a human or another pet. it was not harsh in my opion because that poor dog could not defend him self he trusted you and you hurt him very badly your a loser that deserves life. And did not reciece it because it was an animal and happen to survive thank goodness. i believe you and everyone who hurts animals and children will burn in hell karma man karma.

Daniels and his family need help if they think there was nothng wrong with what he did to that dog . jail time is exactly what he needed . and not to ever own an animal or his family should never own an animal either . if he can do this to an animal what will he do to a human . people like this need alot of help!!!!!!!! he did this just because he didn't get to use the car , what else has he done before because he didn't get something. this isn't an child this is an adult . the mother should of been responsible for his attactions also . or go to classes . something is not right with this family .......

what is wrong with these scumbags? makes me sick. this animal abuse has to stop. these poor babies. we are their only voice to help them. shame on all of them. people like that arent humans. they shouldnt be aloud to breathe the air. the laws have to get more strict and scums like this should be watched and never get another pet. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SICKOS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I would like to ask his family and friends what is more extensive a crime than harming a living thing? What is wrong with those people where they can't understand that people should not harm ANY living thing?!!!

the man who did this should NEVER be paroled this is absolutely cruel how would he like it if it was done to him. this kidn of thing infurates me

God Bless That poor Angel on earth may his abuser stay right where he belongs and may he get treated the same as he treated poor Louis! xoxox We Must stop animal abuse and Prison is a start!

It doesn't surprise me that the mother asked for leniency as her enabling most likely led to her animalistic son's vindictive and sadistic AND self centered behavior. Doing this because he couldn't use the car?? Let me guess? She let him use the car after the incident...since she wanted him out of jail...

Me personal, would give him life! These pets are our family!!


I'm with Julie van Niekerk.

This dog is beyond wonderful for not becoming aggressive and mean to people after what that monster did to him. It has been shown time and time again that animals have a huge capacity for resilience and forgiveness, but to push them to the point of discovering this fact is unjust and should be dealt with as this case was, with time served for such terrible and cruel abuse.

The abuse cycle begins with acts such as these. That man is obviously in need of a psychological evaluation on top of the time he will serve, and deservedly so. Animals and children are the usual targets of persons such as the man who hurt this dog. It simply must stop and without criminal charges filed, no action will prevent this from happening again. Alabama is to be commended for taking this abuse seriously and demanding time served for the effort! All states should follow their fine example.

OMG when I saw that poor baby and read the story I cried. How can someone inflict such cruel ,painful, treatment to a innocent animal ? The scum says he did it because his mother wouldn't let him drive her car. That is a monster not a human being . I applaud the court for giving him 9 years and the parole board for not letting him out early ,I hope they continue to vote no to parole him ! I hope some dog lover sets HIM on fire so he can feel what he put the dog through!!!

This is to Jessica ,you are a true moron to call him "poor guy"when he did such a heinous crime to a defenseless animal. He belongs in prison for life ! Odds are when he gets out he will commit worse crimes. He isn't even behaving in prison,that should give you a clue as to what kind of person he is.

This poor dog. What did he do to deserve this? why must people torture these poor dogs. and how is it that this man got 9 years and 6 months but Vick got three? everyone should be charged with animal cruelty the same to learn their lesson! these poor animals have no way to fight back and yet their attackers arent be seriously sentenced!

I am glad he is not being released from prison. The family thinks he should, and there were others who mentioned about people who had committed worse crimes may not have received the same amount of time. That does not make it right. Anyone who saw the injury to the dog should want the person to be punished. If I did this I should be punished. This person should do the entire 9 years day for day not a portion, perhaps 85%. I am glad he is where he is, I wish the Judge could have given him life.

This is the saddest thing whoever can do this can sit in jail for life ...Animals are just like people and that person should get attempted murder and sit in jail however long that is..... I think it's 15-20 yrs. Sick disgusted person!!!!!!!!!

I know that God is looking out for these dogs. Can't wait for these so-called-humans to pay for this in eternity.

This person needs to do the full time that he was sentenced. Their is no reason for the acts he commited towards this beautiful dog. His mother said he could not use her car so he burns and beats a dog. He needs more than just prison he needs mental help. Every body sees a football star get a slap on the wrist so they think they can do it.

It sounds as if it is very beneficial for animals to attend hearings like this.
If anything good has come out of the high profile case of Mr. Michael Vick-perhaps it is this: that cases of abuse, torture and death of animals will now be taken seriously and those who commit these horrible acts can, in future, expect to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. As they should be. Perhaps they should also be held liable for the full cost of treatment for the harm they have inflicted-as Mr. Vick was.
Needless to say-people who commit these crimes should never be allowed to own animals in the future-something Mr. Vick says he actually wants.

disgusting monster! how does someone do this to an innocent animal? i'll never understand people.

Patrick the Miracle Dog

Another story that kills all hearts. This dog was starved to the point of looking like a mummified dog with rigormortis; while in that state he was stuffed in a garbage bag and thrown down a 22 story garbage chute and live. They named him Patrick after St. Patrick's Day because a dog in that state could have only survived by an act of miracle. Read about him and send his YouTube video viral. His story might perform more miracles.


Thank You Lord for Sweet Louie and for the first time making someone truly pay for such heinous torture!!! My heart soars that this lovely pup has been vindicated!!!!

"His mother, Vellica Daniels, asked for leniency for her son, so that he could get on with his life." Yeah, the next time she won't let him use the car, he might burn down the house with her in it. Get on with his life! That scum's only life is another trip back to prison shortly after he is out--I am sure of it.

It's amazing to me how pit bulls get such a bad reputation but stories like this show just what loving animals they are. Again & again people treat them horribly, yet they remain loyal & loving. It's time the real monsters are punished & put all this animal cruelty to an end!

Good to hear that Alabama is taking these crimes seriously. I hope other states follow. Anyone who does this to a dog because he can't use a car is simply too dangerous to be around anyone or anything. He is certainly a danger to other humans as well.

Well I am not sorry JUAN is behind bars. He is EXCATLY where he needs to be. All animal abusers need to do there time. If The law would sentence all abusers to 10yrs and no parole there would be a lot less abuse going on. I do agreee that any kind of abuse wheater it be human or animal needs to be punished to the maxium. When people perform such cruelty to animals like this they typically movoe on to humans. Do the research!!! If you have no compassion for animals you have no compassion for humans as well.
Juan needs to do his time, the full 9yrs

let him spend his time it wont' hurt half as bad as it did that poor baby.

OMG...throw the damn book at this monster...how can someone be so damn cruel to a dog? What would he do to a crying baby? Put this idiot away for many many years...

I hope Louie that you live the rest of your life in kindness and peace and much LOVE!ALABAMA ROCKS.

what is wrong with people of this world?the laws?the senate!the house of represenitives!what ids the problam here?!how are you going to let evil,rotton,trash heartless,cruel,inhumane careless,inhumane people do the rotton,awful evil things they do to innocent,helpless animals?!what you do is obviously not the right thing!instead of getting better,it gets worse!stop slapping the evil hands as michael vick!after torturing and killing so many poor animals,this jerk runs around like nothing ever happened!?there is a terrible problam here!and someone has to fix it!do on to these dam people as they do to these poor animals!what does it take not to know,what you do does nothing!do the same dam thing to them!let them know the lw means buissness!and that they will have to endure the same dam thing!you will then see how fast it stops!my god do something!how many poor animals have to suffer ?

hope this guy is getting some counseling inside?

I have a pit bull I live in WV, and i am so sad to here that how DO SOME BODY DO THAT to a pit bull :( 4 tham we have to do someing to help tham i am sad 4 tham :(

Well I will have to say this is great news..usually the court system is too lienent of animal abuse cases...this is horrendous..that poor dog...Pitbulls are a great and loving...loyal to the end doggie...no one should get away with this especially the greatness of his wounds...he's adorable...its so sad that humans as we call ourselves do this to an animal or person...I like the name Animal..how do you describe that word.? Humans are suppose to be civial and upright and animals are suppose to be "Animals?"...Not....this is a gross case of a young man whose mind never developed...he will do this again and again...mark my words...this man should be just put away...shame on his mother too..and his family....ya know I just thought of something too...serial killers start with animals dont they? Thank you all that made this doggie's life much more bearable to live a life as a PET....

YAY! Well done! If this type of sentence happened to all hideous animal abusers, they would think twice or three times before committing their crimes.

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