First the cat. . .

The Muncie Star Press reported today of a plea agreement reached in the case of Danield John Collins, 39.  Collins was accused of forcing his 7 year old daughter to stab the family’s 8 month old cat.

According to the Star Press, “The daughter and Collins’ 11-year-old son said their father ordered them to stab the cat because he wanted them to “learn to kill.” Police said the defendant’s son tried to hide the cat from his father, but that Collins was able to find the animal and strangled it as his children looked on.”  Collins pled guilty to domestic violence/animal cruelty and 2 counts of neglect of a dependent, in the plea agreement, he will be sentenced to 18 months in prison.

It is a well know fact that animal abuse leads to domestic violence.  The Humane Society of the United States, Animal Cruelty/Domestic Violence Fact Sheet points out the parallels between the two.

While Collins may end up only serving 9 months total in prison, the mother of these two children should take this time to get help for herself and the kids.  If she doesn’t she and her children will be in serious jeapordy when Collins is released.

Again, to all the foster parents out there, it is cases like this that make your commitment to kids all the more important.


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One Response to “First the cat. . .”

  1. anonymous Says:

    I remember when I first became a foster parent, back in 1976. The caseworker would call and ask if I would take a child or children, then she would arrive with her wards and usually a garbage bag holding a few clothing items and maybe a toy or two. One little guy was only about 2 1/2 years old. He was our second foster experience. His mother had come into town to “work” the Regatta and left him with a strange babysitter. After she failed to return in a few days, the sitter became anxious and called OFC. Mom hsd been arrested for prostitution and had not told the police she had a child with a sitter. Little Gino stayed with us for about 3 months, til mom could untangle herself from her legal problems and get a place to live and a real job.

    The only english that Gino could speak when he first came to us was “Mcels” – his way of saying McDonalds. He could rattle off a lot in Italian but of course we had no idea what he was saying! He slowly picked up a few words but it was a battle. He was a little trooper though and would convey his wishes with gestures. We ignored the pointing and he finally gave up and decided he could say a few words for us. He and our son, just a year older, would zip around the house and yard playing Batman and Robin. Gino and his mom were from New York City and Gino was amazed at being in the country.

    It broke my heart when the case worker brought the mom to our home and took the child with no warning. Back then, foster parents were not allowed to attend court hearings nor did they get many updates verbal or otherwise.

    I always wondered what happened to little Gino. Of course then we were not allowed to ask questions about the child after they left. He cried when they took him away. He held out his little arms and called me mommy and sobbed as they loaded him and his hastily gathered belongings into the car.

    My husband came home from work a few hours later, all ready to play with the kids. He found me and our son sitting on the sofa, wishing we had had time to say a real goodbye. We all cried that night.

    About midway into our placement, the caseworker came with another worker and explained that there had been a death of a foster child in placement and they had been ordered by the Judge to check every single foster child in placement for bruises and signs of neglect and abuse. They stripped the poor little guy down and examined him thoroughly and voiced thier happiness that he was alright. Thankfully he thought it was a game and went and got another set of clothes to put on.

    That evening I read in the paper where a child had indeed died – he was in placement with an uncle and for some unknown reason the uncle had hung the little boy. I was glad the caseworker had come and checked out Gino – but I often wondered what it would be like if Judges all over the country ordered caseworkers to do this all the time. And then i remembered, hmmm, that IS the law….

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