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Georgia Animal Abuser Gets Serious Jail Time for Heinous Acts

A Columbus man is in prison for three years after he pleads guilty to Aggravated Cruelty to Animals for maliciously causing the death of his wife’s beloved Dachshund on January 5, 2022.

Georgia animal abuser gets serious jail time for heinous acts. A Columbus man is in prison for three years after he pleads guilty to Aggravated Cruelty to Animals for maliciously causing the death of his wife’s beloved Dachshund on January 5, 2022.


On a surveillance camera video, Charles Van Pelt, 27, is seen walking calmly into a backyard kennel to carry out his malicious act of catching, trapping and mercilessly stomped his wife’s 9-year-old Dachshund, Penny, to death while other dogs watched in a neighboring pen. The attack left Penny so critically injured that her head was misshapen and she had traumatic brain injury. She was euthanized the next day.


The “link” between domestic violence and animal abuse has been established for decades. Penny’s death was not going to be ignored and luckily, Assistant District Attorney Kimberly Schwartz, who helped write the majority of felony animal cruelty laws in Georgia, prosecuted the Columbus case. In her 35th year of fighting crime, Ms. Schwartz has seen it all and has trained many in her field on successful animal cruelty prosecutions. “Violence against an animal is often used as either a substitute for violence against a domestic partner, a practice/warm-up, or a coercive measure designed to instill fear”, said Schwartz.

In a negotiated plea Tuesday August 23, 2022, he was sentenced to:


  • The maximum sentence of five years, with the first three years to be served in prison followed by two years on probation

  • Court denied the defendant’s request to be sentenced as a first offender

  • $1,000 fine

  • 100 hours of community service

  • $761.92 in restitution paid to dog owner

  • Submit to search of person or property whenever asked by probation or law enforcement officer during probation period.

  • Defendant must undergo mandatory psychological evaluation and complete any recommended treatment

  • Defendant may not own, possess, or be in the presence of any domesticated animal.

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