Animal lovers storm courtroom in steer burning case
September 12, 2014
A swarm of animal rights activists gathered in a San Luis Obispo courtroom Thursday to call for the conviction and maximum punishment of a man accused of setting a steer on fire last year in Paso Robles. [KSBY]
On October 26, 2013, the owner of the steer found his burnt animal at the Paso Robles High School agricultural barn. The steer suffered significant burns but survived.
More than seven months later, Paso Robles police arrested Garrett Kaplan, 24, for animal cruelty. Police say they have DNA evidence that links Kaplan to the crime scene.
Kaplan has pleaded not guilty.
On Thursday, a preliminary hearing in the case took place at the San Luis Obispo courthouse, and animal activists showed up wearing neon green shirts, saying “punish animal cruelty.” The group has already sent dozens of letters to the district attorney’s office and to Judge Michael Duffy and has collected more than 2,000 signatures on an online petition.
The supporters of the steer call themselves Justice for Panda because the steer’s name is Panda.