Animal lovers storm courtroom in steer burning case

September 12, 2014
Garret Kaplan

Garret Kaplan

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.



  1. SamLouis says:

    Whomever burned that steer is indeed a sicko but these “Justice for Panda” dolts are embarrassing. Their time would be better spent advocating for and helping the abused and neglected — the HUMAN abused and neglected.

    Only in the USA where livestock receives more sympathy than humans.

    (-9) 63 Total Votes - 27 up - 36 down
    • SamLouis says:

      I wonder for example if “Justice for Panda” members will don their “neon green shirts” and march in tomorrow’s (September 13th) Pro-Life Rally/Walk for Life which begins at 11:00 AM in front of the SLO Courthouse?

      Perhaps they could also send “dozens of letters” to local media and collect thousands of signatures in support of HUMAN life? Something is seriously wrong with society when burnt livestock attracts more attention than the extinguishing of human life.

      (-7) 39 Total Votes - 16 up - 23 down
      • bloop says:

        Yeah, because outlawing abortion will stop abortion.

        This is coming from a mother of two: A woman deserves the right to not go through pregnancy if she wishes, and that right overrides the right of anyone to live inside her. I have never heard of a woman aborting with malicious intentions.

        A man does not deserve the right to set on fire a separate, living being who is not interfering with the life of anyone else. This man obviously had malicious intentions and is one sick, twisted fellow.

        Humans aren’t more important than any other species, anyway.. especially clusters of human cells. In fact, in the grand scheme of things we are less important because humans have a habit of being destructive to themselves, other species, trees, and the planet.

        (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
    • nurse1 says:

      This douche bag should have the same thing done to him that he did to that poor animal. Simple. Justice served!

      (11) 19 Total Votes - 15 up - 4 down
      • SamLouis says:

        Nope. Two wrongs don’t make a right. If he’s adjudicated to be a sicko then he needs confined help. If he’s sane but simply nasty he needs a dose of hard time.

        While it doesn’t make his crime any less “wrong”, burning livestock is different than burning a human no matter what “Justice for Panda” types might believe. Not because livestock are not important. Rather because humans are more important.

        There was a recent story right here on CCN ( about a POS who tied a woman up and inflicted “burn marks, lacerations, scratches and bruising” onto her.

        Let’s see if a swarm of “Justice for Panda” types don their “neon green shirts” and “swarm” the courtroom in support of this poor woman and victims like her. Yeah, I know. Not likely and that’s a damned shame.

        (-4) 8 Total Votes - 2 up - 6 down
  2. aft50s says:

    I am surprised that this POS hasn’t had a run-in with the local FFA chapter

    (13) 17 Total Votes - 15 up - 2 down
  3. achillesheal says:

    Sounds like some pretty good CSI detective work linking his DNA to the accused 7 months later. If he did it, will the scienctific evidence be enough to convict?

    (14) 14 Total Votes - 14 up - 0 down
  4. tomsquawk says:

    “Animal lovers storm courtroom in steer burning case”, “A swarm of animal rights activists….”. You don’t have to be “one of them” to realize this guy is sick. I could go into detail but the punchline is that this guy has a real problem and will prpobably progress to people.

    (45) 49 Total Votes - 47 up - 2 down
  5. indigo1955 says:

    Sociopath. But they usually begin hurting animals and setting fires at a much earlier age. Sociopaths have no conscience…an animal’s pain-or even a human’s…just does not register as something wrong.

    (46) 48 Total Votes - 47 up - 1 down
  6. topper01 says:

    Stop acting like a bunch of inner city kids rioting and looting in the name of justice! You want Justice? Then allow the judicial system to provide it. ….or is it your version of Street Justice that you seek?

    (-21) 53 Total Votes - 16 up - 37 down
    • Perspicacious says:

      What are you trying to say? Never mind, I don’t think we care.

      (5) 17 Total Votes - 11 up - 6 down
  7. As the world turns says:

    studacuda, you are absolutely correct. Studies have shown that people who are cruel to animal usually become violent to humans.

    (36) 36 Total Votes - 36 up - 0 down
  8. Pelican1 says:

    One doesn’t have to be an animal lover to find this kind of behavior egregious. Acts of such cruelty are symptoms and signs of a troubled culture. Violence has seemingly become
    the method of choice for problem solving and conflict resolution. It’s time to stop the madness.

    (20) 22 Total Votes - 21 up - 1 down
  9. shudacuda says:

    People who are cruel to animals usually end up being cruel to their fellow man, some day this jerk will be abusing his wife.

    (34) 40 Total Votes - 37 up - 3 down
    • achillesheal says:

      Or, if he did it, he will soon be someone’s wife.

      (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down

Comments are closed.