Airman who killed dog discharged

ANIMAL rights campaigners have welcomed news that a former medic who slashed his dog s throat with a military knife has been kicked out of the American Air Force. Senior Airman Dustin Yandell, 22, originally from Maryland and based at RAF Lakenheath havin

ANIMAL rights campaigners have welcomed news that a former medic who slashed his dog's throat with a military knife has been kicked out of the American Air Force.

Senior Airman Dustin Yandell, 22, originally from Maryland and based at RAF Lakenheath having served in Iraq, has been discharged after admitting killing his golden retriever, Goldie, in March last year.

He had returned to service after serving just over half of the 18-week prison sentence he was handed in September for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

Kate Fowler-Reeves, head of campaigns at Animal Aid, said: "This is a very shocking case but sadly not unusual. There are a lot of cases of deliberate cruelty.


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"I don't think this man should have been allowed to stay in service. He should have been discharged like he has been now. I think more should be done to those who are found guilty of deliberate animal cruelty.

"Courts should be able to pass physiological care recommendations. If someone is capable of harming an animal they may need some help."

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Magistrates banned Yandell from keeping pets for life after hearing how he put the dog in a bath before slitting its throat from one side to the other following a row with his estranged wife, who was in America at the time.

The RSPCA began to investigate after a council worker discovered the body of the dog in a blue recycling bin in March.

Yandell, of Mill Reef Close, Newmarket, was assigned to administrative duties with the 48th Security Forces Squadron at Lakenheath pending an air force review of his status after he was released from prison.

Sophie Wilkinson, RSPCA spokeswoman for East Anglia, said: "We hoped that the court's sentencing would be something that would prevent him doing the same thing and take the welfare of animals more seriously in the future.

"This just shows that the American air force and the authorities here are willing to take a very firm position on matters such as this one.

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