Why Facebookers Are Demanding "Justice for Buddy"

January 25 2010, 9:45 AM

Tens of thousands of people are calling for the maximum sentence for Steven Romero, the man accused of tying a rope around a dog's neck and forcing it to run three miles behind his truck up steep hills, eventually killing it. Since the incident at the Colorado National Monument near Grand Junction last month, more than 215,000 people have joined a Facebook group that aims to persuade a Colorado court to give Romero a maximum penalty of three years in a federal prison, a $100,000 fine, and one year of probation for his alleged animal cruelty. Organizer Gary Sherman has printed out more than 100,000 petitions signed by animal lovers across the United States and 111 other countries, notes The Denver Post. "Sadly, Buddy is not the only horrific animal abuse case we've heard about," Sherman says. "The reaction to him has been extraordinary; Buddy struck a nerve, and it became viral." Romero's sister, Melissa Lockhart, who faces felony theft and false reporting charges, allegedly stole the dog, named "Buddy," asking her brother to "get rid" of him. After his arrest, Romero was initially bewildered by the allegations, according to Grand Junction's Daily Sentinel. "I don't get it," he said, sitting alone at the defendant's table.