Thousands standing up for Buddy; Slain dog's owners thanking supporters

By: Tim Ciesco Email
By: Tim Ciesco Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Thousands of people across the community, state, and country say the story of Buddy the dog has had a profound impact on them. Now, they're uniting to support his owners and speak out against animal cruelty.

More than 50 demonstrators lined up outside the U.S. Courthouse in Grand Junction Thursday afternoon as accused dog dragger Steven Romero sat inside for a hearing. Between the signs, drivers honking their horns and pet lovers standing with their dogs next to them outside the entrance, a lot of people had something to say about Buddy's death.

"We want to show people that dogs have rights," says Tami Duran, a supporter of Buddy who demonstrated outside the courthouse.

"I wanted to be here because I think it's important the public knows we will not tolerate a crime like this in our area," says Debbie Faulkner, a supporter of Buddy and employee at an animal rescue organization in Delta.

Dozens of Buddy supporters packed the benches inside the courthouse during Romero's hearing. Others stood outside for nearly two hours hoping to get their message across.

"This guy should be prosecuted to the fullest," says Duran.

Thousands more have been taking to the cyber streets for Buddy. In just a week, a facebook group called "Demand Justice for Buddy" has grown to more than 80,000 members.

A Denver-based company called Family Plaque is donating a memorial plaque for Buddy's grave site and a Denver rescue for dogs has a blue heeler they want to donate to Buddy's owners.

"It makes you feel good about humanity," says Faulkner. "That in spite of people like Mr. Romero, there are also people out there that really care."

Buddy's owners, Sacha and Joe Leber, say they've been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and that it's given them something smile about during this difficult time.

"I figured [Buddy's death] would go unnoticed and it hasn't," says Joe Leber. "There's a lot of people out there and we appreciate it a bunch."

"From the bottom of my heart, thank you and I love you guys," says Sacha Leber. "Thank you guys so much."

National animal rights group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) issued a statement Thursday calling on the U.S. Attorney's Office to "vigorously prosecute" Romero.

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  • by Brenda Location: Wichita, KS on Feb 23, 2010 at 06:23 AM
    This is terrible. An animal abuser is often a murderer, just like BTK. BTK murdered animals cruelly. He once shot my sisters dog in the penis in front of my two nephews. So maybe they should be looking to see how many human murders can be contributed to this non human and his sister.
  • by Beverly Location: Alabama on Feb 3, 2010 at 12:41 AM
    I just can't handle these kind of criminals. I am a BIG dog lover and I have 3. They are my CHILDREN and are treated better than some human kids are. I love them to pieces and I would love to get my hands on this jerk and his sister. They would NEVER think of stealing another dog or any animal. I would love to be the one to drag him and his sister behind my truck for about 15 miles about 40 MPH to bring them to a slow death. That is what they deserve. They do not deserve to go to prison or live any longer. We don't need people like that on this earth. May GOD act upon this monster and do what he thinks is the right thing to do. EVERYBODY should know by now that animal cruelty is a FELONY now so he and his sister needed a free place to live and free food I guess. Living off of us hard working people. Makes me pure sick. I would rather torture them than kill them at first then let them die a slow death and let me spit on their graves. GOD BLESS YOU BUDDY, YOU WILL BE MISSED.
  • by jess Location: columbus, nc on Jan 31, 2010 at 11:53 AM
    I hope the jerk get the maximum sentence and all the men in prison learn of what he did and give him what he deserves.
  • by Linda deAvila Location: Michigan on Jan 31, 2010 at 11:23 AM
    There are no laws stiff enough to punish this monster. He should be punished the same way Buddy was. They are our best friends and often would give their lives for us. All animals should be treated with care. Justice for Buddy needs to be done!
  • by katrina Location: flordia on Jan 30, 2010 at 05:02 PM
    stop the animal abuse drag him to his death
  • by Bill Location: Tallassee, TN on Jan 30, 2010 at 04:42 AM
    This person should be prosecuted to the very maximum that is possible. Although I would not mind terribly if the same treatment he inflicted on Buddy were meted out to him, I know we can't. Please due every thing possible to put Romero away for as long as possible. How do I sign the petition which might help this happen?
  • by Michele Location: Dunkirk, MD on Jan 29, 2010 at 10:16 AM
    Reading about this horrible torture to Buddy made me angry that people who perform such cruel acts get such little punishment - 3 years in prison is not nearly severe enough punishment. The likes of mosters like Steven Romero, his accomplis sister or celebs like Michael Vick. With so little done to these rotten, hate filled creatures we call humans it is no wonder the atrocious cruel and inhumane acts continue to happen to defenseless, trusting animals. I agree with Debbie in CT and Sunshine in IL that Steven Romero should endure the same cruelty he inflicted on Buddy!
  • by Peri Location: Duarte, CA on Jan 28, 2010 at 04:02 PM
    This is extremely disgusting and outrageous that anyone could do something so sick like this to a defenseless animal. This makes my blood boil and this person better be glad I'm not near enough to do what I'd like to do to him. People like this do not deserve to live. They are a pox on humanity.
  • by debbie Location: Ct. on Jan 28, 2010 at 07:52 AM
    I just read this because my computer was down--PLAIN AND SIMPLE-PUT HIM IN JAIL- BETTER YET- DO TO HIM WHAT HE DID TO BUDDY!!!!!!
  • by Diana Location: Southern California on Jan 27, 2010 at 01:33 PM
    I am demanding justice for Buddy. Cruelty like this cannot be tolerated. Just yesterday, 1/26, Glynn Johnson was found guilty here locally for beating a puppy, Karley, with a 12 lb. rock who had to be euthanized. 4 years (the max.) sentence is not enough time to serve for such cruelty.
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