Two days before Christmas, Christopher Blackstone of Colorado Springs got into an argument with his girlfriend, Talitha Peterson-Hooks. She ignored his subsequent calls and texts, and, according to the police report, that's when Blackstone turned to Peterson-Hooks's three-to-five-month-old puppy and stomped on its head repeatedly.
Early Christmas Eve morning, Peterson-Hooks got a text message from Blackstone that read, "If you would have answered your phone, your dog would still be alive." He told her to check the dumpster behind their apartment. She found her puppy spattered with blood in a white trash bag and called the police.
According to the Colorado Springs Police Department, animal cruelty cases this extreme are rare in the city. "It pops its head up once in a while," says Sgt. Darrin Abbink. "But it's not a common thing." On the other hand, Abbink says it is relatively common to see domestic violence cases that involve the victim's animals. "It's just one method of control that apparently this individual resorted to," he says.
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Blackstone, who has a history of domestic violence, has been accused of felony cruelty to animals. When he was arrested, he tried to kick his way out of the patrol car, an act that earned him a felony charge for criminal mischief.
The Humane Society just released its annual Humane State Rankings, and Colorado came in a highly respectable fifth, scoring a 38 out of 65. So this is a pretty alright state to be in if you're an animal, as long as you're nowhere near Christopher Blackstone.