Gloria’s Case File

St. Joseph, Missouri

Executive Summary

In October, 2018, we received word about a young dog who was found outside of Slater, MO with a gunshot wound to her face. Despite having serious life-threatening and painful injuries to her face, all reports of Gloria described her a “social,” “sweet,” and “loving.” She was found by the side of a country road by a good samaritan, who took her to the vet and notified the sheriff. Volunteers in Slater, Missouri networked find a rescue to take Gloria, and Unleashed Pet Rescue and Adoption (UPR) in Mission, KS jumped into action to save her life.

With the combined efforts of AJLA, Prosecuting Attorney Tim Thompson, and Mobley’s defense attorney, justice for Gloria was achieved.

Background

Not much is known about Gloria’s previous life prior to her being shot and left for dead, other than she was owned at the time by the person who shot her.

After being found on October 11, 2018, Connie Holt (a volunteer and administrator with the Slater Pound Facebook page) was contacted by the “finder”. Connie went to meet Gloria and the “finder” at the local vet. They decided to start Gloria on life-saving antibiotics while they formulated a plan for her to be transferred somewhere with the appropriate facility and equipment to meet her needs and save her life. It was clear that Gloria would need extensive surgery and medical care.

The next day, Connie transported Gloria to Danielle Reno, founder of Unleashed Pet Rescue (UPR) near Kansas City, MO, who had dropped everything when she heard about Gloria and drove over 3 hours to Saline County. Danielle immediately felt a connection to and personal involvement with Gloria and took her straight to Blue Pearl Emergency Veterinary Partners for evaluation and treatment.

Upon evaluation, it was concluded that Gloria’s wounds were consistent with a point-blank gunshot wound to the face with spray from the shell spread throughout. It is believed that the shooter was looking at her straight on, but Gloria slightly turned her head at the last minute, resulting in the shot entering her nasal cavity before traveling toward the back of her mouth and downward out the bottom of her cheek. It was determined that Gloria would likely need a series of surgeries to repair the damage and would lose several of her teeth.

Through it all, Gloria was patient, loving, and social. It was clear that Gloria was in no way aggressive or dangerous, and posed no threat to any person or animal (she met many during this time). Gloria’s kisses were bestowed on everyone she met, including young children- even during a time when she was clearly in immense discomfort and pain. She willingly allowed her face to be examined and every person involved in her rescue and medical treatment reported a sweet and loving disposition.

Investigation

Danielle Reno and Shane Rudman of AJLA initially met to discuss how best to proceed with getting justice for Gloria. Both Danielle and AJLA had been getting leads from the public about the person who shot Gloria. Being so personally vested in Gloria’s well-being by that time, Danielle wanted to deliver the leads to the Saline County Sheriff’s Office (who had initially asked Danielle and AJLA to give them some time to complete their own investigation.)

During this time, the person who first found Gloria by the side of the road was in direct contact with AJLA to provide any assistance she could to ensure that the shooter was caught and prosecuted.

On October 16, 2018, less than a week after Gloria’s rescue, UPR’s Danielle Reno met with the Saline County Sheriff’s Department to personally provide the name of the shooter and see that file charges would be filed. Due to the number of corroborating leads given to both Danielle Reno and AJLA, we felt certain of the shooter’s identity. Shane Rudman followed up with a phone call to let the Sheriff’s Office know the information provided to us agreed with the ones provided by Danielle, and that we would assist in any way they needed to ensure this person was brought in.

Within a week of Gloria being found, a warrant was issued by Saline County Sheriff’s Department for the arrest of eighteen-year-old resident Harley Mobley. He was charged with felony second degree animal abuse, and already had a prior criminal record.

Mobley did not immediately surrender himself, and actually posted on Facebook during that time (comments were later deleted) which confirmed that he did indeed know of the warrant and had no plans of owning up to the charges. Social media comments from those close to him boasted that they believed he would “get away with it,” or have very little penalty actually imposed upon him.

AJLA founder Shane Rudman reached out to Mobley via Facebook post and urged him to turn himself in or AJLA would seek maximum penalties, both criminally and civilly. Mobley did not respond.

He turned himself in at the sheriff’s department shortly thereafter, later admitting that he finally realized he had no other choice and had to be responsible for his actions.

According to the sheriff’s report, Mobley had little explanation for his actions other than to state he believed Gloria had rabies (though offered no reasoning behind this belief) and didn’t have time to take her to the vet that morning.

Gloria, meanwhile, was healing each day and thriving in a loving foster home. She got along with the other dogs in the home, loved meeting new people of all ages, and found her forever home with her foster family, discovering an affinity for stuffed flamingo toys. She was cleared medically and released from Blue Pearl in February, 2019 with a clean bill of health and a new lease on life.

Court Date

Mobley posted $2,500 bail on 10/3/2018 and appeared for his arraignment on 10/17/2018. He was granted a continuance three times, with his final court date on 03/06/2019.

Action

AJLA and UPR continued to follow-up with the officials in Saline County throughout the timeline, and when the new Prosecuting Attorney, Tim Thompson, was elected, Shane Rudman quickly went to meet with him.

Thompson was admittedly apprehensive about working with AJLA in the beginning. However, after learning more about AJLA and meeting with Shane Rudman, he was very receptive to discussing Gloria’s case and how seeking tougher penalties for animal abusers could reduce other crimes within his community, recognizing the strong link between the two.

Thompson and Shane met several times and had frequent conversations about Mobley, Missouri’s laws in regards to his crimes, and how best to proceed.

RESULTS

With the combined efforts of AJLA, Prosecuting Attorney Tim Thompson, and Mobley’s defense attorney, justice for Gloria was achieved.

It was agreed upon that Mobley would participate in a filmed confession to apologize for his actions and explain that he truly did not know that other options existed at the time.

He will now have supervised probation, requiring him to meet and stay in contact with specialized, trained professionals on a regular basis, which will be thoroughly documented for 96 weeks. He is required to either be employed 40 hours a week or complete community service for any of those hours he is not employed.

Mobley also agreed to help AJLA spread the message about modern rescue options for others like himself, who may not know they exist. He is not allowed to own a pet for two years following his probation and was required to surrender his current puppy. Finally, Mobley will repay the veterinary expenses for Gloria, which total more than $6,000.

If Mobley does not follow-through with each one of these requirements, he will face prison time.

After successfully completing all of the requirements of his probation for 24 months, the charges will be hidden from his public employment records to give him an opportunity to turn his life around and be a successful, productive citizen- but will always remain on his law enforcement record.

If Mobley commits ANY crime in the future, Gloria’s case automatically appears on his permanent record as a felony conviction.

With Mobley consenting to the terms above, AJLA agreed not to file a civil lawsuit against him, provided he complies with ALL of the terms.

Working together with all parties involved, we achieved tougher penalties than would have otherwise been imposed, a large part of which is due to the lack of clarity in how some of the current animal abuse statutes are written in the state of Missouri.

Looking to the Future

Through our work with Tim Thompson, it became clear to all parties involved that the current Missouri statutes pertaining to animal abuse are often too vague for the purposes of prosecuting these types of crimes, in many cases. Thompson has agreed to continue to work with AJLA to clarify and strengthen these laws, making it easier to get justice for abused and neglected animals. Further, Thompson formally noted that AJLA is a valuable resource in preparing and researching animal abuse cases, recommending other prosecutors work with us in the future.

Many people, especially those in rural communities like Harley Mobley, are not aware of options available in the modern rescue world. Options such as relinquishing a dog to a licensed rescue are often not well-known and education is the key to preventing future animal abuse in cases like this.

AJLA will continue to follow-up with Harley Mobley to ensure that he continues to complete his probation and advocacy as required, and we continue to work closely with Missouri officials and legislators to make the long-needed changes to animal abuse and neglect laws in the state.

Harley Mobley has a second chance to move toward building a productive life and educating others about modern rescue options- something he was not aware of previously. Should he choose the wrong path, the automatic felony conviction will remove any chance of leniency for future crimes committed.

Gloria was adopted by her foster and is now enjoying life surrounded by the people who refused to give up on her. She enjoys spending time with the other dogs in her new home, and has become an ambassador to classrooms, teaching children about animal abuse and rescue.

Further Reading

https://www.kshb.com/news/local-news/man-says-he-shot-dog-because-he-didnt-have-time-for-the-vet

https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/state-and-regional/unthinkably-cruel-missouri-man-with-no-time-for-the-vet/article_61db5b41-9052-560a-a75f-94fafda74ceb.html

About AJLA

Animal Justice League of America was founded to end animal abuse through REAL accountability. We believe in forgiveness, mercy, and moving forward. Most of all, though, we believe in justice with an impact. We believe that ending animal abuse is critical to ending ALL abuse. We call this “The Link”, which you can read more about here.