AJLA Lead Counsel David Gregory Secures Million Dollar Landmark Judgment in Animal Abuse Case

Man Who Shot Laggie the Pit Bull Ordered to Pay $1.3 Million

Buchanan County, MO – After a man in Northwest Missouri shot a pit bull named Laggie twice in the head and left the dog for dead, David Gregory and his law firm, The Injury Counsel, stepped in to help the good Samaritans who cared for the dog – sending a strong message that animal abusers will be held responsible for their cruel actions.  Animal-abuser Jeff Smith was ordered to pay $1.3 million for his actions by default judgment.

According to the pleadings, in April 2018, Defendant Jeff Smith took Laggie the dog to Bluff Woods Conservation Center near St. Joseph.  Smith shot Laggie twice in the head and left the animal to die.  Visitors to the conservation center discovered the wounded dog and its care was turned over to Shane Rudman and Unleashed Pet Rescue and Adoption. 

Unleashed Pet Rescue and Adoption spent $22,500 on emergency veterinarian medical bills, treatment and care for Laggie.  Shane Rudman spent $2,583.86 caring for Laggie after she was released from the veterinarian’s care.

In addition to animal cruelty, Jeff Smith harassed Shane Rudman, threatening him with physical harm because he helped save Laggie from certain death and sought accountability for her severe abuse.

“Abuse in any form is wrong and victims of abuse need support when confronting their abusers,” Shane Rudman said.  “In this case we needed help holding a known animal abuser to account for his disgusting actions.  We sought out the best possible law firm knowing this would be the first case of its kind.  We are so grateful to David Gregory and The Injury Counsel team for their hard work in this landmark ruling against an animal abuser in Missouri. Laggie had an incredible spirit, she and animal lovers everywhere are grateful for David Gregory, too.”

“The level of cruelty unleashed on Laggie the pit bull is some of the worst animal abuse I have ever seen,” David Gregory said.  “And for the defendant to then harass and threaten the man who helped nurse Laggie back to life and health is cruelty of another kind.  We were proud to represent Shane Rudman, and Laggie, to get the justice they both deserve.  The result we achieved also sends a clear message to anyone committing animal cruelty: We’re comin’ for you.”

Shane Rudman said, “I intend to file wage garnishments wherever convicted felon Jeff Smith works for the rest of his life. The purpose is to make animal abusers everywhere aware that there will be consequences to their actions that follow them indefinitely.”

Laggie, the dog at the center of the case, was adopted by the Rudman family after being treated and released from Blue Pearl Animal Hospital in Overland Park, KS. She enjoyed a peaceful and loving life until passing recently from natural causes. “Justice for Laggie” has inspired a movement across the country and social media to bring awareness to the thousands of animal abuse incidents that occur each year.

The case is also catching the attention of lawmakers who recognize what AJLA and peers have dubbed “the link,” where a significant number of animal abusers also commit violent crimes against humans after not suffering consequences for their abusive actions.

About Animal Justice League of America: Animal Justice League of America (AJLA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit headquartered in Missouri with the mission of ending animal abuse through real accountability. AJLA uses education, awareness, and civil proceedings to bring accountability and justice to animal abusers where criminal proceedings fall short. The organization and its founder, Shane Rudman, seek to educate others on “the link” between animal abuse and human abuse. Find out more about “the link” and AJLA at AnimalJLA.org

The Injury Counsel law firm provides aggressive personal injury legal representation across Missouri and beyond.  The firm’s founder, David Gregory, is an award-winning litigation attorney who has been recognized with a number of prestigious awards, including the National Trial Lawyers’ Top 40 Under 40 Award before the age of 30. He was named the Super Lawyers’ Rising Star for Personal Injury and serves in the Missouri House of Representatives.  

For more information about The Injury Counsel, visit TheInjuryCounsel.com, or call us at 314-727-7220.

(Link to original article: https://www.stltoday.com/pr/business/attorney-david-gregory-secures-million-dollar-landmark-judgment-in-animal-abuse-case/article_ca886d88-61da-11ec-b61d-3ff4e2c0dcdf.html)