Lawmaker trying to spearhead new animal abuse registry amid latest torture case

LAS VEGAS - Two suspects have admitted to a horrific crime and now face felony animal cruelty charges.

The incident happened in a neighborhood near Buffalo and Farm in Centennial Hills with one cat tortured and killed last week.

The arrest report states 21-year old Denise Eddines and 20-year old Immanuel Church admitted to killing one and torturing several other of the homeowner’s cats because the animals were hissing at them. The suspects also believed at least one of the cats was possessed by demons.

"They were on a killing spree. One by one," said homeowner Nia Wulkan.

Wulkan is still trying to wrap her head around the grotesque and gruesome death of one of her beloved shelter cats.

"These are pretty much my companions," said Wulkan. "They killed part of my family. There's not a room I can go into where I don't see knife marks or blood marks on the wall."

The single mother left town for one day to say goodbye to her dying family member and says she returned home to blood and stab marks on her walls and doors.

"I saw scratch marks on the floor, and I asked him about it (because I laid out all the wood, and I have to replace it) and he goes 'oh I had to move the chest because I killed your cat' and he smiled," described Wulkan.

According to the arrest report, Church and Eddines admitted to kicking one of the cats so hard they could hear it's bones breaking, before stabbing two of the cats with swords the homeowner collected. Later the suspects searched online how they could kill the cats concocting a mixture of household items like hot sauce, bleach, and Comet that they eventually fed and poured over another cat to quote "rid the demons out."

"Thank God that they just passed a law that it is a felony to kill animals," said Wulkan. "It's just not enough justice for what the animals went through."

That law, part of Senate Bill 223, was spearheaded in part by Nevada Senator Mark Manendo in 2011.

The bill now allows even first-time animal abusers to be charged with a Category 'D' Felony, receiving anywhere from one to four years in jail after just the first offense.

Before 2011, the first and second animal abuse charges only resulted in a misdemeanor and could result in as little as two days to six months in jail for the first offense or ten days to six months in jail for the second offense. It wasn't until the third strike that offenders were finally charged with a felony.

"It’s a public safety issue because not only do people start on cats and dogs because they can’t speak for themselves," described Manendo, an avid supporter of animal rights. "They eventually graduate onto people and generally its children, women, and seniors. “This is a horrible situation. This is just as grotesque as you can get.”

The chilling details, similar to so many other animal abuse cases across the state and part of the very reason Manendo is sponsoring a new bill that will be introduced to the legislature.

"One of the things that we also decided to do in addition to making animal cruelty a felony, is working on trying to come up with a way to do this dealing with an animal abuse registry," explained Manendo.  "If these people were found guilty they would go on some type of report, then the public would know if they were to go in and adopt a dog or cat at a rescue organization or a pound -- they could look and say, 'we are not going to allow you to adopt a dog or cat based on your prior actions that you've been convicted of.'"

"In Nevada, we take this very seriously," said Manendo. "Not only for our animals but what could come of these people who graduate onto people because they got away with it ."

"It's important that they're caught," said Manendo. "It's important that the punishments are just and its important that people in public realize that this is not right and you're going to get caught."

Both suspects are scheduled to make their first court appearance on March 13.  


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