Man sentenced to prison for beating puppy to death after drinking all day at party

On Thursday, the owner of an Australian shepherd puppy was sentenced to prison for five years after beating his dog to death during an all day drinking binge on St. Patrick’s Day last year. Thyren Clent Justus, 36, pleaded guilty to felony animal cruelty, but states he doesn’t remember breaking the puppy’s leg and stomping on him until its lung collapsed.

According to the Dallas News, a neighbor heard loud banging and stomping noises while a dog cried and barked near the Wheeler Street apartments. When authorities arrived at Justus’ apartment, they followed a trail of dog feces and came upon Justus who had been crying telling them his small five-month-old black and white puppy named Luke was dead. The puppy was found slumped in front of the toilet, bleeding from its mouth with an obvious broken back leg.  Police stated the dog’s head had been crushed and his teeth were broken along with other serious injuries. When asked what happened, Justus originally told police the dog, he had owned for the last six months, had defecated in his kennel and he had punished the dog by “popping it on the nose” and shaking it. He then told police he accidentally fell over the 20-pound pup killing it.

When questioned the next morning, Justus said he couldn’t remember beating the puppy; telling police he had been drinking everything from “beer to jello shots to vodka – I couldn’t tell you,” he said. He only remembered flashes of his dog and the officers arresting him.

Prosecutor Felicia Kerney argued that Justus should have been given the maximum ten-year sentence, while the defendant’s attorney argued his client should receive probation because he’s a recovering alcoholic. Since the death of the Luke, Justus began drinking again and was arrested on a driving while drunk charge. Ms. Kerney argued stating alcoholism doesn’t make people brutally beat and kill their pets, and just because he came home and the untrained puppy had defecated on the floor was no excuse for the cruelty. Justus claims he now attends regular Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

Rest in peace Luke. At least you received a little justice, but nothing can bring back the life you deserved to live.

(Photo of Justus sentenced to prison – booking photo via Dallas News)

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31 replies
  1. LESLIE says:

    Hopefully while in prison this monster will be treated at kindly as he treated his trusting puppy. May he live i fear all of his days on earth.

  2. Barkley's Mom says:

    I agree with the prosecutor, this POS needed the full 10 years in prison. This “recovering” alcoholic should be put away from society before he “doesn’t” remember killing a human either by beating them to death or DWI! What that poor pup suffered at the hands of this monster, just makes me sick!

  3. Gina B says:

    Wow people disgust me and how they can come up with these excuses. There is no not 1 excuse to abuse neglect or kill an innocent animal. So I’m assuming since this happened last yr he was out on bond or something if he got caught drinking and driving. He should never have been out period! And he should have been given the max 10 yrs. my only hope is someone in that prison is a real animal lover and beats the crap out of him maybe crushing his skull in! RIP dear puppy u didn’t deserve this at all😭🙏

  4. maxiemom. says:

    This makes me SICK!!!! Alcohol does NOT make anyone do something they wouldn’t do that’s out of character: all it does is take the brakes off, if they had any to begin with. This bastard was capable of doing this LONG BEFORE that night, and undoubtedly beat that innocent puppy before.

    He never bothered to train a 5 month old puppy at all, yet he blamed the puppy for HIS failings as an owner! (I believe the ownership period is a typo.) The puppy was an Aussie, and they’re one of the smartest breeds out there! I adopted mine at the age of 4 1/2 months and there is no way in HELL a puppy that age could not have learned potty training at the age of 5 months, and learned it withing a COUPLE OF DAYS TOPS!! Mine learned it within a day!

    I hope that rat bastard never leaves prison. I have no sympathy for anyone who hides behind a bottle or crawls back into one when things get tough again. He needs to be locked up and kept away from everyone, because he will NEVER change.

    • Sara says:

      He had him for the amount of time specified. What this article neglected to add is that the pup was crated from when he left for the morning parade at 8am, and didnt come home until after 2am.. over 18 hours gone. Of course the pup messed up his crate!

      • maxiemom. says:

        A 5 month old puppy he said he’s had for SIX MONTHS?


        Either the guy misspoke, or the article is wrong about the dog’s age.

    • Barkley's Mom says:

      Who knows how long the POS had been out partying, it could have been for hours and no dog can hold it forever. I think the shyster lawyer needs to sit in jail also, how any one with any conscience can defend a low life like this is beyond me!

  5. Stephen Lee Phillips says:

    “… the defendant’s attorney argued his client should receive probation because he’s a recovering alcoholic. Since the death of the Luke, Justus began drinking again and was arrested on a driving while drunk charge…”

    This is SO MUCH BULLSHIT! That precious, sweet soul suffered unconscionably for this bastard’s DELIBERATE CHOICE TO BECOME BLINDLY DRUNK, and the prosecutor was RIGHT: HE SHOULD HAVE RECEIVED ALL TEN YEARS – AND MORE!

  6. Adoptdontshop says:

    If he loves his puppy that much the matter if his dog defecated on the floor not he wouldn’t ever beating his dog to death the way the DJ rest in peace remember you are loved my money and I’m sorry that you didn’t get to live the life that you should have been able to live

  7. linda says:

    WTG Judge Tracy Holmes. His attorney thought he should receive probation because he’s a recovering alcoholic? What a
    PUTZ! I hope the POS gets more than the 5 years in prison and comes across an animal lover.

  8. Nancy Raymond says:

    I hope EVERY day this hunk of sewer slime is in prison he is raped repeatedly by the worst perpetrators – five years is definitely too short of a time for the cruelty he inflicted on a puppy. This drunk maggot deserves every day he is in prison to be one of terror of being shanked and if there is justice he will be.

  9. linda says:

    WTG Judge Tracy Holmes! His attorney thought that he should receive probation because he’s a recovering alcoholic? What a putz! I hope he meets up with animal lovers in prison!

  10. linda says:

    Sorry folks my PC is acting up. My first comment didn’t show up for a while and thought it hadn’t. So I commented again. Looks like I need a new wi fi tower.

  11. Darla says:

    How does that POS’ attorney sleep at night…..asking for probation because the POS is an alcoholic? Poor Luke suffered horribly at the hands of that cretin. I have an elderly Yellow Lab who occasionally defecates on the floor when I’m at work but I sure as heck don’t beat her for it.

  12. Beth Weekes says:

    Burn in Hell you low life POS. I am so sick of people using alcohol and drugs as an excuse for these heinous acts of savage cruelty. MADD, AA, and all other “self help” organizations should NOT allow this pathetic excuse to stand!

    • Adoptdontshop says:

      I’m in recovery for drugs I’ve been in recovery now for over 10 years I’ve been off and on with mistakes and not for steaks but never in one day in my life would I ever ever ever dream of hitting my dog just because he defecated on the floor when I wasn’t home if I was hiring not it doesn’t give him an excuse doesn’t give anybody in excuse so yes you’re right you should not use the reasoning of being drunk or screwed up on drugs as a reason of beating your dog death no reason for it absolutely not

  13. Elaine says:

    Fucker should have gotten 10 yrs. Who cares if he’s a recovering alcoholic, thats no excuse to abuse an animal. At least 5 yrs will send a msg to anyone else who decides to abuse an innocent animal.

  14. Tracy Whitcomb says:

    I hope that stupid bastard gets his ass beaten every single day that he is in Prison. He should have gotten the full amount of time.

  15. Cynthia Como says:

    IM SHOCKED THAT HE GOT 5 yrs!! This is exactly how it should be in all 50 states! While I’m thrilled this brutal killer got 5yrs I’m heartbroken and sickened reading this post,tears are flowing for this poor,INNOCENT,helpless puppy! What the hell did he he expect,out drinking all day and night, just how long did this monster think a puppy or a full grown dog for that matter can hold it in? Bet that poor puppy hadn’t been pottied for many many hours! Dogs just like people or any living thing can only hold it in for so long! Assholes brutalize dogs for relieving themselves! This puppy killer will be released and be drinking again in less than 24 hrs! I hope one of his fellow prisoners mops up the floor with his face!

  16. Roselyne CORNETTE says:

    La peine de mort serait plus juste, s’est un monstre, un consanguin, un parasite, un danger pour la société , il recommencera mais la prochaine fois se sera un enfant. C’est un criminel irrécupérable.

  17. Sheri says:

    Let’s see if 5 years of jail,, getting your A$$ pounded daily HELPS GET YOUR MEMORY BACK!! Worthless POS!! ROT IN HELL CREEP!!
    Sharing for your 15 minutes of fame,, LOSER!😠😠😠😠😠😠😠😠😠😠😠😠😠😠😠😠
    And to poor little furbaby 😔 RIP sweetie💕
    You will never feel pain again , run free little one🐾🐾🐾🐾

  18. Red says:

    For this cruel of torture and death….. it should have been a MINIMUM of 10 years and a life time ban of ever owning or living with another companion animal.


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