We would like to commend Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka and his office for handling the shooting death of POPPY, a Great Pyrenees owned by the Earner Family of Claverack, with the seriousness that a crime of this magnitude warrants. The now-convicted Linda DeRosa was arrested by New York State Police under Buster’s Law, a class E felony of aggravated animal cruelty. In early June, DeRosa shot and killed the Earner’s family pet, who also served as a therapy dog for their daughter Kristine. This malicious and unwarranted act was immediately and authoritatively dealt with by the Columbia County District Attorney’s office. On September 3, DeRosa pled guilty to shooting POPPY, and was sentenced to six months in jail and five years of subsequent probation, and was issued a restraining order banning her from ever having contact with the Earner family.
In many counties in New York State, individuals who are arrested for animal cruelty may receive a “slap on the wrist,” or the case may be “swept under the rug” and summarily dismissed. We are thankful that in Columbia County, these offenses against animals are viewed and prosecuted as the heinous crimes that they truly are. On behalf of the entire Columbia-Greene Humane Society/SPCA organization, we again thank District Attorney Paul Czajka, Judge Jonathan Nichols, and the New York State Police for their diligence and professionalism in investigating and prosecuting the case on behalf of Poppy. We would also like to offer our deepest condolences to the Earner family for their loss.
Chairperson, Board of Directors
Columbia-Greene Humane Society/SPCA