ORLANDO, Fla. – A former University of Central Florida student accused of beating a puppy to death will avoid jail time by serving probation and donating to an animal charity as punishment.
According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Luke Stribling, 20, admitted to intentionally beating his dog.
On June 12, Stribling brought his Shiba Inu puppy named Julian to East Orlando Animal Hospital, stating the puppy had broken his leg two days prior when he became caught between wooden slats on the deck. After radiographs were done on the dog’s leg, additional fractures were discovered. When brought into the vet, the puppy had been shaking in pain, and the veterinary hospital reported Stribling to Animal Services for not providing the dog with immediate care.
On June 26, just two weeks later, Animal Services arrived at Waterford Lakes Animal Clinic to find Julian dead. According to vet reports, the puppy had been kicked to death and Stribling stated he “hit the dog several times because he was frustrated” when the puppy had urinated on the floor.
the puppy suffered a broken rib, sternum and abdomen with traumatic lesions and head injuries causing his death.
During his trial, Stribling’s mother, father and his girlfriend testified Tuesday that Stribling loved the dog and was devastated when the animal died.
“I know that he is incredibly remorseful for what happened,” Jade Deatherege, Stribling’s girlfriend, said. “There are some nights he can’t sleep of he will have a dream about Julian. It’s not something that leaves his mind, ever.”
The state argued that it did not matter how much he cared about the dog; Stribling still killed the animal.
As part of his punishment, Stribling is not allowed to have any pets. “Not even a goldfish,” the judge said during the hearing.
“This is a tough case Mr. Stribling,” Marques said. “Shiba inu are wonderful dogs. They really are. They are loving, like most puppies. They are lively and require a lot of time and attention.”
Stribling expressed remorse when he addressed the court.
“I take full responsibility for that and I accept what punishment is deemed necessary … I’d like to continue my work and education and continue to grow and mature and become a better citizen of my community,” he said.
Stribling was sentenced to three years probation, 100 hours of community service and eight hours of anger management treatment andordered to donate $1,000 to a pet charity.
According to court documents obtained by News 6, Stribling agreed to plead guilty to animal cruelty charges in exchange for a lighter sentence.