The brutal murder of a service dog by the former U.S. Army Pvt. who had once relied on it for emotional support, while her boyfriend took part in the cruelty, has resulted in animal cruelty charges, and the ire of millions.
Marianna Rollins, 23, originally from Maine, had been supported by Camboui after her ex-husband, who originally adopted the dog, was deployed to Korea. The gray and white male Pit Bull had helped her deal with PTSD after leaving the military in January and moving to North Carolina, according to the Associated Press. But after posting a dour message to Facebook indicating Camboui was about to be put down, her story quickly darkened.
Under a picture of Camboui Rollins left a plea for mercy on the social media site, as she was “sad that her dog had to go to a happier place.”
According to the North Carolina Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office report, Rollins, along with her boyfriend, 25-year-old Jarren Heng, an active duty serviceman, brought Camboui to a tree in a wooded area near her Fayetteville home on April 16, took aim with a rifle, and shot him in the head. Heng filmed the first shot, then the couple switched and Rollins filmed the second. They continued, shooting Camboui in the head five times.
They recorded the entire ordeal, laughing as they tortured the dog, Cumberland County District Attorney Clark Reaves asserts. Then they posted the video to Facebook.
After following up on a call reporting possible animal cruelty and speaking with Rollins about the video of Camboui’s gruesome death, Fayetteville Animal Control notified the sheriff’s office on April 19. According to NBC affiliate WCSH6, Rollins offered nothing but excuses as to why Camboui was killed. Heng turned himself in on April 24 and Rollins was arrested the following day.
For many, service dogs represent a guiding light through life’s darkest times. The hope and support they bring to their handlers, whether they suffer from physical or mental disabilities, is nothing short of a miracle.
Military veterans, especially, have benefitted from the support of service dogs as they face the nearly insurmountable challenge of returning to civilian life with PTSD, traumatic brain injury, or physical disabilities.
Service dogs are essential to those who need them, and former Pvt. Rollins and Heng, who reports to the Army Special Operations Command, now face felony animal cruelty charges for the murder of one.