A mother carried out a “frenzied” and fatal knife attack on her family dog, an American Bulldog named Thanos after it escaped from their home. Erica Tavares, 22, stabbed the dog multiple times with a 12-inch kitchen knife following a disagreement with her partner about the pet’s escape.
The incident took place on February 11 in Stroud, and Tavares later admitted to causing unnecessary suffering to Thanos and assaulting her partner.
During the attack, Thanos sustained five wounds, including a fatal injury to the abdomen. Tavares, formerly of Constance Close, Stroud, but now residing in Hackney, East London, was sentenced to 12 months in jail, suspended for 18 months. Additionally, she was ordered to perform 60 hours of unpaid work, undergo 12 months of mental health treatment, and complete up to 20 days of rehabilitation activities. Tavares is also prohibited from keeping protected animals for five years.
The court heard that the argument between Tavares and her partner escalated when he returned home and learned about Thanos running around the street earlier that morning. The situation intensified, leading to accusations and Tavares suggesting the end of their relationship, reported MyLondon.
The partner witnessed Tavares attacking the dog with a kitchen knife, making jabbing motions, and yelling threats to kill the dog. Despite his pleas to stop, a struggle ensued, and the police were eventually called by a neighbor as the incident spilled onto the street.
Prosecutor Ed Hollingsworth explained that Thanos suffered multiple wounds, including a serious injury to the abdomen, leading to an infection from which the dog did not recover.
Tavares, who did not comment on the police after her arrest, was represented by Matt Harbinson, who highlighted her history of abuse and post-natal depression. Harbinson described the incident as a “complete breakdown” under excessive pressure, noting that Tavares was juggling studies, a part-time job, and caring for three children.
In sentencing, Judge Ian Lawrie KC acknowledged the severity of Tavares’s actions but cited strong mitigation, expressing support for her rehabilitation. He emphasized that the custody threshold had been crossed but recognized Tavares’s intelligence and ambitions, characterizing the offense as an isolated incident.