CARROLL COUNTY, Ohio — The man who beat a dog named Mocha so badly she had to be euthanized due to injuries to every limb of her body has pleaded guilty to the crime.
Quin D. Markins, 22, of Minerva, was arrested in November and originally pleaded not guilty to a felony count and a misdemeanor count of prohibitions concerning companion animals. Thursday, he pleaded guilty to the charges.
Judge Michael Repella II then sentenced Markins to 6 months in the Caroll County Jail. He must also complete five years of community control, and upon release from jail, must complete an intensive treatment program. Repella also told Markins he will never again own an animal and he must pay for Mocha’s medical bills.
Jason Cooke, of Brookfield, is an advocate for animals all over Northeast Ohio and said he helped rescue the roughly 2-year-old dog on Nov. 13 after being made aware of her situation.
“I’m so proud of this judge and the prosecutor and the sheriff,” he said following the sentencing. “It was almost surreal to listen as that judge handed down such a stiff sentence.”
After Cooke rescued Mocha, veterinarians determined she had injuries that “involve every limb” and that many of them were “chronic” and in various stages of healing, according to veterinarian reports.
She had fractures to ribs on both sides of her body, the top of her left leg, her left elbow joint and her pelvis. She also had “chronic crush type” injuries to multiple bones in her right paw, and she had injuries to her left and right femurs. The “injuries are highly suspicious for abuse,” a veterinarian’s report states.
Cooke said after consulting with several veterinarians and specialists, he learned that due to the extent of her injuries, “her prognosis and quality of life would be very poor.”
“I went and bought her a cheeseburger, and she ate it, and I sent her to heaven,” Cooke said at the time.
Cooke had Mocha cremated and said she was with him in the courtroom Thursday.
“I know she knows her life did matter,” he said.
Goddard’s Law, named after FOX 8’s own legendary meteorologist Dick Goddard, back in 2016 increased the penalty for companion animal abuse from a misdemeanor to a felony. A fifth-degree felony is punishable by six to 12 months in jail.
Cooke said prior to the sentencing, over 5,000 signatures were gathered on a Change.org petition asking that Markins be handed down the maximum sentence. A group of supporters also met for a peaceful rally prior to the hearing.
Cooke said many charged in such cases go to court and get a “slap on the wrist.”
“Today was not that day,” he said. “I was pleased with the sentence. I think it sends a strong message to anyone contemplating harming an animal, ‘you will serve time and lose your freedom,’ and I hope this acts as a deterrent.”