Three NJ women allegedly forced girl to wear dog shock collar

0
40
Three NJ women allegedly forced girl to wear dog shock collar

Three New Jersey women allegedly forced a young girl to wear a dog shock collar as punishment when she was “bad” — and deprived her of proper food and clothes in a case that lasted for over three years, prosecutors said.

Stratford residents Kelly Mennig, 42, Rebecca Mennig, 22, and Rachel Mennig, 20, face charges of aggravated assault, child abuse and neglect, according to an affidavit of probable cause from the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office.

The victim — who is now 13 and was identified only by her initials, “I.D.” — said she was first forced to wear the canine collar when she was 9 years old and in the fourth grade, the Courier Post reported.

The charges against the three women cover the period from October 2018 to March 1 of this year, according to the affidavit.

Shock collars are a controversial training tool for dogs — delivering varying degrees of electronic stimulation by their handlers via remote control as punishment for misbehavior.

Kelly Mennig
Kelly Mennig
Kelly Mennig/ Facebook

Police first learned about the alleged abuse when a concerned neighbor on Harvard Avenue saw the girl wearing the collar and called 911.

The woman, Karen Villec, told the Daily Beast that she heard her doorbell ringing “frantically” about 3 p.m. March 1.

“[I.D.] is standing there and she goes, ‘They’re shocking me! They’re shocking me!’” Villec told the news outlet.

“And she hands me this dog collar, which is like, vibrating in my hand. She lifts her head up and I can see the marks on her neck where they were shocking her. So my husband called 911, and I was in the kitchen with [I.D.], trying to calm her down,” she said.

The girl, who was treated at Jefferson Hospital in Stratford, has been removed from her home by the Division of Child Protection and Permanency, WPVI-TV reported.

Rebecca Mennig reportedly denied knowing anything about the collar.
Rebecca Mennig reportedly denied knowing anything about the collar.
Rebecca Mennig/ Facebook

“She went to school yesterday, so I was happy to hear that,” Villec told the Daily Beast.
“We all feel bad that nobody in the neighborhood knew about this, but you know what — everybody has secrets. And kids are really good at keeping secrets, because they’re afraid.”

Police “observed that the child had markings on her neck consistent with wearing the collar,” according to documents cited by the Daily Beast.

At the hospital, investigators interviewed the girl, who told them that Rachel Mennig “put the collar around her neck and shocked her multiple times and has done this in the past,” the affidavit reportedly states.

The Camden County Prosecutor’s Office has asked that the relationships between “I.D.” and the women not be disclosed, according to the outlet.

Rachel Mennig previously posted about animal abuse on Facebook.
Rachel Mennig previously posted about animal abuse on Facebook.
Rachel Mennig/ Facebook

The girl told police the suspects had been using the shock collar on her “as forms of punishment” since she was a fourth-grader.

“I.D. additionally detailed times that she was deprived of the appropriate amounts of food and clothing amenities,” according to the affidavit cited by the Daily Beas

Kelly and Rebecca Mennig reportedly denied knowing anything about the collar, but another household member told police they had “observed the dog shock collar used on ‘I.D.’ numerous times in the past as a form of punishment when she (I.D.) acts ‘bad.’”

In February, Rachel Mennig posted a message on Facebook calling attention to the problem of animal abuse, the Daily Beast reported.

“For my birthday this year, I’m asking for donations to [the] Animal Welfare Association,” she wrote on Facebook, where she is described as a baby-sitter.

“I’ve chosen this nonprofit because their mission means a lot to me, and I hope you’ll consider contributing as a way to celebrate with me. Every little bit will help me reach my goal,” Rachel added.

The three suspects are being held at Camden County jail.
The three suspects are being held at the Camden County Jail.
6 ABC
Neighbor Karen Villec, left, first alerted the police to the case.
Neighbor Karen Villec (left) first alerted the police to the case.
6 ABC

The three suspects, who are being held at the Camden County Jail, are scheduled to appear in court at 9 a.m. Friday. Attorneys for the women were not listed in court records.

Source link