Dear Friends,

My husband Stephen and I recently had the opportunity of a lifetime. My in-laws graciously offered us their time-share and said they would come from their home in Delaware to stay with our 4 children for a week. You can only imagine our excitement as the last time we were on vacation together was when I was pregnant with our first child who will be 14 this summer.

April 28th finally arrived and we were off on what we called a second honeymoon, trying to rekindle that spark that so often gets lost in the activities of raising a family. The weather was crappy, overcast and rainy but that was okay. We were having a wonderful time enjoying each other's company and sightseeing in our rented convertible.

On May 3rd we made our routine phone call home. I watched Steve's face as his Dad told him to sit down, he had something to tell him. Steve's heart began to race, fearing that something had happened to one of the children. His Dad stated that the kids were okay but that our neighbor, Errol Roberts, had killed our dog through the fence with a 6 foot piece of rebar (steel used in cement work), while my father-in-law and our youngest son were in the yard. He had also wounded our other dog who was taken to the animal hospital. We were horrified!

The sun finally came out on Friday morning but neither of us cared. The honeymoon was over!

We arrived home only to be more horrified by the gruesome details of this murderous act. We learned that Errol Roberts had bludgeoned our dog, stabbing him multiple times, slashing his throat and hitting both lungs. An animal control officer stated that in 16 years with animal control, this was one of the worst acts of cruelty to an animal he had ever seen. Blood was everywhere! It looked like a massacre! Neighbors told us of the blood curdling screams of our daughters that still cause them sleepless nights. Our 13 year old son helped his grandfather hose the blood off the house, the staircase and grandpa's white car. He said that Bucky laid in the driveway covered by a blanket with only his paws exposed. There was so much blood you couldn't tell what color his fur was. Our 11 year old sobs, 'Why did he kill my best friend?' Bucky slept with her every night. Our 9 year old is having difficulty concentrating in school. She makes frequent trips to the school nurse with complaints of headaches and bellyaches. Our 4 year old said, 'Mommy, Bucky's blood was all over and I fell in it. It got on my knees but Emmy washed it off'.

Errol Roberts was charged with 2 felonies.

From the time our children were very young, we have taught them that when they do something wrong, they are punished. If a toy was thrown across the room, that toy was taken away. If they were fresh or disobedient, they had a few minutes time-out in their room. When they became school aged, they learned that not doing homework took away recess. Misbehaving caused loss of privileges like t.v.,video games and after school activities.

We have heard from many people in the criminal justice system that Errol Roberts' case could be pleaded down to a misdemeanor or even a violation and that he could possibly walk away with only a slap on the wrist. HOW WILL I EVER EXPLAIN THIS TO MY 4 TRAUMATIZED CHILDREN? What will they think when they see the unremorseful man who brutally murder their best friend cutting his lawn like anyone else in the neighborhood?

This was an INTENTIONAL, BRUTALLY VIOLENT CRIME!!!! Please help us convince our elected officials that cruelty to animals is unacceptable in our society and that Errol Roberts should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

You can help us by signing and returning the attached form letter or by writing your own personal letter. Please e-mail this to all your friends and family. The more signatures we submit, the better our chances are of convincing the judicial system that violent crimes toward family pets can not be tolerated.

Your letters can be returned to:

The Schotte's

P.O. Box 171

Islip Terrace, NY 11752

Or you can e-mail them to us at:

We will deliver them to the appropriate elected officials. Thank you so very much for your support.

God Bless You!!The Schotte's

Diane, Steve, Billy, Emily, Katie and Timmy