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June, 2024

Ohio man sentenced to 97 months in federal prison

for animal crushing

** WARNING: Graphic content **

On May 30, Lucas Russell Vanwoert was sentened to 97 months in federal prison for torturing dogs to death. The sentenced comes after an extensive, international investigataion.

In April 2022, U.S. federal authorities were notifed that at least two U.S. citizens were connected to an Australian investigation involving a 51-year-old man who had created and shared numerous graphic videos of himself sexually abusing, torturing, and killing at least 39 dogs.

The Australian (scheduled for sentencing in July) was active in multiple "chat rooms" where he and a person known as "Graves" shared more than 700 files of animal torture.

Women as animal abusers

Although women are less likely than men to abuse animals, when they do commit abuse, some studies have shown they are more likely to be aggressive or deviant.

A 2012 study, found that women are more likely to be bullies, had less empathy (understanding how others feel), and had more criminal thinking patterns (e.g., asserting power over others, feeling above the law, making excuses for bad behavior, and associating with others who are like-minded).

As an example, earlier this year a Florida mom pleaded guilty for her role in running an online group to create and pay for extreme animal torture videos.

In the UK, two women, who portrayed themselves publicly as animal lovers, were involved in distributing videos of animal set on fire or placed in blenders.


For more information on laws, cases, or published studies, please contact me.

Vanwoert used a large hunting knife to slice open the dog's testicles and remove its tongue while it was alive.

Heather and Lucas Vanwoert prior to their arrests for animal cruelty

In September 2022, authorities served a search warrant on Vanwoert's home, removing phones, computers, and camera equipment, along with three malnourished dogs. Vanwoert admitted to torturing additional dogs, burying one in the backyard and discarding another in a nearby dumpster.

After forensic examination, child pornography as well as graphic animal torture videos were found. In one, a male Pitbull-type dog can be seen with its rear legs suspended in the air with duct tape and ratchet straps. While the dog was alive, Vanwoert used a hunting knife to slice open the dog's testicles and remove them with a pair of pliers. In another video he can be seen thrusting the knife in and out of the same dog's anus. In yet another video, he again uses the knife to cut out and remove the dog's tongue, which he waves in front of the camera.

On May 30, 2024 a U.S. federal court in Ohio sentenced Vanwoert to 84 months for the creation of animal crush videos, 60 months for sharing those videos online, and 97 months for possession and sharing of child pornography. The sentences will be served concurrently, meaning he will serve a total of 97 months in federal prison, followed by 15 years of supervised probation.

Like other convicted felons, Vanwoert will be prohibited from owning a firearm, communicating with other felons, or moving without notifying authorities. In addition, he must register as a sex offennder, participate in sex offender treatment, and will be prohibited from accessing the internet or owning animals.