To those who ran the Cumberland County, North Carolina, animal shelter, he was Huey, a sweet-natured pit bull who had been abandoned by his previous owner and needed a good home.
To Marinna Rollins, a Fayetteville, North Carolina, Army veteran, he was Cam, a certified service dog to help her manage her PTSD. But for reasons currently unknown, that wasn’t enough to stop Rollins from killing the animal, and laughing as she did it, according to prosecutors.
Rollins and her boyfriend, Jarren Heng, are facing felony charges of conspiracy and animal cruelty, after video surfaced on Facebook of the two shooting the dog five times with a rifle some time around April 18, according to the Fayetteville Observer.
According to video of the incident reviewed by officials and WTVD, Rollins and Heng took the dog, identified as “Camboui” and “Cumboui” by different media outlets, to an unknown wooded area and tied him to a tree. Then, the two posed for pictures with the dog, according to photos published by BuzzFeed News, before Rollins shot the dog five times.
In the video, both people can be heard laughing and giggling, police say, and Heng can also be heard saying, “Let me hit him once,” per BuzzFeed.
The duo then recorded themselves burying the dog, as Rollins said, “"It's been real, Cammy. I love you. You're my puppy. You're a good puppy but ... ”.
According to the Fayetteville Observer, Rollins had previously posted to Facebook asking if anyone would be willing to take the dog from her, allegedly saying it was too expensive to keep. Then, on April 17, Rollins posted again, saying that the dog was on its way to a “new home.”
“Sad he has to go, but he will be much happier where he is heading off to,” Rollins wrote. Heng commented on the post with a smiley-face emoji, per the Observer.
According to WNCN, Rollins sent several text messages admitting to killing the dog. A friend who obtained video of the shooting also posted it to Facebook, saying they hoped it would lead to a punishment.
According to friends of Rollins interviewed by WNCN, she has struggled with mental health issues in the past, and they hope this latest incident will force her to get the help she needs.
On Facebook, the shelter from which the dog had originally been adopted issued a statement saying the news had resulted in “one of the worst days for us.”
Meanwhile, Rollins’s husband, who is also a member of the Army, told the Observer that she begged him not to get rid of the dog after he learned was being assigned to South Korea. Despite the fact that Rollins and her husband were separated at that point, he agreed to let her keep the dog while he was gone. Now, “he feels sick about” that decision, the Observer reports.
Animal cruelty resulting in death is a class H felony in North Carolina, which is punishable by anywhere from four to 25 months in prison. The conspiracy charge could also add anywhere between three to 12 months to that sentence. Bail for Rollins and Heng has been set at $25,000 each.