Henry's Story Henry's Story

On April 26th, 2006, Marc Vincent, my ex-husband, cornered Henry with a leaf blower. An adorable dachshund/chihuahua mix puppy, Henry was only six months old at the time. Marc's exaggerated delusion of machismo cost Henry his left eye. A month later, on May 25th, Marc escalated his attacks, placing Henry in a 200 degree oven. Marc watched as Henry ran around the inside of the oven until finally he fell through the grates. Five long minutes passed before Marc opened the oven door and let a severely burned Henry out.

I came home that evening to find a tortured and terrified Henry hiding in the corner of his carrier; the smell of burning flesh and fur lingering in the kitchen. The pain that Henry endured that day left him not only severely scarred, with his front toes fused together, but emotionally traumatized, from which he has never fully recovered.

Marc Vincent was charged with intentional animal cruelty, a crime which in Utah today is only a Class A Misdemeanor. The maximum penalty Utah law currently allows is one year in jail and a $2500 fine. Marc Vincent was sentenced to six months in jail and fined $500. Of the six months, he served only four. Marc was released from his 2 year probation only 2 months after leaving jail. Three attempts have been made in recent years to upgrade this law, all have failed. In September 2007, Governor Huntsman convened a Special Session where Henry's law met with opposition and stalling tactics, eventually forcing the bill to be shelved. HelpusHelpthem was there. We will not accept anything less than a first offense felony. We are again moving forward with our campaign.

Artist's Note: Rhonda Kamper, Henry's mom, explained that her husband had hurt Henry to get back at her because he was jealous of the dog. He claimed that she "loved the dog more than him" and became increasingly resentful of her time with Henry. Rhonda would come home from work to find mysterious bite marks and scratches on Henry. Later she would discover the incredible brutality and promptly filed for divorce. Since then, Henry's story is not only being used to change animal cruelty laws in Utah, but also as a prime example of how domestic violence abusers will attack an innocent family pet to control a family member. Accounts of animal abuse as a precursor to human abuse are well documented. Animal abuse is an early warning sign of domestic abuse and should be taken very seriously. (Visit www.helpushelpthem.org for more about Henry's Law)