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New details: Man allegedly restrains victim, makes him watch dog burn to death in Fillmore


A ‘unthinkable and horrific crime’ shocks the Fillmore community, 13 other animals seized (warning, story has graphic details)


A Fillmore man has been jailed for allegedly forcefully restraining another man against his will and making him watch a red-nosed pitbull get burned to death in a barrel in front of the victim.

The incident took place on June 19 in Hume and was reported 10 days later, and then a more detailed report came the next day.

As a result, Amity-based State Police charged Jeremy J. Vankuren, 33, of Fillmore, on Thursday with felony second-degree kidnapping, felony, aggravated animal cruelty, third-degree menacing, torturing/injuring by failure to provide sustenance and obstruction of governmental administration.

Vankuren was arraigned and jailed on bail set at $20,000 cash and $40,000 bond.

When police went to search the home, they found the burned deceased dog and other items used during the incident, troopers said. The other items were not listed.

The SPCA now has three other dogs, nine cats and a hedgehog called Sonic from the home receiving medical care. The deceased dog was one of the dogs living at the home.

The victim gave details about the dog yelping and screaming from the burn barrel, prosecutors told the Wellsville Sun. The victim was allegedly “forcefully restrained” troopers said, and then after the dog was burned, held against his will for several more hours.

After the complaint, the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) executed a warrant at the Vankuren residence. During the search of the home, where they located the burned and deceased dog.

The Allegany County District Attorney’s Office and investigators with the Allegany County SPCA assisted in this investigation.

In a Facebook post, the SPCA said, “The SPCA assisted with this very disturbing animal abuse case in Fillmore, NY and the remaining 13 animals are now safe and in the care of the SPCA and they are receiving medical attention and compassionate care by our staff. This unthinkable & horrific crime is beyond belief and weighs heavy on all of us in our minds and in our hearts.”

(Editor’s Note: The photos with the story is not from the crime scene)

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