A girl was allegedly forced to wear a canine shock collar and was deprived of proper food and clothes, by three N.J. women, as punishment when she was “bad.” Prosecutors said the case lasted for over three years.
According to an affidavit of probable cause from the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, Stratford residents Kelly Mennig,42, Rebecca Mennig, 22, and Rachel Mennig, 20, face charges of aggravated assault, child abuse, and neglect.
The Courier Post reported the victim, identified only by her initials, “I.D.,” said she was first forced to wear the canine collar when she was nine years old and in the fourth grade. The girl is now 13.
According to the affidavit, the charges against the three women cover October 2018 to March 1 of this year.
According to the New York Post, shock collars are a controversial training tool for dogs — delivering varying degrees of electronic stimulation by their handlers, via remote control, as punishment for misbehavior.
Police found out about the abuse after a 911 call was placed by a concerned neighbor on Harvard Avenue who saw the girl wearing the collar.
About 3 p.m. March 1, Karen Villec, told the Daily Beast that she heard her doorbell ringing “frantically.”
“[I.D.] is standing there, and she goes, ‘They’re shocking me! They’re shocking me!’” Villec told the news outlet.
“And she hands me this dog collar, which is like, vibrating in my hand. She lifts her head up and I can see the marks on her neck where they were shocking her. So my husband called 911, and I was in the kitchen with [I.D.], trying to calm her down,” she said.
WPVI-TV reported that the Division of Child Protection and Permanency had removed the girl treated at Jefferson Hospital in Stratford.
“She went to school yesterday, so I was happy to hear that,” Villec told the Daily Beast.
“We all feel bad that nobody in the neighborhood knew about this, but you know what — everybody has secrets. And kids are really good at keeping secrets because they’re afraid.”
According to documents cited by the Daily Beast, police “observed that the child had markings on her neck consistent with wearing the collar.”
The affidavit reportedly states investigators interviewed the girl at the hospital. She told them Rachel Mennig “put the collar around her neck and shocked her multiple times, and has done this in the past.”
According to the outlet, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office has asked that the relationships between “I.D.” and the women not be disclosed.
The girl told police since she was a fourth-grader, the suspects had been using the shock collar on her “as forms of punishment.”
According to the affidavit cited by the Daily Beast, “I.D. additionally detailed times that she was deprived of the appropriate amounts of food and clothing amenities.”
Reportedly, Kelly and Rebecca Mennig denied knowing anything about the collar, but the police were told by another household member that they had “observed the dog shock collar used on ‘I.D.’ numerous times in the past as a form of punishment when she (I.D.) acts ‘bad.’”
The Daily Beast reported Rachel Mennig posted a message on Facebook calling attention to the problem of animal abuse, In February.
“For my birthday this year, I’m asking for donations to [the] Animal Welfare Association,” she wrote on Facebook.
“I’ve chosen this nonprofit because their mission means a lot to me, and I hope you’ll consider contributing as a way to celebrate with me. Every little bit will help me reach my goal,” Rachel added.
The three suspects are scheduled to appear in court at 9 a.m. Friday. They are being held at the Camden County Jail. In court records, attorneys for the women were not listed.