ANN ARBOR (WWJ) —  Two Dexter teens pled guilty to animal cruelty related to an incident involving a pair of mated Canada geese that took place on April 13.

The boys received a deferred sentence with six months of probation and mandatory community service.

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“The two boys — who happen to be baseball players — admitted to throwing rocks at a pair of Canada geese,” Humane Society of Huron Valley Cruelty Investigator Michele Baxter said. “When we arrived, the female was protecting her nest and her male partner was lifeless in the water. According to a witness, he confronted the boys but was too late to save the male.”

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The deceased goose had a USGS band, which was placed on him in 2011 as a fledgling.

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“This is a very sad situation for all involved,” HSHV President and CEO Tanya Hilgendorf said. “We know taking pleasure in tormenting an animal can be a troubling red flag.  We also know that the seeds of compassion are within all of us, but they must be nurtured.  We hope these young men will receive meaningful intervention.  In the meantime, HSHV will keep working to not just protect animals, but to prevent cruelty by providing humane education that teaches children compassion and respect for life.”