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Atlanta Falcons Cut Prince Shembo for Kicking Girlfriend’s Dog to Death

The NFL team that cut Michael Vick for dog fighting does the same to a player charged with aggravated animal cruelty.

Michael Leaverton  |  Jun 2nd 2015


The Atlanta Falcons cut linebacker Prince Shembo on Friday after he was charged with aggravated animal cruelty. The player admitted to his then-girlfriend Denicia Williams that he kicked her Yorkie multiple times, which caused the dog’s death, and said that he might leave the country due to the severity of the case, according to the police report Williams filed.

The Atlanta Falcons, the same team who cut Michael Vick for dog fighting, issued a statement on Friday, according to the Washington Post:

“We are aware of the charges that have been filed against Prince Shembo. We are extremely disappointed that one of our players is involved in something like this. Accordingly, we have decided to waive Prince Shembo.”

Credit: Gwinnett County Police Department

Denicia Williams’ dog Dior. Photo via Gwinnett County Police Department.

The kicking occurred on April 15, and Williams called police four days later to report that he had killed her dog, according to the AP. She had taken her Yorkie Dior to the player’s apartment and left him alone with the dog for a while, and when she returned, Dior was unresponsive.

She died later at an animal hospital. Shembo’s attorney Jerry Froelich says that Dior bit Shembo when he was trying to put her in a cage, and that’s when the 6-2, 258-pound player kicked the dog.

“When you’re a small dog, it doesn’t take much with the size he is,” Froelich said, according to the AP.

Photo via Atlanta Journal-Constitution video.

Photo via Atlanta Journal-Constitution video.

Shembo and his attorney may maintain that “it doesn’t take much,” but the injuries to the dog suggest otherwise. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the dog suffered “a fractured rib, fractured liver, abdominal hemorrhage, thoracic hemorrhage, extensive bruising and hemorrhage in the muscles in her front leg and shoulders, head trauma, hemorrhage and edema in lungs, hemorrhage between the esophagus and trachea, and hemorrhage in the left eye with internal injuries.”

The Journal-Constitution says the dog finally died at the Duluth Animal Hospital after suffering a brain aneurysm.

According to the AP, the police decided to take out a warrant for Shembo’s arrest due to inconsistencies in the player’s account of what happened and what the necropsy revealed, the results of which they received Thursday. Shembo turned himself in and was released shortly after on bond.

Via the Washington Post

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