About one hundred people and their dogs showed up at the Marathon County Courthouse Wednesday morning to show support for Mary, a dog who was brutally killed, and to protest against animal abuse.
They timed the march to match a court appearance by Sean Janas, 20, the Wausau woman accused of pouring bleach down Mary's throat and stabbing her with a knife.
"I was appalled to think that this innocent dog, man's best friend, was put through this torture," said Kelli Obremski, who showed up with her children and dog, Presley.
Nearly 50,000 people have signed a petition asking the attorney prosecuting the case, to prosecute Janas to the fullest extent of the law.
Sheila Wirig was one of them. She heard about Mary and the petition on Facebook.
"We wanna make sure that Wausau and Wisconsin takes seriously the way we do dog abuse, animal abuse," Wirig said. "We think the fees and punishments should be stronger."
LaMont Jacobson, the senior staff attorney handling the case, says he's received thousands of e-mails from concerned citizens.
"Certainly when considering how a case should be resolved or the severity of a case you have to take into account what the public's opinion is and I think the public's opinion has been stated quite clearly in this case," Jacobson said.
If convicted of the felony charge of mistreatment of an animal causing death, Janas faces the maximum penalty of 3.5 years in prison.
Many of those who showed up Wednesday vow to march each time Janas makes a court appearance.