Call Us Toll-Free:
877-239-4480

Author Archives: Jeff Holland

Sentencing for Youngstown animal neglect case

State v. Akesha Bowman, a case we prosecuted for Animal Charity, the humane society serving Mahoning County.

Bowman was charged with two counts of companion animal cruelty for keeping her dog “Sassy,” (renamed “Hershey,”) in a cage filled with urine and fecal waste. The cage was too small. Sores were observed on the top of her head from rubbing on the bars. She was also emaciated. Bowman pled no contest and was found guilty on both counts.

The dog was forfeited by the Court, and is now doing well in her new home. (Before and after pictures provided below.)

Judge Robert Milich sentenced Bowman to 90 days in jail for each count, consecutive, for a total of 180 days. Jail time is suspended pending completion of 5 years’ probation, the maximum time allowed by law. During that time, she is prohibited from owning or keeping animals, and is subject to inspections by probation or the humane agent to make sure that she is not keeping animals. She was fined $250 plus costs, plus a $100 probation fee for each case, and must complete 80 hours of community service.

bowman photo

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

100 days jail time for animal neglect

Update on State v. Vicki Cornell, a case we prosecuted along with Prosecutor Rhonda Fisher in the Bryan Municipal Court last year.

Cornell, who operated an organization ironically known as “Skinny Little Buddies Animal Rescue,” was convicted of 24 counts of companion animal cruelty relating to the keeping of approximately 48 dogs.

Today she was found guilty of violating her probation. Judge Francis Gorman imposed 100 days in jail, with credit for 7 days served to date. After serving this jail term, she will be back on probation, with a prohibition against keeping more than 4 personal pets, and random inspections. 500 days in jail remain hanging over her head if there are additional violations.

IMG_1863
Tagged , , , , , , ,

Animal cruelty conviction for drowning opossum

State v. Terry Shkurka, a case we prosecuted for the Cleveland Animal Protective League.

Shkurka admitted trapping an opossum and then holding the cage down in a rubber tub full of water to drown it. He said he has disposed of nuisance animals in this fashion before, and that sometimes he had to put them back in the water to finish the job. Dr. Allison Lash reported that drowning an animal in this fashion could take 5 to 10 minutes, and involves significant suffering.

The Defendant was found guilty of animal cruelty. Shkurka, who had no other criminal record, was required to forfeit the trap, pay a fine of $250 and costs, complete a a humane education course, and remain on active probation for a year. If he fails to complete any condition, he faces 90 days in jail.

tub

Tagged , , , , , ,

Jail time for dog starvation case in Ashland, Ohio

State v. Michael Johnson, a case we prosecuted at the request of the Ashland County Humane Society, investigated by Ashland County Dog Warden, Tom Kosht.

Johnson was found guilty of two counts of companion animal cruelty for abandoning two dogs in a home without adequate food or water. One died of starvation. The other was dehydrated, but was successfully rehabilitated and has been adopted to a new, loving home.

Johnson tried to put the blame on a man named Louie Thompson who he said was paid $500 cash to care for the animals. However, Johnson could not locate Thompson, and the address he gave for Thompson had not been occupied for some time. Judge John Good told Johnson that he did not believe his story.

Johnson was sentenced to 90 days, the maximum jail sentence for a 2nd degree misdemeanor. He will begin serving that sentence next week. 90 additional days were suspended pending successful completion of 5 years’ probation. During that time, Johnson may not possess and companion animals. He was ordered to pay $500 in fines, $42 in restitution to the veterinarian, $125 restitution to the Ashland County Humane Society, and court costs.

I am pleased to report that Judge Good gave a strong message about the seriousness of animal neglect. It is our hope both Dog Warden Tom Kosht and Judge John Good of the Ashland Municipal Court will receive positive feedback from the community.

fence

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Conviction for possession of cockfighting birds

State v. Filimon Medina, a case we prosecuted for the Medina County SPCA. This is one of the roosters removed from Mr. Medina’s property. It is common practice among cockfighters to remove the combs and wattles of fighting birds so the animals will not bleed excessively in battle, thus weakening them and possibly interfering with their ability to see.While Mr. Medina was not caught in the act of cockfighting, he was charged and convicted in the Medina Municipal Court of two counts of possession of criminal tools for possessing altered roosters, sparring muffs, various drugs and veterinary supplies commonly used in cockfighting, keep pens, tie out ropes and shipping boxes.

Ironically, possession of criminal tools is a 1st degree misdemeanor, while cockfighting is only a misdemeanor of the 4th degree in Ohio. Mr. Medina forfeited all seized birds, will pay a $400 fine plus costs, and may serve 90 days in jail if he violates the terms of his probation, which includes a prohibition against possessing altered birds and random inspections.

Tagged , , , ,

Farm animal cruelty conviction in Montgomery County

A vivid reminder that all water is not potable. State v. Brenda Moore, a case we prosecuted for the Humane Society of Greater Dayton and the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center.

Brenda Moore was convicted of 7 counts of animal neglect involving 10 goats, one pig, 8 ducks, 13 chickens, 7 rabbits and one dog. The animals were suffering from a variety of conditions, including dehydration, upper respiratory infections, pneumonia, overgrown hooves, coccidiosis and lice.

Moore forfeited all of the animals, and is prohibited from keeping any animals except for two pets for five years. She will be subject during that time to random inspections by the Humane Agent. She faces 90 days in jail if she fails to successfully complete probation. Moore was fined a total of $650 plus court costs.

In our view, limiting animals and providing for random inspections is the best way to rehabilitate an offender like this one, and to prevent future animal neglect. A lengthy jail sentence (90 days is the maximum provided by law) punishes the offender, but puts him or her in a position of collecting more animals immediately upon release without any education or monitoring.

In this case, Moore now lives in an apartment, so she is unable to acquire farm animals.

bad water

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Youngstown man convicted of starving dog

State v. Wendel Gray, a case we prosecuted in the Youngstown Municipal Court for Animal Charity of Ohio, the humane society serving Mahoning County.

Gray was found guilty of one count of companion animal cruelty for failing to provide adequate food for his dog. Given the fact that Gray voluntarily surrendered ownership of the animal, and accepted the fact that he is in no position to keep animals at this time, he was placed on probation for a period of one year. During that time, he is prohibited from owning, keeping or living with any animals. Gray is subject to random inspections by Animal Charity.

If Gray violates the terms of his probation, he could serve up to 90 days in jail. He is also required to pay court costs.

wendell gray case

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Wauseon, Ohio man guilty of neglecting pony

State v. Andrew Fox, a case we prosecuted for the Toledo Area Humane Society in the Sylvania Municipal Court.

Andrew Fox was found guilty of one count of animal cruelty for neglecting the care of one horse and one pony. The animals were kept in filthy conditions. The issue of greatest concern was the fact that the pony had very long, overgrown hooves which made it difficult for the animal to walk normally, and caused unnecessary suffering.

Defendant voluntarily surrendered both animals to the Humane Society. Sentencing is scheduled for May 14, 2015.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Police officer found guilty of animal neglect for leaving police dog in car

State v. Brett Harrison, a case we prosecuted today which was investigated by the Medina County SPCA.

Sgt. Harrison of the Montville Township Police Department in Medina County, Ohio was charged with two counts of companion animal neglect for leaving his trained police dog in his cruiser for 4 hours and 19 minutes, causing the animal to die of heat exhaustion. The high temperature that day was 79 degrees. A veterinarian reported that temperatures inside the vehicle could easily reach 125 degrees or higher, causing significant suffering and ultimately death.

Sgt. Harrison testified that he intended to keep the car running with the air conditioner on. He failed to do so, and failed to notice that the cruiser was not running despite standing nearby talking to other officers for 23 minutes after exiting the vehicle. The windows of the car were left closed. Sgt. Harrison testified that he did not check the temperature during the day, and did not check on his dog during the entire period.

Judge Chase found the Defendant guilty of one of the two counts of companion animal neglect, a second degree misdemeanor. The Judge noted that Sgt. Harrison has no prior criminal history, and no record of disciplinary action while serving as a law enforcement officer, and ordered that he pay a $500 fine.

police dog

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Conviction for possession of cockfighting birds and equipment

State v. Filimon Medina, a case we prosecuted for the Medina County SPCA. This is one of the roosters removed from Mr. Medina’s property. It is common practice among cockfighters to remove the combs and wattles of fighting birds so the animals will not bleed excessively in battle, thus weakening them and possibly interfering with their ability to see.

While Mr. Medina was not caught in the act of cockfighting, he was charged and convicted in the Medina Municipal Court of two counts of possession of criminal tools for possessing altered roosters, sparring muffs, various drugs and veterinary supplies commonly used in cockfighting, keep pens, tie out ropes and shipping boxes.

Ironically, possession of criminal tools is a 1st degree misdemeanor, while cockfighting is only a misdemeanor of the 4th degree in Ohio. Mr. Medina forfeited all seized birds, will pay a $400 fine plus costs, and may serve 90 days in jail if he violates the terms of his probation, which includes a prohibition against possessing altered birds and random inspections.

rooster medina

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Page 1 of 41234