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Conviction for Neglecting Dog with Skin Condition

State of Ohio v. Daniel and Dustin Dellick, a case prosecuted for Animal Charity of Ohio.

The Dellicks were charged with animal neglect related to the care of their dog, Bella. Bella suffered from a severe untreated skin condition that caused intense pain and discomfort. Bella likely had not left her position on the couch in quite some time.

The Dellicks each pled guilty to one count of animal neglect.

They are prohibited from owning, keeping, or possessing any companion animals for an indefinite period of time and were further sentenced to 5 years probation, during which time they cannot own, keep, care for, or live with any animal. The Humane Society is permitted to conduct random inspections to ensure compliance. The Dellicks must complete mental health evaluations and follow up with recommended treatment, if any. The Dellicks must also pay $2,000 in restitution to Animal Charity, a $100 fine (Daniel only), and court costs. If they fail to comply with these conditions, they face 90 days in jail each.

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Multiple-Count Conviction for Shih Tzu neglect

State v. Jon Carmen Ferrante, a case prosecuted for the Cleveland Animal Protective League.

Ferrante was charged with animal neglect related to his care of 33 Shih Tzu dogs. Many of the dogs were so severely matted that it became difficult for the dogs to walk or move without pain. The dogs were confined in unsanitary conditions and also suffered from untreated veterinary conditions such as worms, dental disease, and eye issues.

One dog, Xander, suffered a mat that acted as a tourniquet around his foot, resulting in death of the limb and a severe infection. Despite receiving emergency medical attention at the Cleveland APL, he ultimately did not survive his condition. All 32 other dogs were successfully rehabilitated by the APL and adopted into new homes.

Ferrante pled no contest to 12 counts of neglect, all first degree misdemeanors pursuant to Nitro’s Law.

Ferrante is prohibited from owning, keeping, or possessing any companion animals for an indefinite period of time and was further sentenced to 5 years probation, during which time he is not permitted to possess any animals and is subject to random inspections by the APL. He must obtain a mental health assessment, and abide by any treatment recommendations. He was fined $600 plus court costs. Failure to abide by these terms may result in 180 days in jail.

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Maximum Sentence for Cruelty to 14 Horses

State v. Diane and Thomas Silbaugh, cases we prosecuted on behalf of the Humane Society of Greater Akron in the Stow Municipal Court.

14 horses were removed from the Defendants’ property in Cuyahoga Falls in subzero temperatures this past February. Water buckets were frozen solid, and some horses were caked with frozen urine and fecal material. Horses suffered from dehydration, lack of adequate food, missing fur, untreated wounds and other treatable ailments due to neglect. Three were humanely euthanized due to their condition.

The Defendants were each found guilty of one count of animal cruelty. Judge Kim Hoover gave the defendants a blistering lecture on the seriousness of these crimes, and then sentenced both to the maximum jail time (90 days) and the maximum fine ($750.) Diane was taken immediately into custody. Thomas was permitted to serve his sentence at a facility where he is receiving rehabilitation for a medical condition, but will wear an ankle bracelet which does not allow him to move beyond a very narrow perimeter.

Defendants surrendered all 14 horses six months after the seizure. As a result, they have been ordered to pay more than $12,000 to Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary for board and care.

After their jail term, they will serve 12 months probation during which time they may not own, possess or live with animals except for the 5 dogs and 3 birds they currently possess. All animals must be kept in a humane, sanitary and lawful manner. They are subject to random inspections.

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Conviction for Animal Neglect after Choking Puppy

State v. James Wayne, a case we prosecuted on behalf of the Cleveland Animal Protective League.

Wayne was charged with a 1st degree misdemeanor of knowingly committing an act of companion animal cruelty for choking a puppy to death on February 10, 2015. Wayne has a record of at least 16 prior felonies.

The case was set for trial twice. Unfortunately, the only eye-witness failed to appear in court, and her current address is unknown. The Defendant instead pled guilty to animal neglect for failing to provide necessary veterinary care for an animal, which is also a 1st degree misdemeanor under Cleveland City Ordinances.

Wayne is now prohibited from owning or possessing companion animals indefinitely. He must complete an anger management course, submit to monitoring by the APL for 5 years, and pay a $250 fine plus court costs. Failure to abide by these terms may result in 180 days in jail.

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Sisters to complete 1000 hours of community service for starving their dog to death

State of Ohio v. Christina Davis and Delores Davis, a case prosecuted for the Cleveland Animal Protective League.

Delores and Christina Davis, sisters, were charged with one second degree misdemeanor count related to the starvation death of their dog. The dog was found deceased and emaciated in their yard. The sisters stated they relied on neighbors to provide them with free dog food. The dog’s bowls contained only filth and leaves.

Each defendant pleaded no contest to the charge. They must each complete 500 hours of community service and 5 years of active probation, during which time they cannot own animals and are subject to the APL’s monitoring. 90 days in jail were imposed, and suspended. They will pay court costs.

empty dog bowls starved dog yard

 

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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.

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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.

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Ohio House Bill 198 Reduces Humane Societies’ Power to Protect Animals

ANIMAL LEGISLATION UPDATE:
HB 198, which abolishes Ohio Humane Societies’ ability to appoint prosecutors to prosecute crimes against animals, was introduced in the Ohio House on 5/11/15. This is the first legislative effort to REDUCE a Humane Society’s ability to protect animals.

Primary Sponsors: Reps. Steve Hambley (R-69) and Greta Johnson (D-35)

Summary: To repeal section 2931.18 of the Revised Code to abolish the humane society’s authority to employ an attorney to prosecute certain violations of law dealing with animal cruelty.

Find your Legislator here: https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislators/find-my-legislators

HB 198 Hurts Animals

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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.

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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.

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