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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.

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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.

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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

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Plaintiffs seek victims of Ohio Shiba Inu breeders “Fallscreek Shibas”

In February 2012, Edita Opluštilová, a resident of the Czech Republic, leased her Shiba Inu breed dog Mája to Tina King Duncan and Les Duncan. The Duncans operate as “Fallscreek Shibas” out of New Vienna, Ohio. The Duncans bred Mája twice and refused to return the dog and her second litter of puppies to Ms. Opluštilová. In December 2014, we accomplished the return of Mája and her puppies. The puppies are pictured below.

We also represent James Moglia of New York and Berry Bolink of the Netherlands, who recently filed suit against the Duncans in Highland County, Ohio. The Plaintiffs in this case purchased three Shiba Inu breed dogs from the Duncans, who hold themselves out to be reputable breeders with healthy, pedigreed Shiba Inu breed dogs of “champion” quality. Despite paying premium prices, the Plaintiffs allege that they never received AKC paperwork for their dogs as promised and also that one dog arrived infected with Giardia.

Similarly, we represented Gullborg Knudsen, a resident of Norway, who purchased a “show quality” Shiba Inu dog from the Duncans in April 2014. Fortunately, the dam and sire in Ms. Knudsen’s case were actually AKC registered, unlike those in some of our other cases. We were finally able to acquire the AKC registration papers for Ms. Knudsen’s dog.

The Duncans were previously located in Idaho (See article: Triple damages awarded in dog dispute).

Moglia and Bolink seek other individuals who are similarly situated. If you have purchased an un-registerable or sick dog, or paid for a dog never received from the Duncans, please contact Dana at dpannella@hmlawohio.com or 330-239-4480.

Shiba Inu dogs Ohio

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Savannah man, Michael Johnson, convicted of starving two dogs

State v. Michael Johnson, a case we prosecuted for the Ashland County Dog Shelter/Dog Warden.

Johnson was charged with animal cruelty related to the starvation of his two Golden Retriever dogs, Laney and Sadie.

The Ashland County Dog Warden visited Johnson’s property when it was reported that a dog had been abandoned there. Sadly, Sadie had already passed away. There was a bag containing dog food in the kitchen, just feet away from where both dogs were confined.

Johnson entered a plea to two counts of animal neglect, both second degree misdemeanors, and was found guilty.

Laney recovered and Johnson surrendered ownership to the Dog Warden today.

Sentencing is set for May 4, 2015.

Golden Retrievers Ohio

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Cleveland woman sentenced for neglect of two dogs

State v. Glenda Murray, a case we prosecuted for the Cleveland Animal Protective League.

Glenda Murray was charged related to her neglect of two emaciated, ill dogs tethered without shelter in cold weather. Glenda Murray’s husband, Fuller Murray, who was also charged, is currently serving jail time on felony firearms and assault charges and his animal cruelty case is still awaiting adjudication.

Glenda Murray was found guilty of four counts and was sentenced to the maximum jail term (1 ½ years), all suspended. The suspended time may be imposed if she fails to complete 5 years’ probation. During probation, she is prohibited from owning or keeping any animal. She must also submit to random inspections. Murray must complete 100 hours of community service and pay $230 in restitution to the APL.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Cleveland couple sentenced to jail for keeping dogs in filth

State v. Melody and Edward McDonald; cases we prosecuted for the Cleveland Animal Protective League. Both will serve jail time.

The Defendants, husband and wife, were each found guilty of keeping three dogs in filthy conditions. The floors of the residence were caked with animal fecal matter and debris. The house smelled extremely foul. After receiving notice that a complaint had been filed with the APL, Mr. McDonald abandoned several dogs on Independence Road that were never recovered. He claimed that he left the dogs in a “safe place” because the Animal Warden would find them.

The Defendants were sentenced today by Judge Adrine. The McDonalds were given 180 days in jail, with 170 days suspended. They will both serve 10 days, and the remaining suspended time may be imposed if they fail to complete 5 years’ probation. During probation, they are prohibited from owning or keeping any animal. They must also submit to random inspections.

filthy house Cleveland APL dogs

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