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Animal cruelty case

Dog beater convicted of animal cruelty in Cleveland

State v. William Congress, a case we prosecuted for the Cleveland APL in the Cleveland Municipal Court.

On Christmas Day, 2013, Congress sent a disturbing Facebook instant message to his roommate, who was out of town visiting family over the holidays. He admitted to beating the roommate’s dog, Caesar, because the dog damaged the floor of the apartment. The dog sustained bruises, cuts and a broken leg, requiring surgery.

Unfortunately, the roommate, a key witness in the case, fled to California without a forwarding address, and could not be summoned for trial. 

Congress entered a plea of no contest and was found guilty of one count of companion animal cruelty, a first degree misdemeanor. If he commits another such offense, it will be a felony. Congress is prohibited from possessing or owning any animals for 5 years, must complete a course in anger management and 200 hours of community service, and must pay $1500 restitution for veterinary costs. Congress may serve 6 months in jail if he violates these terms.

Caesar recovered fully and has been placed in a permanent home.

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Animal cruelty conviction for cats living in waste in Mentor, Ohio.

State v. Nancy and Christopher Farley; cases we prosecuted for the Lake Humane Society.

A car was towed to a repair shop, filled with clothing and other personal items. The smell was so strong inside the vehicle that the mechanic thought it contained a dead body. He called the police who then summoned Humane Agents from the Lake Humane Society.

Two cat carriers were found under the clothing and debris, with two cats inside. The carriers were filled with urine and fecal matter, so that the animals were soaked through with liquid waste. Among other things, the cats suffered from urine scalds. As is often the case, we are not posting the worst photographs.

Defendants were found guilty in the Mentor Municipal Court of companion animal cruelty, and are prohibited from possessing companion animals indefinitely.

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Willie Powell, Jr. to serve 6 months in Cleveland jail for dog neglect

State v. Willie Powell, Jr., a case we prosecuted for the Cleveland Animal Protective League.

Judge Ronald Adrine sentenced Powell to serve 6 months in jail for the neglect of his four dogs, the maximum penalty for a first degree misdemeanor. Powell was previously convicted of attempted dog fighting in 2002.

In this case, Powell’s four dogs were kept individually in small crates. The crate floors were covered in urine and feces, forcing the dogs to stand in their own excrement. The dogs were also underweight, and many had severely overgrown nails. One dog had an injury to its tail that caused blood to splatter on the walls.

Defendant was found guilty of two counts of companion animal cruelty, and two counts of keeping animals in filthy conditions.

Defendant was sentenced to one and half years in jail, all suspended except for six months. Powell was placed on 5 years of active probation, during which time he cannot own, keep, possess, or reside with any animals, and will be subject to random inspections. Powell must also pay $200 in restitution to the APL.

Powell was taken to jail immediately after sentencing.

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Severe dog starvation case resolved, Jesse Fry goes to jail

State v. Jesse Fry, a case we prosecuted for the Medina County SPCA.

Fry’s dog “Chronos,” now known as “Brutus,” was kept in a crate too small to stand up in, forcing the dog to lay in his own excrement. He suffered a urine scald and brown urine and feces stains were visible on his body. Today, months after this case began, some of the stains are still visible.

Brutus was severely emaciated. Ordinarily, the body condition score for a live dog ranges from 1-9. Brutus’ BCS was unusually described as a “0” out of 9 on the scale, because of his exceptionally poor body condition. Treating staff were astonished that Brutus was still alive.

Defendant was found guilty of four counts of companion animal cruelty, including a first degree misdemeanor count.

Defendant was sentenced to 90 days in jail, 81 of which were suspended. Fry will serve 9 days. Fry must also complete 50 hours of community service, and pay a $100 fine, court costs, and $889.27 in restitution for Brutus’ care. Fry was placed on 5 years of active probation, during which time he cannot own, keep, possess, or reside with any animals, will be subject to random inspections, and must undergo a mental health assessment. He must find a new place to live within 60 days to comply with the requirement that he cannot reside with animals.

Fry is prohibited from owning companion animals indefinitely.

The first picture in this series is Brutus during his first veterinary visit. The second photograph is after a few days of treatment. The last picture depicts Brutus today, still in recovery. Brutus has been adopted by a veterinary technician that cared for him.

Starved dog Wadsworth Ohio

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Robert Konst “Hollywood Bob” convicted of animal cruelty

State v. Robert Konst (a.k.a. “Hollywood Bob”), a case we prosecuted for the Geauga County Humane Society.

74 cats and one dead kitten were found at Konst’s residence and place of business in overcrowded and filthy conditions.  Animals suffered from a variety of ailments including severe upper respiratory infections, conjunctivitis, and infected and ruptured eyes. Konst was found guilty of 12 counts of companion animal cruelty.

Judge Terri Stupica of the Chardon Municipal Court placed Konst on 5 years probation, during which time he may not possess animals of any kind, is subject to random inspections, and must complete mental health treatment.  If he violates probation, Konst could serve up to 360 days in jail.  Furthermore, Konst is prohibited from keeping companion animals indefinitely, which means a lifetime ban unless the court orders otherwise in the future.

Konst must also pay a $400 fine, court costs, and restitution to the Humane Society in the amount of $3,360 as reimbursement for some of the costs associated with providing care and rehabilitation for the animals.

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Owner of suspected cockfighting location convicted of bird neglect

State v. Jose DeJesus, a case we prosecuted for the Cleveland Animal Protective League.

DeJesus was found guilty of three counts of animal neglect related to the care of birds kept on his property.

DeJesus had 80-100 birds on his property, mostly chickens. Most of the birds were being kept in filthy conditions, and without adequate food or water. The birds had nothing to eat except corn and moldy, stale bread. One rooster was euthanized due to severe untreated injuries.

In a shed located at the rear of the property, investigators found cockfighting paraphernalia, including a ring with timer and sparring muffs.

According to DeJesus, a number of unknown people kept birds on his property and cared for them. DeJesus claimed that he never went in the shed.

DeJesus was sentenced to 90 days in jail for each count, all suspended. He was ordered to pay $500 in restitution to the APL, a $500 fine, and court costs. DeJesus will be on probation for 5 years, during which time he is to have no animals, and must submit to random inspections.

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State v. Joshua Maldonado, Cleveland Animal Abuser Convicted

State v. Joshua Maldonado, a case we prosecuted for the Cleveland Animal Protective League.

Maldonado was found guilty of one count of animal cruelty, a first degree misdemeanor, for the injury to his dog “Diamond.”

In this case, witnesses reported either seeing or hearing the Defendant beat Diamond. When the APL responded to the complaints, Diamond was found with injuries consistent with trauma. Diamond was limping with an injury to her hip that caused her left hind leg to be too painful to use. Diamond was dragging that leg behind her, causing her toe nails and paw pads to wear down and become infected. Two nails were ripped out, two were partially missing, and part of her paw pad was also missing.

Defendant was sentenced to 180 days in jail, a $500 fine and court costs, all suspended. He was also ordered to pay $500 in restitution to the APL. Defendant was placed on a 5 year term of active probation. During that time, he may not keep or possess any animals, and is subject to random inspections. Defendant must also complete community service hours.

Diamond underwent two surgeries to correct her injuries and has since been adopted.

Veterinary neglect Maldonado

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Hudson resident, Dowdell, guilty of animal neglect

State v. Howard Dowdell, a case we prosecuted for the Humane Society of Greater Akron.

Dowdell was found guilty of 3 counts of companion animal cruelty in a case alleging neglect of 6 dogs in his care. The veterinary report noted dogs that were very thin, dehydrated and/or infested with whipworms and hookworms. One stool sample was dry, containing leaves, grass and rocks. Decomposed puppies were found in a trash bag on the property, cause of death unknown. All dogs were surrendered to the Humane Society.

Dowdell is prohibited from owning or possessing dogs for 5 years and is subject to random inspections. If he violates those terms, he can serve up to 90 days in jail. He was fined $500, of which $250 was suspended, and must pay $1,000 restitution to the Humane Society.

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Skinny Little Buddies President convicted of animal cruelty

State v. Vicki Cornell, a case we helped prosecute for the Williams County Humane Society, co-counseling with the Bryan City Prosecutor’s Office.

Cornell was found guilty of 24 counts of companion animal cruelty relating to 48 dogs kept on her residential property in Edon, Ohio.  All were allegations of severe neglect.  Some animals were extremely thin and/or lacked adequate water.  Most suffered from a variety of causes, including being forced to breathe air with high concentrations of urine and fecal ammonia, mange, wounds, ear and eye infections, fleas or flea allergies, keeping dogs in conditions where dog fights occurred, and others.  Much of the suffering was directly related to severe filth.  Cornell was the President of a nonprofit organization called Skinny Little Buddies Animal Rescue, which operated out of her home.

Cornell was sentenced to 25 days in jail for each count, all of which run consecutively, for a total of 600 days.  Jail time will be imposed if she fails to complete 5 years probation.  All animals were forfeited to the Humane Society except for four personal pets.

Cornell is prohibited from owning, possessing, caring for, or living at a residence with more than 4 animals indefinitely.  During probation, Defendant must obtain a mental health evaluation and follow up with treatment; all animals must be kept in a humane, lawful and sanitary manner, and she is subject to random inspections by the Humane Society.

Defendant was fined $100 on each count for a total of $2,400.  The Humane Society waived restitution, given the fact that there is very little likelihood that they could ever collect.

Congratulations the Williams County Humane Society, Williams County Dog Warden, and the Williams County Sheriff’s Department.  Hats off to Prosecutor Rhonda Fisher and her staff who devoted endless hours seeing this through to a successful conclusion over nearly a week of trial and hearings.

Cornell was found guilty of 24 counts of companion animal cruelty relating to 48 dogs kept on her residential property in Edon, Ohio.  All were allegations of severe neglect.  Some animals were extremely thin and/or lacked adequate water.  Most suffered from a variety of causes, including being forced to breathe air with high concentrations of urine and fecal ammonia, mange, wounds, ear and eye infections, fleas or flea allergies, keeping dogs in conditions where dog fights occurred, and others.  Much of the suffering was directly related to severe filth.  Cornell was the President of a nonprofit organization called Skinny Little Buddies Animal Rescue, which operated out of her home.

Cornell was sentenced to 25 days in jail for each count, all of which run consecutively, for a total of 600 days.  Jail time will be imposed if she fails to complete 5 years probation.  All animals were forfeited to the Humane Society except for four personal pets.

Cornell is prohibited from owning, possessing, caring for, or living at a residence with more than 4 animals indefinitely.  During probation, Defendant must obtain a mental health evaluation and follow up with treatment; all animals must be kept in a humane, lawful and sanitary manner, and she is subject to random inspections by the Humane Society.

Defendant was fined $100 on each count for a total of $2,400.  The Humane Society waived restitution, given the fact that there is very little likelihood that they could ever collect.

Congratulations to the Williams County Humane Society, Williams County Dog Warden, and the Williams County Sheriff’s Department.  Hats off to Prosecutor Rhonda Fisher and her staff who devoted endless hours seeing this through to a successful conclusion over nearly a week of trial and hearings.IMG_1863

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Dog found hanging from car by its leash in Brunswick

State v. Nathan Vapenik, a case we prosecuted for the Medina County SPCA, jointly investigated with Brunswick Animal Control.

Defendant was found guilty of two counts of companion animal cruelty for keeping two emaciated, dehydrated dogs in his car.  He tied their leashes to the steering wheel, and left the windows cracked open.  The dogs were discovered when one was seen hanging by his throat out of thecar window.  Fortunately, they were rescued in time.

The Defendant was sentenced to 90 days in jail, 80 of which were suspended.  He served 10 days.  He was fined $350 per count ($700 total.)  He is also required to pay $498 in restitution to the SPCA.  Finally, Defendant was placed on probation for 5 years.  During that time, he is not permitted to possess, own or reside with any animals, and he is subject to random inspections.

Many thanks to Humane Agent Mary Jo Johnson and Animal Control Officer Mike Kellums for their good work on this case.

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