Call Us Toll-Free:

Animal cruelty case

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.

photos of 2 dogs

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Dog neglect in Lake County

GeishaIn1State v. Marcus Ranson, a case we prosecuted in the Painesville Municipal Court for the Lake Humane Society. Ranson was found guilty of two counts of companion animal cruelty regarding two dogs. Both were assessed as Body Condition Score 1. Both were surrendered to the Lake Humane Society, and have fully recovered.

Ranson is prohibited from owning, possessing or residing with any animals for five years, the maximum period of probation for this offense. He is subject to random inspections by the Lake Humane Society, and must pay restitution for the care of the dogs. If he violates any of the terms of his sentence, he faces 60 days in jail.

Tagged , , , , , ,

H&M Presents: Ohio Animal Welfare Cruelty & Neglect Investigations: A Legal Perspective

The Humane Society of Greater Dayton hosts:
J. Jeffrey Holland
Holland & Muirden, Attorneys at Law

Join us for an informational session on animal cruelty and neglect laws and cases.

Topics include:
• Ohio’s Primary Animal Cruelty Laws
• Notice of Seizure and the Probable Cause Hearing
• Dog Liability Laws – Civil & Criminal
• Fighting Animals & Other Cruelty Laws
• Penalties for Animal Cruelty
• Search and Seizure
• The Elegant Cruelty Report
• Exotics
• Nitro’s Law
• Legislative Updates
• Being a Better Sleuth
• Vicious and Dangerous Dogs
• Case Law Overview

• Thursday, February 6, 2014
9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
• Friday, February 7, 2014
8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Sinclair Community College
Criminal Justice Training Academy
214 S. Wilkinson, Dayton, Ohio 45402

Class size is limited! Ticket Information.
Cost is $100.

For more information, contact Brian Weltge at (937) 262-5928.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Guilty verdict in kitten abandonment case, Ashland, Ohio

State v. Joyce Amos, a case investigated by the Ashland County Sheriff’s Department and the Ashland County Humane Society.  Defendant was convicted after trial of abandoning a 5 week old kitten by a dumpster at a veterinarian’s office.kitten RIP

Amos was seen at rear of the building after hours putting a live animal trap in her trunk.  The witness turned her car around to ask Amos what she was doing.  Before she was able to turn, Amos drove away, running  stop sign and proceeding at a high rate of speed.  The witness caught up, got the license number, and reported it to the Sheriff’s Department.

Amos admitted to the Deputy that she left the kitten by the dumpster.  She said that she was not the owner of the kitten, which she found abandoned on her porch.  She said she saw other kittens there, and a cat she assumed was a mother cat.  She assumed that either the mother cat would take in the kitten, or that the veterinarian would do so the next day.

The kitten, named “Firecracker,” was retrieved almost immediately.  Despite being provided with excellent care, it died within a few days.

The law provides that an “owner or keeper” of a domestic animal may not abandon that animal.  The central legal question was whether Amos was either an “owner” or a “keeper.”

Judge John Good pointed out that there are no other written appellate decisions which are directly on point on this legal issue in the State of Ohio.  He agreed with our position, that a person becomes the “keeper” of a domestic animal as soon as he/she voluntarily exerts control over it.  Amos was found guilty.  She was sentenced to $150 fine, plus restitution for fees to the  Veterinary Clinic in the amount of $170.50.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Pellet gun dog shooter convicted in Brunswick

State v. David Scott, a case we prosecuted for the Brunswick Hills Police Department.
Dog with gunshot
David Scott shot and killed a dog named Patches with a pellet gun. Patches was trespassing on his property, but the dog was at least 60 feet away from him and was in the act of departing the property. Scott claims that the dog was fighting with his own dog who was tethered just prior to the shooting. The officer examined Scott’s dog and saw no evidence of injuries.

Scott was found guilty of Injuring Animals, a 2nd degree misdemeanor.

This case presented some difficulties for a number of reasons. Generally, one cannot be convicted of an animal cruelty offense if the act was deemed to be “necessary” or “justifiable.” We knew that some people might find the shooting justifiable as a means for preventing future trespasses, especially since the weapon was a pellet gun, not a more powerful firearm. Pellet guns can be lethal, as in in this case, where the pellet penetrated the dog’s abdomen.

Defendant was fined $500 and was ordered to pay restitution to the owner of Patches.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Lake County Animal Hoarding Case Resolved

These photographs are from a case we recently prosecuted for Lake Humane Society.

Sixteen live cats and one dog were removed from this neglect situation, which included extremely deplorable conditions inside the home, lack of veterinary care, and inadequate food and water. Animal bones were also discovered. Five cats had to be euthanized.

As part of a plea agreement, Defendant will serve 5 years of probation and will be unable to possess any animals during that time.

Animal hoarding situations compromise both animal and human welfare. Addressing these situations is difficult and emotional, but it is clear that intervention is key to preventing these situations from spiraling out of control. If you suspect an animal hoarding situation, please contact your local humane society.


Tagged , , , , , , ,

Barberton man convicted of starving dogs

State v. Mark Grizer, a case we prosecuted for the Humane Society of Greater Akron was resolved today.  Grizer was convicted of two counts of companion animal cruelty for allowing two of his dogs to become emaciated.  The animals were found in filthy conditions.  Grizer surrendered the dogs, who have been rehabilitated and are both doing well in their new homes.

Dog photo Grizer

As a part of the sentence in this case, the Magistrate at the Barberton Municipal Court prohibited Grizer from possessing animals of any kind indefinitely.  This means that

Grizer will be unable to possess animals for life, unless the Court orders otherwise at a later date.  Grizer must also submit to random inspections for 5 years to make sure that he has no animals.  He must also repay the Humane Society for veterinary costs.  If he violates the terms of his sentence, Grizer faces up to 90 days in jail, a $100 fine and court costs.


Tagged , , , , , , ,

Cleveland man convicted of neglecting dogs

State v. Joseph Salett, a case we prosecuted for the Cleveland APL. Salett was found guilty of companion animal cruelty for failing to provide adequate food or water to two dogs, who were both Body Condition Score 2.

Salett was sentenced to 90 days in jail, which may be imposed if he fails to complete 3 years probation. During that time, Salett is prohibited from keeping, owning or possessing in his home any animals, and is subject to random inspections. He must complete a humane education course, and must pay $500 in restitution.Skinny dog

Tagged , , , ,

Geauga Humane Society tracks down horse neglect offenders living in Kansas

State v. Jessica Barclay; State v. Kelly Barclay
Two cases we prosecuted for the Geauga County Humane Society. Both were found guilty of three counts of animal cruelty after an investigation of neglect of 6 horses. The Humane Society successfully pursued this case despite the fact that the Defendants moved to Kansas.

Tagged , , , , ,

Defendant in starved horse case serves jail time

Update on State v. Antoinette Kuenzer, a case we prosecuted for the Medina County SPCA in the Medina Municipal Court.

Kuenzer was recently sentenced on her conviction for animal cruelty for starving two horses.

Kuenzer was sentenced to 90 days in jail. Kuenzer served 28 days. 62 days were suspended contingent upon successful completion of 5 years’ probation. During probation, she must submit to random drug screening, and is prohibited from owning possessing or living at a residence with animals. She is also subject to random, unannounced inspections.Photo 2

Tagged , , , , , ,