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animal hoarding

24 Animals Found in Filthy Conditions, Owner Sentenced to 5 years Probation

State of Ohio v. Sheri (Shari) Gilbert, a case prosecuted for Lake Humane Society.

Gilbert pled guilty to all 10 counts of animal neglect on the day of trial. 24 animals, including dogs, cats, parrots, a guinea pig, and ferrets, were seized from Gilbert’s home. The animals were kept in deplorable conditions and suffered from a variety of medical conditions. The foul smell of the residence was described as “beyond words.”

Gilbert was sentenced to 5 years of probation, during which time she cannot own, keep, or reside with any animal. She will undergo random inspections by Lake Humane to ensure that she is not harboring any animals. She must undergo a mental health assessment and complete recommended treatment. Gilbert paid $4,500 for the care of the 24 animals and must pay court costs. If she fails to comply with these conditions, she will face 90 days in jail and a $750 fine.

Alla

Alla, one of the dogs rescued by Lake Humane, was successfully treated and adopted.

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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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Rootstown, Ohio woman found guilty of 11 counts of animal neglect

State v. Danette Kerr, a case we prosecuted for the Portage County APL was resolved today.

112 animals were seized from Kerr’s property on July 22, 2014. 18 dogs and 3 cats exhibited signs of neglect including dehydration, emaciation, matted fur, severe dental disease and a variety of untreated conditions that caused suffering.

82 birds were kept in conditions of extreme filth, including accumulation of urine and fecal ammonia which caused rescuer’s eyes to water and throat to burn. Conditions for the animals included emaciation, urine scalded feet and overgrown beaks. 29 dead birds were also found in a freezer on the property.

Horses showed various signs of neglect, including malnourishment, muscle wasting, dehydration, and excessive exposure to filth and flies.

Danette Kerr was found guilty of 6 first degree misdemeanors and 5 second degree misdemeanor charges of animal neglect. Kerr paid $14,100 for costs incurred in caring for the animals. She is on probation for 5 years. During that time, she is subject to random inspections to make sure that she is caring properly for her three current pets. She must also have a mental health assessment and follow up with recommended treatment. 

Our goal in these cases is first to save the animals, and second to prevent future incidents. In cases like this, mental health treatment along with inspections over 5 years (the maximum term of probation) has proven to be more effective for preventing future violations than an immediate jail term. If Kerr does violate any of the terms of probation, she is facing 180 days in jail.

kerr dog

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Eastlake, Ohio residents convicted of animal neglect.

State v. Robert Fatica; State v. Laura Tamura. This is a case we prosecuted in the Willougby Municipal Court for the Lake Humane Society.

Defendants Robert Fatica and Laura Tamura were found guilty of companion animal neglect for keeping 13 cats in their home in Eastlake, Ohio in filthy conditions. The animals were matted, suffering from parasites, severe dermatitis and hair loss.

Fatica is not permitted to possess animals of any kind for 3 years; Tamura for 2 years. Both are subject to random inspections. They must pay a fine, court costs and $1,825 each in restitution to the Humane Society to repay them for the costs of rehabilitating the animals. Each one faces up to 90 days in jail if they fail to comply with the terms of probation.

filthy cat cage
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Cat hoarder in Brunswick, Ohio

State v. Kelli Drake, a case we prosecuted for the Medina County SPCA. Drake was found guilty of two counts of companion animal cruelty regarding 46 cats (all black) kept in her home. The cats were infested with fleas, severe flea allergies, hair loss, dermatitis, tapeworms, and FIV. All animals were surrendered to the SPCA.

Drake is prohibited from keeping any animals for four years, must submit to random inspections, and must complete a mental health assessment, and follow up with recommended treatment. If she violates these conditions, she is facing 180 days in jail.

Holland & Muirden, Attorneys at Law's photo.
Holland & Muirden, Attorneys at Law's photo.
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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.

infected eyes

house blackened eye

 

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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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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.

animalhoardinglakelitterboxeslakehumane

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