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Animal neglect

Jail Sentence for 2014 Neglect and Obstruction Case

State of Ohio v. Donald Lane, a case prosecuted for the Cleveland Animal Protective League.

Charges in this case were filed in 2014 related to three dogs with dermatitis from flea infestation that were kept in filthy conditions. Lane refused to control the dogs during the seizure and one ultimately bit the Humane Agent. Lane failed to appear for court until this year.

Lane pled to a charge of allowing a dog to bite filed by Cleveland Animal Care & Control (City Dogs Cleveland). Lane then pled no contest to one charge of animal neglect and one charge of obstruction in this case.

Lane was sentenced to 5 years of active probation. He must pay $279.64 in restitution to the APL. During probation, Lane may not have any companion animals and is subject to random inspections by the APL. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail. 175 days were suspended.

Lane was taken to jail immediately to begin his 5 day sentence.

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Jail Time for Probation Violator; Mother also Pleaded Guilty of Animal Neglect

State of Ohio v. Darlene and Alyssa Morrow, a case prosecuted for Lake Humane Society.

Darlene and Alyssa Morrow were each charged with neglect related to the care of Alyssa’s dog, Honey. Alyssa Morrow was previously convicted of animal neglect in a case prosecuted by the Painesville Police just 4 days before this incident occurred. As part of sentencing in that case, she was allowed to keep 2 dogs, including Honey, whom she described as an emotional support dog.

In this case, Alyssa admitted that Honey was ill for 2 days before she allegedly left the house to stay with a relative. While in her mother Darlene’s care, Honey further deteriorated. For that 6 day period, Honey leaked fluid from her eyes and nose and ultimately passed away from her condition. An informant led Lake Humane to discover where Honey was buried and a necropsy indicated Honey was emaciated and had likely suffered trauma to her chest, causing a cardiac tamponade. Alyssa later stated that her mother had called her multiple times to tell her to call and report the situation to Lake Humane, but she failed to do so.

Darlene pleaded guilty to one count of neglect. She must complete 5 years of probation, during which time she may have no animals and is subject to random inspections. She will further undergo mental health counseling. If she fails to comply, she faces 60 days in jail.

Alyssa also pleaded guilty to one count of neglect. She will serve 8 days in jail, one day for each of the 8 days that Honey suffered. She will further complete 7 days of community work service. She is permanently banned from all animal ownership. Alyssa must complete 5 years of probation and pay $150 in restitution to Lake Humane, as well as court costs. She will face 75 additional days in jail if she fails to comply with these conditions. Further, because Alyssa violated her probation, she must either serve 10 additional days in jail or complete 10 days of community work service.

Moose

Moose, from Alyssa Morrow’s previous case, was successfully rehabilitated by Lake Humane Society.

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Conviction for Companion Animal Neglect in Ashland County

State v. April McCartney, a case we prosecuted for the Ashland County Sheriff’s Department, with assistance from the Ashland County Humane Society.

McCartney was convicted of one count of companion animal neglect regarding 4 cats, 8 dogs and a bearded dragon lizard. Most of the dogs were tied outside in a yard heaped with garbage without access to food, water or adequate shelter. Other animals were kept in the house, which was also filled with garbage, including animal waste. There was a strong odor of urine and fecal ammonia throughout the house. The majority of the animals were very thin. Many were suffering from conjunctivitis, eye conditions, parasites and other ailments which the veterinarian said showed lack of proper care for a very prolonged period of time.

McCartney voluntarily surrendered all of the animals.

McCartney is not permitted to own, possess or live in a place with animals of any kind for 3 years, and is subject to random inspections. If she violates those terms, she faces 30 days in jail. She was only fined $100 plus court costs because she has no assets.

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Sentencing for Cat Crossing Operators

State of Ohio v. Mary Wawyrtko, Joseph Scott Gray, and Jessica Oslander, cases prosecuted for the Cleveland APL.

Defendants were sentenced yesterday.

They will have to complete 5 years of active probation. During probation, the Defendants are prohibited from owning more than 2 spayed or neutered animals. They may continue to volunteer as cat caretakers at The Cat Crossing if they act under the oversight of a veterinarian and shelter management plan, both approved by the APL. All animals must be kept in a humane, sanitary and lawful manner. The Defendants will be subject to random, unannounced inspections of any facility where they care for cats by the Cleveland APL, Cleveland Animal Control, Public Health and Building Code officials, and other law enforcement to ensure compliance.

Defendants must obtain mental health assessments and abide by recommended treatment, if any.

Defendants must also pay $5,800.00 in restitution to the Cleveland APL and court costs. If the Defendants fail to comply with the terms of probation, they face up to 990 days in jail each.

Cat

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Jail Time for Farm Animal Cruelty in Boston Township

State v. Ionel Jura; a case we prosecuted which was investigated by the Humane Society of Greater Akron and the Peninsula Police.

Jura was convicted after a two day jury trial of all 9 counts of animal cruelty and one count of animals at large for neglecting to provide proper care for 10 goats and a calf at his property in Boston Township.

The adult animals were tied up outside with ropes and chain on a hot, humid day in June without shade or access to water. Some leads were tangled severely restricting the animals’ movement. One adult goat and a kid were tangled or had legs caught in a pile of lumber with protruding nails. Most of the animals were excessively thin, and suffering from dehydration and other parasites, including lice, The examining veterinarian concluded that they were all at risk of dying from heat stroke, given their weakened body condition and the weather.

The animals were seized and eventually surrendered by the Defendant to Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary.

The Defendant was sentenced to 90 days in jail on each of 9 counts of cruelty, and 30 days on the animals at large count. All jail time was suspended, contingent upon the Defendant’s successful completion of 5 years’ probation. During that time, he is prohibited from keeping farm animals on any property he owns or controls. Humane officers have authority to inspect the premises to ensure compliance. He is also required to complete a course in farm animal care, at least 8 hours in duration, and to complete 150 hours of community service for the Humane Society. Total fines were $4,750, of which all was suspended except for $950. Restitution was ordered to Happy Trails in the amount of $1,200.

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Cat Crossing Operators Pled Guilty to Filthy Conditions, Neglect

State of Ohio v. Mary Wawyrtko, Joseph Scott Gray, and Jessica Oslander, cases prosecuted for the Cleveland Animal Protective League.

Wawyrtko, Gray, and Oslander were the primary operators of The Cat Crossing rescue and sanctuary. They were charged with multiple counts related to 147 neglected cats kept in filthy conditions at the sanctuary.

Wawrytko has operated cat rescues for a number of years. In 2011, Wawrytko’s Columbus Avenue sanctuary was shut down and Tails From The City – Cleveland took in 106 cats from that facility. In 2012, Wawrytko opened a new sanctuary on W25th Street called “The Cat Crossing”, which became the subject of multiple complaints. Over the years, the Cleveland APL issued advice and warnings based on lack of appropriate quarantine procedures, adequate veterinary records, and waste odor permeating the building due to lack of cleanliness and soiled carpet.

In January 2015, a new complaint led to yet another investigation. This time, the conditions had deteriorated to the point that 147 of the cats were taken from the facility. All of the cats in the facility were either free-roaming or contained in wire crates that allowed contact with other cats. No quarantine room was established and cats infected with FeLV, FIV, ringworm, upper respiratory infections (URI), Giardia, ear mites, fleas, and other contagious diseases/parasites were allowed to freely mingle with other cats. Multiple free-roaming cats were seen sneezing blood and mucus, and the walls themselves showed visible evidence of mucus splatter. The vast majority of the cats were not being treated for these conditions, either by a veterinarian or the Defendants.

The odor of animal waste throughout the facility was overwhelming. Most of the litterboxes overflowed with waste and cats were forced to eliminate around those boxes. Space heaters were positioned throughout the cold building on flammable, unsteady objects, such as mattresses, where one witness described seeing cats congregating around the heaters and urinating in proximity.

Overcrowding, poor air quality, constant exposure to disease, and competition for resources caused these cats to suffer not only physically, but psychology from stress, leading to the deterioration of their immune systems and ultimately making them more susceptible to disease.

Wawrytko, Gray, and Oslander each pled guilty to six counts, five related to filthy conditions and one related to neglect, covering the treatment of all 147 cats. Sentencing is scheduled for November 16, 2015 at 11:00am.

catcrossingcat

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Probation for Cat Neglect

State of Ohio v. Anthony Gobis, a case prosecuted for Lake Humane Society.

Gobis was charged with animal neglect related to the care of his cat, Mufasa. Mufasa suffered from a serious facial injury that went untreated, allowing maggots, mites, and infection to set in.

Gobis pled no contest to one count of animal neglect.

He is prohibited from owning any companion animals for an indefinite period of time and was further sentenced to 4 years of probation, during which time he cannot own or keep any animal. The Humane Society is permitted to conduct random inspections to ensure compliance. Gobis must complete 80 hours of community service. If he fails to comply with these conditions, he faces 90 days in jail.

Mufasa in Recovery

Mufasa in Recovery

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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.

Shih Tzu matted

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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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