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Animal neglect

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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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.

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Seville, Ohio couple to serve jail time for starving dogs

State v. Augusta and Burdett Crandall; cases we prosecuted for the Medina County SPCA.  Both will serve jail time and are prohibited from keeping companion animals indefinitely.

The Defendants, husband and wife, were each found guilty of companion animal cruelty for starving their dogs Thor and Loki (later renamed Abu and Andor).

The Defendants were sentenced today by Judge McIlvaine of the Wadsworth Municipal Court.  Burdett Crandall was given 90 days in jail, with 75 days suspended.  Augusta was given 90 days in jail with 80 days suspended.  That means he will serve 15 days, and she will serve 10.  The remaining suspended time may be imposed if they fail to complete 5 years’ probation.  During probation, they are prohibited from owning, keeping or living in a residence with animals.  They must also submit to random inspections.   There was no fine, but they must pay court costs and $5,304.17 restitution to the Medina County SPCA.  Finally, they are prohibited from owning or keeping companion animals indefinitely.

At sentencing, Augusta Crandall acknowledged that she went to school for veterinary practice for one and a half years before giving it up for financial reasons.

We are pleased that Judge McIlvaine has sent a strong message to the community about the seriousness of animal neglect.

Before photo SKMBT_C35314091615590

After photo Andor 2

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Neglect of dog results in 48 days in jail for Medina man.

State v. Randall Rees, a case we prosecuted for the Medina County SPCA in the Medina Municipal Court. Defendant was convicted of companion animal neglect for failure to provide proper care of Kali, a 10 month old pit bull. Kali suffered from demodex mange and severe itching resulting in the loss of most of her fur. 
 
Rees spent 42 days in jail for this offense. He is on probation for 3 years, and may serve another 48 days in jail if he violates the terms of his probation. Rees is also required to pay $290 restitution to the SPCA.

Medina Ohio Attorneys Animal Cruelty Case

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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.

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Dog neglect conviction in Wadsworth, Ohio

State v. Lisa Laux, a case we prosecuted in the Wadsworth Municipal Court for the Medina County SPCA:

Laux was convicted of companion animal neglect for allowing her 10 year old shitzu to become severely matted, especially around its eyes, with untreated eye infections which caused the animal to become blind. The dog was humanely euthanized at the veterinarian’s recommendation. This photo was taken after the mats were shaved away.

Laux was sentenced by Acting Judge David Jack to 30 days jail, suspended contingent upon successful completion of 1 year probation. During probation, Laux cannot own or possess animals, and is subject to random inspections by the SPCA or probation. She was fined $100 plus costs, and must pay $250 to the SPCA as restitution. Laux was distraught, and pledged that she will never own animals again.

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Two guilty in dog severe starvation case in Wadsworth, Ohio

State v. Augusta and Burdett Crandall, cases we prosecuted for the Medina County SPCA.The Defendants were both found guilty this week of two counts of companion animal cruelty in one of the worst starvation cases we have seen. Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date in the Wadsworth Municipal Court. Holland & Muirden, Attorneys at Law's photo.

Holland & Muirden, Attorneys at Law's photo.
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Cleveland cockfighter Carlos Diaz to serve six months in jail

State v. Carlos Diaz, a case we prosecuted for the Cleveland Animal Protective League.

Diaz kept 15 roosters and hens in a filthy, sewage-filled basement. A number of the birds had untreated injuries, were underweight, or were otherwise ill. Food for the birds was scattered amongst the sewage, and no clean water was available.

Diaz admitted that he was training the roosters to fight. He further admitted that he sold and shipped the birds to Puerto Rico where they would be fought.

When the APL’s humane agents responded to Diaz’s residence, they found a fighting pen, where feathers were on the floor of the pen and blood was splattered on the walls. In addition, they found other items consistent with cockfighting: a timer, 3 pairs of rubber sparring pads, medications, performance-enhancing vitamins, salves, and syringes. Five pairs of spurs, razor-sharp knife-like devices strapped to roosters’ legs for causing damage to their opponent, were found wrapped in bloody adhesive tape (pictured here).

Cockfighting is a cruel, abusive, and barbaric practice that tortures animals, endangers the health and safety of the public, and is known to facilitate other crimes, such as illegal gambling, drug abuse and sales, and firearms offenses.

In 2008, Diaz was found guilty of illegal fights between animals under ORC 959.15, a fourth degree misdemeanor. His punishment was a $250.00 fine and court costs.

Diaz plead to and was found guilty of 11 counts related to cockfighting, animal cruelty/neglect, and possessing criminal tools.

Under a separate case number, Diaz plead no contest to an additional violation of the city’s urban farming law in relation to this case.

Judge Adrine sentenced Diaz to serve 6 months in jail, with an additional 1200 days suspended. Diaz must pay costs and complete 5 years of active probation, during which time he cannot possess any animals and must allow random inspections by the APL.

The birds were all rehabilitated.

cockfighting pit ohiocockfighting spurs ohiofighting bird ohio

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Wadsworth dog owner convicted of neglect

State v. Joseph Gatz, a case we prosecuted for the Medina County SPCA.

Joseph Gatz pled guilty to one count of companion animal neglect regarding his dog “Evander” who had a severe skin condition and was ultimately euthanized. 

Gatz was sentenced by Judge McIlvaine to 30 days in jail, suspended, and was placed on probation for one year. He must complete 48 hours of community service, was fined $100 and must pay restitution to the SPCA in the amount of $442.60. He was also ordered not to own a pet of any kind for 5 years.

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Marysville judge sends horse abuser to jail

State v. Lisa Gilliam, a case we prosecuted for the Animal Cruelty Taskforce, the county humane society serving Union County, Ohio.

Gilliam pled guilty to animal cruelty regarding two horses which were starved, and ultimately euthanized due to their poor condition. Four other counts were dropped to secure her plea. One of the success stories is Poco, pictured here.

Judge Grisby of the Marysville Municipal Court told the defendant that she is a “childish, careless, cruel person.” Gilliam was taken immediately to serve 20 days in jail, leaving another 160 days which may be imposed if Gilliam violates the terms of probation over the next five years. 

During this time, Gilliam is prohibited from keeping animals of any kind, must submit to random inspections, and must obtain a mental health assessment. She was fined $1200, $600 of which is suspended. She must also pay $1000 to the rescue organizations who helped care for the surviving horses.

Many thanks to the Animal Cruelty Taskforce (ACT) for their excellent work on this case.
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