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Animal neglect

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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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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