State v. Randy Atkinson, a case we prosecuted for the Medina County SPCA.
Atkinson was convicted of animal cruelty for placing a cat in an oven back in 2010. The cat’s paws were singed, but it survived without severe harm. He was put on probation for 5 years, which included a prohibition against keeping animals.
Atkinson was recently arrested on other criminal charges which were not animal-related. Judge McIlvaine of the Wadsworth Municipal Court today imposed the full 90 day jail term, and also 90 days for a current theft charge. Atkinson will spend the next 6 months in 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.
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.
State v. David Scott, a case we prosecuted for the Brunswick Hills Police Department.
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.