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companion animal cruelty

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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Wadsworth man convicted of throwing kitten against a truck.

Holidays notwithstanding, the work of bringing justice to abused animals goes on.

State v. Eric Kresowaty is another case we are prosecuting for the Medina County SPCA. The Defendant pled guilty today to one count of companion animal cruelty for throwing a kitten against a parked truck. The Defendant’s four year old daughter was the only eyewitness, making the case somewhat difficult. 

The case was referred to the probation department for a presentence investigation. A sentencing hearing will be held at a later time in the Wadsworth Municipal Court.

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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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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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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.

gatz dog


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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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“Hollywood Bob” to serve 360 days in jail for animal neglect

Robert Konst, a.k.a. “Hollywood Bob,” to serve 360 days in jail for animal neglect. This is a case we prosecuted for the Geauga County Humane Society.

Konst was found guilty of 12 counts of companion animal cruelty relating to 72 cats in June. The animals were living in severe filth, many suffering from a variety of ailments, including skin conditions and ruptured eyes. 

Judge Terri Stupica of the Chardon sentenced him to four 90 day sentences, all of which ran consecutively, for a total of 360 days, but suspended those days so long as he successfully completed probation. 

He was arrested just a few weeks after being sentenced for violating his probation. Judge Stupica was not persuaded by the excuses he offered in court, and ordered Konst to serve the entire 360 days in jail. We are grateful to Judge Stupica for her firm hand in this serious animal cruelty case, and to the Geauga County Humane Society for bringing this matter to the court’s attention.



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Defendant who put cat in an oven serves jail time

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.


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Dog groomer and former breeder convicted of animal neglect in Medina County

State v. Barbara Fogl, a case we prosecuted for the Medina County SPCA.

Fogl was charged with multiple counts of neglect related to her care of 16 animals, including cats and Saluki, Afghan, and Lowchen breed dogs.

The animals were kept in deplorable conditions. A strong odor of feces and urine could be detected when standing outside of the home. Many of the dogs were kept in makeshift kennels, where they rested on concrete floors covered in filthy newspaper and other debris. The Afghan and Saluki breed dogs were in the worst condition. Those dogs had grooming issues, were underweight, and had untreated tumors and/or other veterinary conditions.

Fogl is a groomer and former breeder, who allegedly became overwhelmed by her own health conditions.

As part of a plea agreement, Fogl pleaded no contest to 3 counts of animal cruelty.

She is not permitted to own or keep any animals, other than two family dogs which were spayed as part of the agreement, for a period of 5 years. She was ordered to pay $600 in fines and $5,980.30 in restitution for the care of the animals. She is also subject to random, unannounced inspections to ensure the humane treatment of the remaining two animals in her care.

The animals have all recovered.

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Dog beater convicted of animal cruelty in Cleveland

State v. William Congress, a case we prosecuted for the Cleveland APL in the Cleveland Municipal Court.

On Christmas Day, 2013, Congress sent a disturbing Facebook instant message to his roommate, who was out of town visiting family over the holidays. He admitted to beating the roommate’s dog, Caesar, because the dog damaged the floor of the apartment. The dog sustained bruises, cuts and a broken leg, requiring surgery.

Unfortunately, the roommate, a key witness in the case, fled to California without a forwarding address, and could not be summoned for trial. 

Congress entered a plea of no contest and was found guilty of one count of companion animal cruelty, a first degree misdemeanor. If he commits another such offense, it will be a felony. Congress is prohibited from possessing or owning any animals for 5 years, must complete a course in anger management and 200 hours of community service, and must pay $1500 restitution for veterinary costs. Congress may serve 6 months in jail if he violates these terms.

Caesar recovered fully and has been placed in a permanent home.

congress dog

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