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farm animal cruelty

Ashland County Resident Found Guilty in Cockfighting Case

State v. Benny Craft, a case we prosecuted which was investigated by the Ashland County Sheriff and the Ohio Department of Agriculture, with assistance from the Humane Society of Ashland County Ohio

Craft was found guilty after a jury trial of cockfighting, two counts of animal cruelty and one count of possession of criminal tools. Craft was found not guilty of 3 counts of criminal tools and 4 counts of cruelty.

Craft was sentenced to a total of 90 days in jail, $350 in fines, courts costs, forfeiture of the roosters seized and items found to be criminal tools. He was ordered to pay $1,070 restitution for veterinary and other care provided to the animals. Jail is suspended on condition that he successfully complete one year probation. During probation he may not possess chickens or other poultry, and he is subject to inspections.

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Over $17,000 Restitution Ordered for Care of Neglected Horses

State v. Patricia Floyd, a case we prosecuted which was investigated by Animal Charity of Ohio. Floyd pled guilty to 4 counts of animal cruelty for neglecting 7 horses. Two had extremely long hooves, several were dehydrated or excessively thin, and all were living in filthy conditions. Horses require regular hoof trimming by a qualified farrier. Lack of proper care can lead to this severe and painful deformity.

The horses were all surrendered. Floyd was ordered by the Youngstown Municipal Court to pay $17,400 in restitution to Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary who did an excellent job rehabilitating these animals. Floyd will be subjected to random inspections for 5 years, and may not possess any animals other than two dogs she already possessed, which were in good condition.

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A Cluttered Van in the Hot Sun is not a Humane Place to keep 17 Chickens.

State v. Sandra Rae Paul, a case we prosecuted for the Loudonville Police, with help from the Humane Society of Ashland County Ohio, was ound guilty of animal cruelty yesterday, and taken to jail.

The evidence showed that the chickens were left in the van for at least 7.5 hours on a day when temperatures were in the mid-80s without shade for the vehicle. The chickens appeared to be lethargic. One died later that night.

Veterinarian, Dr. Melissa Ferry testified that under these conditions, temperatures would reach 130-140 degrees within 40 minutes. She said the chickens would certainly be suffering and would be in danger of heatstroke.

Judge John Good concluded that the vehicle did not provide shelter from sun, but instead amplified the effects of the sun, creating a “death trap.” He scolded the Defendant for blaming the situation on everyone else and taking no responsibility.

The Defendant was sentenced to 30 days in jail for failing to appear, 20 more days for the offense, and will have 70 additional days hanging over her head during 2 years’ probation. During that time, she is prohibited from possessing farm animals, including fowl, and is subject to random inspections.

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Jail Time and Fines for Farm Animal Cruelty Case

State v. Sofia Applegate, a case we prosecuted for the Geauga County Humane Society.

Applegate pled guilty today to one count of animal cruelty for neglecting to provided adequate food and water for three horses. One died on the scene. The others were not able to be rehabilitated despite the best efforts of the Humane Society, and were euthanized.

Applegate, who has no other criminal history, will serve three days in jail. Another 87 days were suspended and may be imposed if she fails to complete 5 years’ probation. During that time, she is prohibited from owning, keeping or living with any animals except for the two dogs and one cat she currently possesses, which must be kept in a humane, sanitary and lawful condition. (There was no evidence that the dogs and cat were not being cared for properly.) She is subject to random inspections during probation. She was fined $750, with $650 suspended, and must pay court costs.

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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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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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Ohio House Bill 198 Reduces Humane Societies’ Power to Protect Animals

ANIMAL LEGISLATION UPDATE:
HB 198, which abolishes Ohio Humane Societies’ ability to appoint prosecutors to prosecute crimes against animals, was introduced in the Ohio House on 5/11/15. This is the first legislative effort to REDUCE a Humane Society’s ability to protect animals.

Primary Sponsors: Reps. Steve Hambley (R-69) and Greta Johnson (D-35)

Summary: To repeal section 2931.18 of the Revised Code to abolish the humane society’s authority to employ an attorney to prosecute certain violations of law dealing with animal cruelty.

Find your Legislator here: https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislators/find-my-legislators

HB 198 Hurts Animals

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Farm animal cruelty conviction in Montgomery County

A vivid reminder that all water is not potable. State v. Brenda Moore, a case we prosecuted for the Humane Society of Greater Dayton and the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center.

Brenda Moore was convicted of 7 counts of animal neglect involving 10 goats, one pig, 8 ducks, 13 chickens, 7 rabbits and one dog. The animals were suffering from a variety of conditions, including dehydration, upper respiratory infections, pneumonia, overgrown hooves, coccidiosis and lice.

Moore forfeited all of the animals, and is prohibited from keeping any animals except for two pets for five years. She will be subject during that time to random inspections by the Humane Agent. She faces 90 days in jail if she fails to successfully complete probation. Moore was fined a total of $650 plus court costs.

In our view, limiting animals and providing for random inspections is the best way to rehabilitate an offender like this one, and to prevent future animal neglect. A lengthy jail sentence (90 days is the maximum provided by law) punishes the offender, but puts him or her in a position of collecting more animals immediately upon release without any education or monitoring.

In this case, Moore now lives in an apartment, so she is unable to acquire farm animals.

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Wauseon, Ohio man guilty of neglecting pony

State v. Andrew Fox, a case we prosecuted for the Toledo Area Humane Society in the Sylvania Municipal Court.

Andrew Fox was found guilty of one count of animal cruelty for neglecting the care of one horse and one pony. The animals were kept in filthy conditions. The issue of greatest concern was the fact that the pony had very long, overgrown hooves which made it difficult for the animal to walk normally, and caused unnecessary suffering.

Defendant voluntarily surrendered both animals to the Humane Society. Sentencing is scheduled for May 14, 2015.

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Conviction for possession of cockfighting birds and equipment

State v. Filimon Medina, a case we prosecuted for the Medina County SPCA. This is one of the roosters removed from Mr. Medina’s property. It is common practice among cockfighters to remove the combs and wattles of fighting birds so the animals will not bleed excessively in battle, thus weakening them and possibly interfering with their ability to see.

While Mr. Medina was not caught in the act of cockfighting, he was charged and convicted in the Medina Municipal Court of two counts of possession of criminal tools for possessing altered roosters, sparring muffs, various drugs and veterinary supplies commonly used in cockfighting, keep pens, tie out ropes and shipping boxes.

Ironically, possession of criminal tools is a 1st degree misdemeanor, while cockfighting is only a misdemeanor of the 4th degree in Ohio. Mr. Medina forfeited all seized birds, will pay a $400 fine plus costs, and may serve 90 days in jail if he violates the terms of his probation, which includes a prohibition against possessing altered birds and random inspections.

rooster medina

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