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Medina County SPCA

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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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.

Barbara Fogl dog006_6IMG_0008

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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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Dog found hanging from car by its leash in Brunswick

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.

photos of 2 dogs

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