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Veterinary neglect

Dog Owner Failed to Treat Pit Bull’s Mange

State v. Rionte Rees, a case we prosecuted for the Medina County SPCA.

Defendant was found guilty of companion animal neglect for failure to provide proper care of Babe, a 10 month old pit bull. Babe suffered from demodex mange and severe itching resulting in the loss of most of his fur.

Rees was sentenced to 90 days in jail. 77 days were suspended. He was credited for 13 days served. He was placed on probation for 2 years, and is required to pay $177.50 restitution. He is prohibited from owning, possessing or living at a residence with animals, and must submit to random inspections.

Babe 8 Weeks After Rescue

Babe, After 8 Weeks of Care Following Rescue

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Jailtime for Man Convicted of 9 Counts of Companion Animal Cruelty

State v. David Taylor a case we prosecuted for the Lake Humane Society resulting in a lifetime ban from keeping companion animals.

Taylor was convicted in the Willoughby Municipal Court of 9 counts of companion animal cruelty after trial for neglecting his three dogs, who were kept in a cluttered, dirty yard full of debris, including broken glass and nails. They suffered from severe flea infestation, open abrasions, bacterial infection, severe ear mites, fly strikes and whipworms.

In addition to the ban on keeping animals, Taylor was sentenced to 90 days in jail, 45 of which was suspended pending successful completion of one year probation including mental health assessment and treatment. He was fined $750 of which $500 is suspended.

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Owner Convicted for Neglecting Dog’s Severe Skin Condition

State v. Christopher Overton, a case we prosecuted in Youngstown investigated by Animal Charity of Ohio, the Humane Society which serves Mahoning County.

Mr. Overton had three dogs. Two were in good condition. The third had an extreme untreated skin condition which caused large sections of skin to be red, raw and bloody. Blood and flesh were found on the collar when it was removed.

Overton surrendered the dog to Animal Charity. Today he plead guilty to companion animal cruelty. Overton will be on probation for three years, and will be subjected to random inspections to make sure that he is providing proper care for his remaining dogs. He is not permitted to have other animals. He will pay $500 for the rehabilitation and care of this dog. If he violates any of these terms, he may be ordered to serve up to 90 days in jail.

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Jail Time and Community Service Sentence for Animal Neglect Case

State of Ohio v. Travis Wargo and Cari Welk, a case prosecuted for Lake Humane Society.

Wargo and Welk both pled guilty to animal neglect. The case involved two cats, Liam and Logan, and a dog, Lily, that were kept in deplorable conditions.The animals suffered from various untreated medical conditions. While the other animals were of good weight, Liam the cat was so painfully emaciated that when offered dog treats by the Humane Agent, he scarfed them so fast he was throwing up while he was eating them.

Both Defendants were sentenced to 5 years of probation, during which time they cannot own or harbor any animals. Lake Humane Society will conduct inspections to ensure compliance. Wargo and Welk will have to pay court costs and $3,030.00 in restitution for care of the animals to Lake Humane. Both Wargo and Welk were sentenced to serve 4 days in jail or complete 4 days of community work service. If they fail to comply with these conditions, Wargo will face an additional 356 days in jail and Welk 86 days.

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24 Animals Found in Filthy Conditions, Owner Sentenced to 5 years Probation

State of Ohio v. Sheri (Shari) Gilbert, a case prosecuted for Lake Humane Society.

Gilbert pled guilty to all 10 counts of animal neglect on the day of trial. 24 animals, including dogs, cats, parrots, a guinea pig, and ferrets, were seized from Gilbert’s home. The animals were kept in deplorable conditions and suffered from a variety of medical conditions. The foul smell of the residence was described as “beyond words.”

Gilbert was sentenced to 5 years of probation, during which time she cannot own, keep, or reside with any animal. She will undergo random inspections by Lake Humane to ensure that she is not harboring any animals. She must undergo a mental health assessment and complete recommended treatment. Gilbert paid $4,500 for the care of the 24 animals and must pay court costs. If she fails to comply with these conditions, she will face 90 days in jail and a $750 fine.

Alla

Alla, one of the dogs rescued by Lake Humane, was successfully treated and adopted.

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Maximum Community Service Sentence for Summit County Animal Neglect Case

State of Ohio v. Sandra Kay Benedum, a case prosecuted for Pawsibilities Humane Society of Greater Akron and also handled by the Summit County Dog Warden.

Benedum, 70, pled guilty to two counts of companion animal neglect regarding 1 dog named Tibet. Tibet had multiple open wounds filled with hundreds of maggots when Benedum brought him to the dog warden for euthanasia. 11 days earlier, Benedum called her veterinarian to complain that Tibet’s odor was making her kids sick, but did not bring the dog in for treatment.

Benedum is banned indefinitely from owning, keeping, or possessing any animal. She will undergo 5 years of probation, during which time she must comply with inspections by the humane society or other law enforcement. She must also complete 400 hours of community service, the maximum for second degree misdemeanors, and pay court costs. If she violates those terms, she faces 180 days in jail.

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Fine for Animal Cruelty to Lemur

State of Ohio v. Jennifer Toth, a case prosecuted for the Cleveland Animal Protective League.

Toth was charged with one count of animal cruelty related to a Lemur named Nova that had an untreated broken leg. The leg was broken at the time Toth purchased the animal.

Toth pled to one count of attempted cruelty to animals. Toth agreed not to keep any more exotic animals is limited to two spayed/neutered dogs, two male guinea pigs, and a turtle for one and half years. There was no evidence that the non-exotic animals were not being cared for properly.

Additional provisions include payment of court costs, a $250 fine, and $1,109.90 in restitution, representing the cost of amputation of the lemur Nova’s leg. Toth is subject to random inspections and must keep all animals in a humane, lawful, and sanitary manner. She faces 45 days in jail if she fails to comply.

Nova recovered and was sent to a lemur sanctuary.

Nova the Lemur

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Jail Time for Probation Violator; Mother also Pleaded Guilty of Animal Neglect

State of Ohio v. Darlene and Alyssa Morrow, a case prosecuted for Lake Humane Society.

Darlene and Alyssa Morrow were each charged with neglect related to the care of Alyssa’s dog, Honey. Alyssa Morrow was previously convicted of animal neglect in a case prosecuted by the Painesville Police just 4 days before this incident occurred. As part of sentencing in that case, she was allowed to keep 2 dogs, including Honey, whom she described as an emotional support dog.

In this case, Alyssa admitted that Honey was ill for 2 days before she allegedly left the house to stay with a relative. While in her mother Darlene’s care, Honey further deteriorated. For that 6 day period, Honey leaked fluid from her eyes and nose and ultimately passed away from her condition. An informant led Lake Humane to discover where Honey was buried and a necropsy indicated Honey was emaciated and had likely suffered trauma to her chest, causing a cardiac tamponade. Alyssa later stated that her mother had called her multiple times to tell her to call and report the situation to Lake Humane, but she failed to do so.

Darlene pleaded guilty to one count of neglect. She must complete 5 years of probation, during which time she may have no animals and is subject to random inspections. She will further undergo mental health counseling. If she fails to comply, she faces 60 days in jail.

Alyssa also pleaded guilty to one count of neglect. She will serve 8 days in jail, one day for each of the 8 days that Honey suffered. She will further complete 7 days of community work service. She is permanently banned from all animal ownership. Alyssa must complete 5 years of probation and pay $150 in restitution to Lake Humane, as well as court costs. She will face 75 additional days in jail if she fails to comply with these conditions. Further, because Alyssa violated her probation, she must either serve 10 additional days in jail or complete 10 days of community work service.

Moose

Moose, from Alyssa Morrow’s previous case, was successfully rehabilitated by Lake Humane Society.

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Conviction for Companion Animal Neglect in Ashland County

State v. April McCartney, a case we prosecuted for the Ashland County Sheriff’s Department, with assistance from the Ashland County Humane Society.

McCartney was convicted of one count of companion animal neglect regarding 4 cats, 8 dogs and a bearded dragon lizard. Most of the dogs were tied outside in a yard heaped with garbage without access to food, water or adequate shelter. Other animals were kept in the house, which was also filled with garbage, including animal waste. There was a strong odor of urine and fecal ammonia throughout the house. The majority of the animals were very thin. Many were suffering from conjunctivitis, eye conditions, parasites and other ailments which the veterinarian said showed lack of proper care for a very prolonged period of time.

McCartney voluntarily surrendered all of the animals.

McCartney is not permitted to own, possess or live in a place with animals of any kind for 3 years, and is subject to random inspections. If she violates those terms, she faces 30 days in jail. She was only fined $100 plus court costs because she has no assets.

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Sentencing for Animal Boarder/Breeder

State v. Theopholis Hunter, a case we prosecuted that was investigated by the Cleveland Animal Protective League and City Dogs Cleveland (Cleveland Animal Care & Control).

Hunter was found guilty of two counts of animal cruelty for neglecting 19 dogs. Hunter operated a boarding/breeding operation for many years. The dogs were kept in filthy conditions and were suffering from various untreated ailments, such as severe matting, tumors/masses, and ear/eye infections. Hunter was cooperative and surrendered all 19 dogs immediately.

Hunter was ordered to have no animals for five years and remove all signage from his property related to the breeding/boarding/sale of animals. He will be subject to random inspections and faces 270 days in jail if he fails to comply. He was also ordered to pay $760 in restitution to the Cleveland APL.

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