Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tennessee: Laura Morris found guilty of animal cruelty, was running a puppy mill with nearly 100 dogs living in squalor

TENNESSEE -- A Gibson County woman accused of running a puppy mill in Humboldt went to trial on Tuesday. She was found guilty of cruelty to animals.
Laura Morris was facing 95 counts of cruelty to animals.

After being found guilty Tuesday, the judge reserved a decision on the number of counts until June 30.


Deputies arrested Morris in November 2014.

An animal rescue worker said they found nearly 100 animals on the property living in filth.

“They were living in their own feces and urine buildup,” Animal Rescue Corps President and Founder Scotlund Haisley said. “It was unsuitable for any human to be in there without protective gear.”

“You could feel the ammonia burning across your face,” Gibson County Sheriff Paul Thomas, whose office worked with ARC on the rescue, told a local ABC affiliate. “The feces, the urine, it’s horrible.”


Haisley helped remove the dogs from her Humboldt property and get them to a shelter. “I don’t know exactly how long it had been since there had been a good cleaning, but I would suggest that it was at least months,” he said.

A veterinarian testified the animals suffered from a variety of health issues including dehydration, dental disease, hair loss, matted fur, skin infections, glaucoma and more.


Lt. Dwayne Reynolds with the Gibson County Sheriff’s Office said the building where they found the dogs reeked of ammonia. “I really do feel like she really cared for the dogs, but I think she just got overwhelmed with it,” he said. “She got too many.”

Haisley told the judge he does not think the animals were maliciously tortured. “I believe that Miss Morris cared for these animals to a certain degree in her mind,” he said.

Haisley said Morris also agreed to surrender the animals.


(WBBJTV - May 23, 2017)


Oklahoma: Johnny Hise arrested after allegedly killing dog because wife was having affair then posting photos online bragging about it

OKLAHOMA -- A love triangle led to the death of a beloved family pet.

Police say John Samuel Hise admitted to killing the dog to get back at his wife for sleeping with his brother.

“It's sick that somebody would do something like that to an innocent, a poor helpless animal,” said Perry resident Pam Keith.

Keith and others in the town wonder what would possess someone to kill a dog.

“That was a sick individual," Keith said, referring to Hise.

He is now behind bars for killing the dog and then posting pictures to his Facebook page with this chilling message: "What or who is next I (sic) on a role."

Now getting Hise to admit what he did, well, that took officers three days.

Police heard about the photos but they never saw them.

“We made contact with him, he kind of said yes his dog was sick and he had to put it down. And that was only thing we had at that time,” said Perry Police Chief Brian Thomas.

Chief Thomas later determined that was a lie. Someone saved Hise's Facebook post and reposted it again.

“We looked at the picture and at 8 o’clock this morning we had a briefing with the assistant chief and the officers, and went out and found the suspect, brought him in for questioning which he admitted to killing the animal,” said Thomas.

Police say this was all because Hise was upset that his wife was having an affair with his brother.

“He knew if he would hurt that dog, he hurt his wife or ex-wife or so be it. Well, then he attacked the dog, and that's an easy way out. That's a sick, easy way out,” said Keith.

We're told Hise will be charged with cruelty to animals, possessing a firearm after a felony conviction and possessing a weapon while committing or attempting to commit a felony.

He told officers he threw the dog's body in a creek which will be hard to recover due to the heavy amount of recent rainfall.

Perry Police Department posted on Facebook May 3, 2017 · 

Perry Police Department has been working vigorously investigating a Facebook post that went viral over the weekend depicting what appears to be the brutal death of a dog.

Asst. Chief Smith arrested John Samuel Hise Sr. this morning on accusations of Cruelty to Animals, Possessing a Firearm After a Felony Conviction, and Possessing a Weapon While Committing or Attempting to Commit A Felony. Hise was booked into the Noble County Jail.

Perry Police Department will not tolerate any forms of animal cruelty. 

Chief Thomas has asked that if you have any information concerning the above-mentioned case or any information in regards to animal abuse, to please contact the Perry Police Department.


(KFOR - May 3, 2017)

California: ‘Heartless and unforgivable’: Nuns accused of trapping, relocating family cats

CALIFORNIA -- Cats have gone missing from a Sacramento, California neighborhood recently and two nuns have admitted to trapping and relocating some of the felines, according to KTXL.

Gallant Circle in Citrus Heights is normally a cat-friendly neighborhood. But a woman says she saw something in her neighbor's backyard that she couldn't ignore.


"And I looked through the fence to my neighbor's yard and I see a black cat in a trap," she said.

The resident asked KTXL not to show her face or give her name because she too feels she is a victim of what has gone on next door. Her cat has been missing now since the beginning of the month and she even confronted the two women, both nuns, who were setting the traps.

"From what I gathered from my discussion that morning was they dumped him, and her reasoning was the owners may get the cats and bring them back," she said.

"Certainly trapping these cats, or any animal in your backyard is not recommended, right?" said Officer Anthony Boehle of the Citrus Heights Police Department. "No it's not and it can be risky."

Police in Citrus Heights, along with Animal Control, have become involved in the case. They say the two nuns were upset that cats were getting into their garden.

"For lack of a better term, these two ladies were at their wit's end and they just wanted some peace, and if they couldn't move themselves then they might be able to move the other half of the problem, which was the cats," Boehle said.

According to the police reports, the two nuns took the cats to a location near Interstate 80.

This is one of the nuns who trapped cats and then drove
them out to the freeway and abandoned them to die.

"The animals were not collared," Boehle said. "It did not appear they were owned by anyone, and they didn't think they were doing anything wrong. They were simply solving a problem they were having."

"I feel it was heartless and unforgivable," the nuns' neighbor said. "This was a family member."

Others in the neighborhood have said that their cats have come up missing as well.

Carlie Carver shared her pictures of Valor, who disappeared without a trace, and said by her count as many as six or more cats from Gallant Circle have gone missing recently.

Police cannot, at this point, connect the dots because the nuns say all the cats they've admitted to relocating did not have collars on them, so they thought they were strays.

"Based on the descriptions of these uncountable animals, and the animals that were relocated, they are not one in the same," Boehle said. "So we are looking into what happened and trying to figure those things out."

This is an ongoing case that could end up leading to criminal charges against the two nuns. At this point, both police and animal control say the best thing for animal owners to do is to license their pets and get them microchipped so they can be identified no matter what.


(WGNTV - May 22, 2017)

Illinois: Half-drowned coyote puppy found in a bucket with six of its dead siblings -- all had been held underwater and drowned one by one

ILLINOIS -- It was a grisly scene encountered by a ranger from the Forest Preserve District of Cook County when answering a call earlier this month about a bucket of puppies at the Penny Road pond near Barrington.

When the ranger drove to the 4,000-acre Spring Lake Forest Preserve southwest of Bateman and Lake Cook roads, he went to a pond off Penny Road and found a five-gallon bucket with a plastic garbage bag full of dead coyote pups, seven in all.

"According to the incident report, he picked up the five-gallon bucket, and that was when he realized one was still alive," said Dawn Keller, founder and director of the Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation. She runs the facility in downtown Barrington and in Chicago on Northerly Island.

The discovery was made on May 11, and the ranger dropped the surviving pup — which, like its litter mates, was in the one-pound range and only a couple weeks old — at an emergency veterinarian clinic called Golf Rose Animal Hospital in Schaumburg, Keller said.

According to Keller, the clinic has called Flint Creek in the past for wild animals brought in by the public, so a volunteer showed up and took the coyote, its x-rays and the incident report from the Cook County ranger back to Barrington.

"At the point of admission, the puppy was critical," she said. "The leg was shattered, it was dangling and misshapen and it was sticking out slightly because of a hip fracture."

Keller added that Flint Creek staff "started treating it with fluids, anti-inflammatory and pain medication. On the second day, it opened its eyes. Nine days later, last Saturday, the leg was set in a cast, (and) the coyote was eating well and stable at this point."

That's when she started a Facebook effort to get tips reported to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources hotline.

"It was blunt force trauma," said Keller of what caused the injury, adding that she could only imagine what happened to the other coyote puppies. "They were brutalized. This was not some humane killing.

"It takes a special person to brutalize an animal, especially babies. That's not normal. It's really sad."

Officials with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources were not immediately available to comment on Tuesday. Keller said she contacted the IDNR to make sure it was all right to publicize the tip line on their Facebook page.

Keller said if anyone in the Barrington or Barrington Hills area or anyone else knows anything about the incident that occurred on May 11, they are asked to contact the IDNR tip line at 1-877-2DNRLAW (1-877-236-7529).

"We're hoping the leg heals enough that it doesn't have to be amputated," she said. "We're just trying to help investigators. This is not acceptable behavior."


(Chicago Tribune - May 23, 2017)

New York: Tamara Copeland, 57, is sentenced to 6 months in county jail for dumping her sick, injured poodle outside vet clinic and fleeing

NEW YORK -- A Hempstead woman who left a dog to die on the sidewalk has pleaded guilty to an animal abuse charge and is expected to be sentenced to 6 months in the county jail, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Tamara Copeland, 57, of Hempstead, also was barred from owning an animal for the next 10 years after pleading guilty Monday before District Court Judge Norman St. George to one count of abandonment of animals.

She is due back for sentencing on July 24.

“Crimes against defenseless animals are heartbreaking, and we take these cases very seriously because we know that those who abuse or neglect animals often harm people, too,” Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a news release.

Singas said that at about 9 a.m. on Oct. 13, 2015, an employee of a veterinary clinic on Main Street in Hempstead found a poodle-mix dog with open wounds and bloody bandages lying on a small bed right outside the entryway.

The clinic contacted Town of Hempstead Animal Control, which took the dog to a shelter where it was examined and treated, and the case was referred to the district attorney’s office by animal control.

Surveillance videos from that morning, including one video of two women walking on Main Street, one pushing a cart, were obtained by Singas’ office.


According to the release, the woman pushing the cart, Copeland, briefly leaves the frame and returns without the cart and holding what appears to be a wrapped package.

Prosecutors said Copeland drops the package in front of the animal clinic and then hastily walks away and out of the screen.

Singas said the video was distributed to the media and Copeland was identified through a tip and arrested by her investigators less than 24 hours after the video’s release.


The dog, named Nino, had an implanted identification chip that helped determined it was owned by a Uniondale woman and that it went missing from her yard more than three years ago, Singas said.

She added the owner did not match the description of the people depicted in the video and was never the subject of an investigation. The dog was given to the owner as a birthday present by her daughter in April 2000.

Singas said that when found, Nino was suffering from broken ribs, bacterial infections, skin lesions, trauma and other injuries of unknown origin. After he received stabilizing medical care, Nino was transferred to a private veterinary facility.

Nino recuperated and but has since died, Singas said.

In April 2015, Singas, at the time acting district attorney, made a “first-of-its-kind” commitment to fully fund the care and rehabilitation of victims of animal cruelty using criminal asset forfeiture funds, the release said.


(Newsday - May 23, 2017)


(February 2017) United Kingdom: Despite being caught on video, throwing, beating, kicking and spitting on his cowering pit bull, scumbag Richard Cheshire gets probation

UNITED KINGDOM -- A man who told a judge ‘I love animals’ has been spared jail for beating his dog in a half-hour drunken rampage.

Richard Cheshire, 34, was captured on CCTV kicking the cowering dog in a lift before giving a thumbs up for the camera.

The court heard how the POS Richard Cheshire threw his pet – called Pablo – across the floor, stomped on his head, kicked him, and spat on him during the attack last September.

The attack was caught on security cameras at the tower block where Cheshire lives in Oldbury, West Midlands.

Unemployed Cheshire pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a dog when he appeared at Birmingham Magistrates Court.

But he avoided jail after being handed a 12-month community order with the requirement to perform 120 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay £385 court costs.

Cheshire was also banned from keeping animals for life – but can reapply to have it lifted after two years.

As he was spared jail he shouted to magistrates as he left court: ‘I want you to know, I love animals’.

Rafe Turner, prosecuting, said the RSPCA launched an investigation after being shown CCTV footage of the incident in a communal area of Cheshire’s block of flats.

The 30-minute CCTV recording, part of which was shown to magistrates, showed a half-naked Cheshire physically abuse the dog, and also spit, scream and swear at it.

Mr Turner said: ‘What you see is the dog being thrown across the floor of the landing and struck at least twice and spat at.

The dog keeps running away and not coming to heel, probably with good reason, while the defendant chases after it.’

Mr Turner said the dog ran into a lift in a bid to escape but a ‘clearly intoxicated’ Cheshire continued his attack even as the animal ‘cowered and whimpered’.

Miraculously, Pablo, a pit bull mix, was not serious hurt and will be rehomed by the RSPCA.

Sukhdip Randhawa, defending, said Cheshire took the dog in as a stray just a week before the attack. He CLAIMS his client suffered from anxiety and depression and used alcohol to cope with his problems.

During the incident, Chester was on ‘a bit of a bender’ and could not remember any of it.

Mr Randhawa said: ‘He took that dog in and cared for it and is an animal lover and would like to own a pet again in the future.’


(Metro - Feb 21, 2017)

Texas: Woman and her horse attacked by a pack of dogs. She shoots and kills the pit bull which she says was "leading the pack"

TEXAS -- A 44-year-old Plato woman reported on May 19 that a pack of dogs had attacked her while she was horseback riding near her Highway AP residence.

The woman stated that a pit bull that was leading the pack had to be shot to stop attacking.

The woman told an investigating deputy she didn’t know who owned the pit bull or other dogs. The officer was not able to locate the other dogs or their owners.

(Houston Herald - May 22, 2017)

Earlier stories about dogs attacking horseback riders and their horses:

Officer Eric Evans stands with police horse Stoney,
who was attacked by the pit bull while on patrol.