Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Florida: After Robin Floyd, 53, and Lynn Floyd, 42, pleaded not guilty to starving their horses, prosecutors added five more cruelty charges against each of them

FLORIDA -- Additional charges have been filed against a North Escambia couple arrested on animal cruelty charges in October.

Robin Brownie Floyd, 53, and Lynn Livingston Floyd, 42, both of Gilmore Road, Century, pleaded not guilty in November to three counts each of confinement of animals without sufficient food or water.

Now, prosecutors have filed five additional first degree misdemeanor animal cruelty charges against each Floyd.


Panhandle Equine Rescue received a tip that several thin horses were being moved by the Floyds to Santa Rosa County, according to PER President Diane Lowery. She said the horses were being transferred to a Santa Rosa County residence and then moved out of state to a horse rescue in Georgia.

Lowery said that when PER investigated in September, they found three emaciated horses still on the Gilmore Road property. Warrants were issued, and the Floyds turned themselves in at the Escambia County Jail on October 15.

PER, Lowery said, took photos of the other horses to the State Attorney’s office and requested that there more more counts, “since every horse that suffered neglect mattered”.


A public defender has been appointed for Robin Floyd after the court found him to be indigent.

Someone want to explain how he can be indigent when they own their own business, they own their own property, he works as a farrier and who knows what else? This is BS - and planned by them. Their paid attorney advised them to lie and say she kicked him out and he's homeless - that way they get a free attorney paid for by taxpayers. 

Lynn Floyd has hired a private attorney.


They are due back in court in early January, and their jury trials are scheduled to begin January 19. Both remain free on $6,000 bond each.

If he's indigent, how did he come up with his bond to get out of jail???

(NorthEscambia.com - December 22, 2009)

Earlier:

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Oklahoma: Shane Smith, 34, and Shelby Morris, 22, arraigned for driving around and shooting and injuring and killing several cows, bulls and baby calves and leaving them to suffer

OKLAHOMA -- Two men were arraigned Thursday morning on 13 counts each of animal cruelty for shooting cattle and striking a bull with their pickup last month.

Shane Smith, 34, of Orlando, and Shelby Morris, 22, of Kansas, confessed to the Nov. 28 shootings near Covington and said they were drunk and intended to go night hunting but shot the cattle when they could not find any deer [to torture and kill], according to Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.

On Nov. 28, Deputy Shawna Cornish responded to the Covington area in reference to six calves having been shot to death. There were two other calves located a short time later, also dead as a result of being shot, and another two calves on the property that were wounded.

While authorities were investigating the case, another location was found where two cows had been killed as a result of gunshot wounds to the head, and a bull on the property was found with injuries sustained when the suspects ran into him with the truck they had been driving.

Smith and Morris were interviewed by authorities and confessed to shooting the cattle and running into the bull with a truck, according to court documents. They also admitted to being drunk.

Shane Smith and Shelby Morris didn't just shoot and kill animals from the road for fun. They shot and injured animals, leaving them to suffer throughout the night. They purposely rammed their vehicle into a bull, then drove off, leaving him to suffer throughout the night while they went looking for more defenseless animals to torture and kill. 

And their excuse that they couldn't find any deer to torture and kill? That's like a child rapist saying he couldn't find a woman willing to have sex with him so he had to "make do" with a child.

Smith appeared Thursday before Special District Judge Paul Woodward. He has posted a $10,000 bond. Woodward continued the bond.

Morris appeared before Woodward via video from Garfield County Detention Facility. Morris also was arraigned on a bogus check charge.

An assistant district attorney asked Morris’ bond on the 13 counts of animal cruelty, which had been previously been set at $10,000, remain at that amount. She also asked Morris’ bond on the bogus check be set at $1,000.

Woodward asked Morris about other charges pending in other Oklahoma counties. Morris said they also are for bogus checks.

Woodward continued Morris’ bonds.

The men were ordered to return to court Feb. 8.

(Enid News - Dec 24, 2009)

Earlier:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Oklahoma: Man beats beaver to death with a crowbar after it simply defended itself after being provoked by boy

OKLAHOMA -- Police say a 5-year-old Durant boy suffered injuries to a leg when a 60-pound beaver attacked the youngster, who weighs about 40 pounds.

Durant police Lt. Carrie Wyrick said the boy’s father killed the beaver with a crowbar or lug wrench, and its head has been sent to authorities in Oklahoma City to test it for rabies.

The boy was treated for his injuries at a local hospital and then released, Wyrick said. Wyrick declined to name the child, citing department policy for juveniles.

The family lives in a new apartment complex in a heavily wooded area with a stream nearby, according to Wyrick. She said the boy was attacked after he and a sibling went outside to retrieve the family cat and the boy tried to pet the beaver.

According to Wyrick, 60 pounds is an average weight for a beaver in southeastern Oklahoma, with some of them weighing as much as 90 pounds.

Hmm, maybe you shouldn't let 5 year old children wander into the woods by themselves. And maybe you should teach them not to molest wildlife. 

(Edmond Sun - Dec 22, 2009)

Oklahoma: Shane Smith and Shelby Morris arrested, accused of driving around, randomly shooting and killing or injuring cows, calves and bulls - leaving the ones still alive to suffer in agony all night

OKLAHOMA -- Garfield County authorities say two men accused of killing or injuring 13 head of cattle near Covington told them they drove around and randomly shot the animals because they couldn’t find any deer to hunt kill.

Sheriff’s deputies took Shane Smith, 34, of Orlando, and Shelby Morris, 22, of Kansas, into custody on Monday. They were booked on 13 animal cruelty complaints, and bond for each was set at $10,000.

Smith bonded out of jail Tuesday, and Morris remained in custody. A jailer didn’t know if either had attorneys.

Authorities discovered six dead calves Nov. 28. They found two dead calves and two wounded calves a short time later, and discovered two dead cows and an injured bull at another location. The calves and the cows had been shot.

The sheriff’s office says the men told them they were drunk that night.

(Edmond Sun - Dec 22, 2009)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Couple hopes dog’s pain makes other pets safer

John and Caren Burton returned from a trip to find that their 6-year-old collie had six rib fractures after staying at a kennel. They also found that they had little recourse, so they’re lobbying the state to create rules to protect pets.

OREGON -- When John and Caren Burton’s 6-year-old collie, Zoe, ended up in the veterinarian’s office in August, she was having trouble breathing and seemed dehydrated and unusually exhausted.

Examinations revealed that the dog had sustained six rib fractures — the kind of injuries veterinarians said could only come from a significant trauma. After they got the veterinarians’ reports, the Bend couple started asking questions about the kennel where Zoe had recently stayed.




Four months later, a Redmond woman who worked at the kennel has been arrested in connection with the case, but it’s still not clear what happened to Zoe. Now, as they wait for the matter to be settled in court, the Burtons are reaching out to lawmakers to gather information about the rules surrounding pet boarding facilities and provide resources to the pet owners who use them.

Oregon laws regarding pet kennels have specific provisions for facilities, including lighting, storage facilities and ventilation. But currently, the state requires no specific kennel license and does not regulate who can work at a kennel, said Dr. Don Hansen, state veterinarian with the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

Hansen said the rules for kennels are largely aimed at controlling the spread of disease.

“It’s complaint-driven,” Hansen said. “If we get a complaint, we say, ‘OK, under these rules ....’

From my perspective as state veterinarian, we look at intent and purpose. It puts our emphasis on controlling diseases. If it’s an abuse case, that usually involves state police or local law enforcement.”

Zoe’s case
The Burtons believe Zoe’s injuries stem from her three-day stay at Deschutes Pet Lodge in Redmond in late July. The facility’s owners, however, say they were not aware of any problems with the dog until they received a call from the Burtons several days after they picked her up.

No charges have been filed against Deschutes Pet Lodge.

When the Burtons returned home from a trip out of town, the couple said Zoe seemed lethargic and wobbly on her feet, but they chalked it up to the high temperatures, which were nearing 100 degrees.

In the following days, Zoe continued to appear under the weather, and it seemed like she was struggling to breathe. The Burtons took her to an emergency clinic, where a veterinarian determined she had fractured ribs. Another veterinarian, Dr. Jodi Kettering of the Deschutes Veterinary Clinic in Bend, and Dr. Cassandra Brown, an internal medicine specialist at Northwest Veterinary Specialists in Clackamas, both later confirmed the rib fractures. The fractures had caused pockets of air to get trapped in the dog’s chest, making it difficult for her to breathe.

Both veterinarians said the injuries were severe and likely caused by some kind of substantial trauma.

“My experience has been that it takes extreme force to have this sort of thing happen, especially to have that many ribs fractured,” Kettering said. “The only rib fractures that I’ve ever seen were dogs hit by cars, it takes that kind of force.”

The Burtons called Deschutes Pet Lodge to ask if something had happened to Zoe during her stay.

Gary George, who owns the facility with his wife, Maria, said he immediately started investigating.

“We don’t know whether the dog was injured while it was in our care,” he said. “When they contacted us and said that their dog had been injured, my wife, who is the co-owner, interviewed all of our staff because under no circumstances do we condone any physical force with any animals.”

George said all of the staff members denied abusing or seeing anyone abuse the dog.

The Burtons then contacted the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, which assigned a deputy to look into the situation.

After gathering evidence, officials arrested Martie Davidson, of Redmond, who worked at Deschutes Pet Lodge at the time of Zoe’s stay.

Davidson, 39, was formally charged last month in Deschutes County Circuit Court with one count of first-degree animal abuse and is scheduled to enter a plea on Thursday.

Police records on the case were not available because it has been turned over to the Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office, said Dana Whitehurst, administrative supervisor of the records division at the Sheriff’s Office. Available court records in the case do not provide any details about the alleged abuse.

Davidson’s attorney, James Dillingham, could not be reached for comment. When reached by phone by The Bulletin, Davidson hung up before she could be asked to comment.

George said Davidson is no longer an employee of Deschutes Pet Lodge, though he is not aware of any wrongdoing on her part. He said Davidson chose not to return to work after her arrest.

“Neither my wife nor I saw her mistreat any animal at any time during her employment,” he said. “If we had, she would have been immediately dismissed. If the dog had been injured, if we saw that, we would seek help for the animal, contact the owners and say, ‘This is what’s going on, we’re filing charges against that person.’ None of that has happened.”

Deschutes County District Attorney Mike Dugan said he couldn’t comment on the case but said his office takes animal abuse cases very seriously. He said animal abuse cases that end up in court often involve dogs and typically some kind of neglect on the part of the owner or other caretaker, such as those who leave their dog in a vehicle on a hot day.

Re-evaluating rules
Shortly after the Burtons discovered Zoe’s injuries and took her to get treatment, they started researching the rules surrounding kennels in the state and the rights of the people who use them.

The Burtons said they were disappointed to find that most of the regulations were focused on preventing the spread of disease, rather than abuse, and confused about where they should turn for advice.

“We turned to the Humane Society, various other areas you think you would go, but we didn’t realize you are supposed to go directly to the Sheriff’s Office,” Caren Burton said.

The couple joined with a few other like-minded people in the community and formed a group they call SAFE — Saving Animals From Endangerment. They contacted state Rep. Judy Stiegler, D-Bend, to see if she could provide any help.

Stiegler said she told the Burtons where to find more information about kennel regulation and said she’d do some research of her own and consider drafting legislation to tighten the rules. She said it’s not likely to come up in the 2010 legislative session but could be a possibility for 2011.

 

“I understand their situation, and I’m very empathetic,” she said. “We want to be sure when people send their pets off, they can do it with some certainty that their pets are safe.”

Hansen said the topic of more regulations for kennels comes up occasionally at the state level, such as earlier this year when lawmakers passed a bill that outlawed puppy mills. The law signed by the governor limits the number of dogs that can be used for breeding and regulates care standards and the disclosure of puppies’ medical histories by pet stores.

To change or tighten regulations, Hansen said people should start by talking to their local elected officials.

“If they want the kennels and pet shops regulated, then I think they’re going about it the right way: Contact their lawmakers, say, ‘Make it a law, put it in a statute, like they’ve done with the puppy mill.’”

For Caren Burton, the work is about letting people know that animals — and their owners — have rights.

John Burton said his goal is to provide information to members of the public, who he said have limited information about how kennels operate.

“What I want people to know is when they walk into a kennel, they’re pretty much unprotected as a consumer,” he said. “It’s time for people to realize that and to do something about it.”

(Bend Bulletin - December 16. 2009)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ohio: Authorities considering charges against owner of pit bull which mauled and killed neighbor's hound dog named Max

OHIO -- A local family is mourning the loss of man's best friend.

Another dog has terrorized the Montgomery County neighborhood and slaughtered their pet.

Now, authorities are considering charges against the owner of the pit bull.

Neighbors on Albers Avenue are relieved that it was another dog and not a child that was attacked by the dog. They said the pit bull in question gets loose on a regular basis and they are concerned about the safety of their children.

Dawn Jones said, "Whenever I see him running loose, my kids aren't allowed outside. He's on a chain, but he's gets off it."

Deputies said the pit bull viciously killed and mutilated a neighborhood pet, a hound dog named Max. Roy Baker said, "It's my son's dog. He's had him since he was a pup. Eleven years old."

Animal authorities caught the dog before the dog attacked another pet or a person.

Chris Byrd of the Animal Resource Center said, "I've only seen that kind of damage out of coyotes. That was pretty severe."

Max's owners said he didn't have a chance to get away from the pit bull because he was chained to his dog house.

"Our dog's on a chain and everyone else's dog is on a chain," said Baker.

Neighbors said the pit bull killed another dog in the past few weeks.

"Right up the street at the corner. He got that dog too," said Dawn Jones.

Authorities tried to talk to the pit bull's owner, but no one answered the door.

Byrd said, "As far as the owners are concerned, we haven't been able to speak to them. So, we so we don't know what their side of the story is."

Officials are now holding the pit bill at the Animal Resource Center.

They said it is very possible that the pit bull's owner could be liable for the other dog's death. Animal Control authorities said pit bull owners must obey special confinement and insurance rules.

(WHIO - Dec 15, 2009)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

West Virginia: Lowell Bowden, 70, dies two weeks after being attacked by pit bulls

WEST VIRGINIA -- An elderly Monroe County man who was attacked by a pack of dogs near his home Nov. 27 succumbed to his injuries Friday in a Roanoke, Va., hospital.

Lowell E. Bowden, 70, of Lindside, was attacked by four or five dogs, described by Sheriff Michael Gravely as “all of the pit bull breed.”

Four people were charged early last week in connection with the attack.

Justin Ray Blankenship, 18, and his mother, Kimberly Blankenship, 51, both of Lindside, were charged with four counts each of failure to register dogs, keeping vicious dogs and not having dogs vaccinated for rabies.

Mose Christian and Anna Hughes, believed to be residents of Mercer County, were charged with one count each of failure to register a dog and not having a dog vaccinated for rabies.

Monday, the sheriff said, “With Mr. Bowden’s death, we do anticipate filing additional charges, but none have been filed yet.”

The four dogs confirmed by authorities to have been involved in the attack were euthanized last Tuesday. A fifth dog awaits disposition.

Bowden’s obituary, printed in Monday’s edition of The Register-Herald, referred friends to the Web site dogsbite.org, an address owned by a national dog bite victims’ group launched in October 2007.

(Register Herald - Dec 7, 2009)

Alabama: Charles Lathan and Karen Lathan accused of starving their horse to death

ALABAMA -- A couple who made news last year when the city of Mobile took away their pet goats now face animal cruelty charges in Washington County.

Washington County Sheriff Richard Stringer said Charles Lathan and Karen Lathan allowed a horse to die of starvation in Tibbie. 

"We have pictures of the horse, before and after, and we could see it progressively deteriorating," Stringer said. "At the end, it was laying on ground, spinning around and around, just suffering. It dug a hole 3 feet in diameter." 

Karen Lathan was arrested Sunday and released Monday from Washington County Jail on $1,500 bond, according to a jail official.


Charles Lathan was supposed to turn himself in but hasn't, Stringer said.

The Press-Register could not reach the Lathans on Monday for comment.

Earlier this year the city of Mobile sued to force them to get rid of seven pet goats.

Several of the Lathans' neighbors came to a City Council meeting in September 2008 complaining about the noise and smell from their 7-acre property in Cypress Shores. Neighbors said the Lathans were deliberately trying to hurt home values by letting the goats and chickens out when people were having open houses.

Neighbors had filed more than 100 complaints.

The Lathans said they loved and cared for their animals like pets.

The city sued in January, contending that the Lathans violated Mobile's zoning ordinance, which does not allow farm animals in an R-1 single-family zone.

In May, Mobile County Circuit Judge John Lockett ruled that the goats had to go, but that the Lathans could keep their chickens in their backyard.

Stringer said they moved the goats and a horse to the property in Tibbie. Stringer said the couple only came up to check on the animals once or twice a week. He said their phone number was not listed so he couldn't call them about the horse's condition.

Cruelty to animals is a Class B misdemeanor.

(AL.com - December 8, 2009)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Florida: Teacher Allison Dinsmore, who abandoned her two cats to slowly starve to death, has been fired

FLORIDA -- A former Congress Middle School teacher, who is facing prison time for allegedly allowing her two cats to starve to death in her Boca Raton apartment, has been fired and is scheduled to go to trial Monday.

Six weeks after Allison Dinsmore's March 12 arrest, Congress Middle Principal Kathy Harris notified Dinsmore, a 27-year-old special-education teacher, that she would not recommend renewing Dinsmore's contract for the 2010 school year, according to a Palm Beach County School District memo. In the memo, Harris told Dinsmore that she was the subject of an investigation into allegations of unprofessional conduct and ethical misconduct.

Dinsmore was sent home with pay after her arrest. She is charged with two counts of felony animal cruelty, each carrying a maximum five years in prison.

On Sept. 25, Angelette Green, director of the district's employee relations department, notified Dinsmore in a memo that the allegations against her had been substantiated and her employment had been terminated, though since her contract already was not renewed the decision needed no School Board action.

On Feb. 23, Boca Raton police were called to Dinsmore's apartment in the Boca Sol complex on Northeast 20th Street by the community's manager, who said she entered the apartment in search of Dinsmore, who was late with the rent.

The stench inside was a mixture of ammonia, feces and rotting flesh, according to a police report. The corpse of one cat was found in the prone position under an entertainment center, the other cat lay dead inside a kitchen cabinet. A veterinarian determined the animals died of dehydration and starvation at least a month before being discovered.

Dinsmore told police that she had last been to her apartment sometime before the weekend of Feb. 14, when she went camping with her family. She had previously left her pets for a week at a time, filling their bowls with food and water, and they had been fine, she said, explaining that she had been working long hours and spending time with her boyfriend.

"She said she thought about them, but just did not get a chance to come home," according to the report.

Although Dinsmore's trial is scheduled to begin Monday, her attorney, Jordan Lewin, of Miami, has filed a motion to continue the case until January or February. Lewin's motion to Circuit Judge Stephen Rapp says that he's looking to hire a veterinary science expert and all of the people he's considering are from out of state and would have conflicts because of the holidays.

Lewin also writes that he's working diligently to resolve the case before trial. He has pending before the court a motion to throw out the search of Dinsmore's apartment, saying it was done illegally since police had neither a search warrant or Dinsmore's consent.

Jordan Lewin will have to answer for his sins one day.

(Sun Sentinel - December 7, 2009)

Earlier:

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Former Petland worker given probation in drowned-rabbit case

OHIO -- After initially pleading not guilty to two counts of animal cruelty, former pet-store employee and Kent State University student Liz Carlisle (aka Elizabeth Carlisle) -- whose admission on Facebook that she'd drowned two injured rabbits at an Ohio Petland franchise drew the ire of animal lovers across the country and led to the store being closed -- changed her mind last month and instead pleaded guilty to the charges. 

Carlisle, 20, apparently drowned the rabbits after they were both badly injured during a fight with each other.  She later posted a photo, in which she smiled while holding the dead rabbits, on her Facebook page.


Carlisle's attorney, Ron Gatts, suggested that his client was not getting a fair shake, implying that store policy may have played a role in the incident and insisting that Carlisle was in fact "an avid animal lover." 

For its part, Petland was quick to distance itself from Carlisle and her case, noting in a statement that the Akron store "was individually owned and operated by a local franchisee" whose agreement with the company had been terminated in light of the animal-cruelty allegations.  "Petland will in no way, shape or form tolerate any abuse of animals in its care," the statement continued. "We are outraged at this gross violation of Petland's animal care standards."

Last month, Carlisle abruptly changed her plea to guilty, despite Gatts' inclination to bring the case to trial.

"As much as I wanted to try the case, [Carlisle] said, 'I did it,' which I think she has said from the beginning, and she said, 'I just want it to be over with','' the attorney told the Akron Beacon Journal. 

Carlisle said she has gotten death threats and there were protests at her home and school after she was arrested for drowning two injured rabbits at the former Petland store in the Chapel Hill Mall. She had no criminal record.

"I asked her why she was smiling in the photograph of herself holding the dead rabbits," said Akron Municipal Judge Stephen Fallis. "She said her boss at the pet store told her to hold up the rabbits and smile, so she did. She said she knew she had done something horrible, but that her psychology classes taught her to smile when you're having a bad day."

Fallis said the woman explained that she found two injured rabbits in the cage that had been fighting. She asked her supervisor what to do.

"She said the supervisor told her to 'baptize them, and made up and down motions' which she believed meant to drown them," Fallis said. "She said she drowned them in a bucket."


Carlisle told Fallis the supervisor snapped the photo and then sent it to Carlisle's cell phone. Carlisle said she was upset over what she had done and tried to send it to a friend but accidentally posted it on his Facebook page.
[So did she also accidentally post the comments that were included with the photo? How does that happen? You accidentally post a photo along with the following comments:

On Carlisle's Facebook page, she confirmed a friend's guess that she had drowned these two rabbits and wrote, "[T]he manager took the pic for me. [S]he reminded me that there were people outside as [I] was swearing at them to just hurry up and die but then she was so kind as to take this picture."


Although a judge could have sentenced her to up to 180 days in jail, Carlisle received probation.  She'll also have to pay a $250 fine and serve 120 hours of community service, the Beacon Journal reported.

(LA Times Blogs - Dec 4, 2009)

Earlier:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wade Patterson, Animal Control Officer, Hit With 92 Cruelty Counts

SOUTH CAROLINA -- Wade Patterson, an animal control officer for Anderson County, South Carolina, has been charged along with his wife Faith with 92 counts each of animal cruelty.

The couple operated Bird Dog Pet Rescue out of their home. But they were apparently much better at rescuing animals than keeping them in good health.

Investigators found dead dogs on their property near Liberty, South Carolina. A vet determined that of the 177 seized, 92 had been mistreated, poorly fed or abused. Others were malnourished...
"This is a shock to all of us," Taylor Jones, director of Anderson County Public Safety, told the Independent Mail. "Faith and Wade both had a reputation of being animal lovers. Wade always seemed particularly outraged when he'd come across an abused animal, or a neglected animal, which is why this seems so amazing."
(True Crime Report - Dec 1, 2009)