Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sheriff's deputy pleads guilty to animal cruelty; keeps job

COLORADO -- A Denver sheriff's deputy who pleaded guilty to a charge of animal cruelty for using Mace on a rabbit continues to oversee inmates at the Denver County Jail.

Alvin Perez, 41, was suspended for two months without pay and then was reinstated, said people familiar with the case. The date of his reinstatement was not available Monday.

A criminal complaint says that on May 28, Perez saw a rabbit near where he was standing outside the Denver County Jail during his break.

He got a can of Mace and sprayed the rabbit for no apparent reason.

Perez pleaded guilty to one count of animal cruelty and was sentenced in December to one year of supervised probation, a one-year suspended jail sentence and a $500 fine.

Perez declined to comment.

(Denver Post - March 31, 2009)

Georgia: Pet goat shot in shoulder with arrow

Update: Georgia: Grade school aged boy charged with animal cruelty after shooting neighbor's goat with an arrow

GEORGIA -- A Forsyth County woman wants to know who got her goat.

Sandra Scarboro's 18-month-old female Boer goat is recovering after being shot in the shoulder with an arrow over the weekend.

The goat is expected to survive, Scarboro said, but she’s worried the incident on her Starrbrook Crossing farm in northwest Forsyth was deliberate.

“I tried to feel in my heart that somebody didn’t do that on purpose, maybe somebody was training and the bow got away, but it didn’t look that way,” she said.

According to a Forsyth County Sheriff’s report, parts of the camouflage arrow were snipped off to prevent further injury to the goat.

Sheriff’s Lt. David Waters said the department's animal control unit is taking the investigation seriously.

“We don’t see that often,” he said. “This may be -- it’s probably --- the first I’ve seen, which would lead you to believe that it doesn’t occur often.”

Waters said animal control officers will question residents in the area in an effort to find the shooter.

“We are going to canvas the area and we will be knocking on lots of doors to try to find who is responsible for this,” he said. “I don’t know if it was somebody target practicing and actually let an arrow get away from them, or if it was children in the area playing.”

Waters said the arrow appears to be designed for training and not hunting. He said whoever shot it could be charged with cruelty to animals, which is a felony.

“If it was accidental, it’s still cruelty to animals, but it may be looked at a little different,” he said.

According to the state Department of Natural Resources, archery season in Forsyth County, which allows for hunting deer and bear, ended in January.

Scarboro said her husband discovered the wounded goat Sunday when he went to feed their animals, which include about 40 goats and three horses.

“He saw some goats were gathering together so he walked over there and that’s how he found her,” Scarboro said.

Scarboro said they took the animal to the veterinarian after talking with authorities. The Scarboros were told to turn in the remaining pieces of the weapon, once removed, for evidence.

Scarboro said the goat doesn’t have a name.

“Maybe we’ll call her Fortune,” she said, adding that the goat, which may be pregnant, was lucky despite its injury.

She plans to distribute flyers about the incident throughout her area in the hopes of finding out who shot the animal.

(Forsyth News - March 31, 2009)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Dog is destroyed for attack on pet

UNITED KINGDOM -- A dog has been put down after it savaged a family pet and left it needing almost 100 stitches to its stomach.

The animal, described as a “pitbull-type dog”, attacked a border collie in the street in front of its owner.

Kelly Gallagher of Springfield, Queensbury, said her family dog Sam, an 11-year-old border collie, was almost torn to pieces by the other animal.

The attack lasted for up to 15 minutes and Sam required emergency veterinary treatment.

Miss Gallagher said: “He looks like two dogs stapled together – he is lucky he wasn’t killed.

“I phoned the police and was told it was a problem for the dog wardens. I phoned them and reported the dog and they said they did not deal with ‘dog on dog’ incidents.

“So far we know this dog has attacked three dogs and killed one of them. My mother said to the wardens ‘what if this happened to a child?’ But they didn’t seem bothered.”

Queensbury Councillor Michael Walls said: “I will demanding to know what is being done about this. As a dog owner and former policeman I would say it smacks of incompetence and a lack of compassion.

“We have had over 30 years of serious dog attacks on other dogs and children and something must be done about it.”

John Major, Bradford Council’s Assistant Director Environmental Health, said that following the complaints the situation had been dealt with.

He said: “We were first notified of the attack last Tuesday – even though we are told the attack happened on March 5.

“We acted promptly and a dog warden visited her on Wednesday and the owner of the nuisance dog was contacted on Thursday.

“The dog has been put down after the owner surrendered the animal to the dog warden service. He claimed to have taken the dog in as a stray in late February.

“Normally the police are responsible for dealing with any complaints involving banned breeds and for dealing with dogs that are out of control in a public place where people are attacked or threatened. The Council is responsible for dealing with stray dogs or nuisance dogs only when one dog attacks another. We liaise with the police to try and ensure that one or other organisation effectively deals with any complaint.”

(thetelegraphandargus.co.uk - March 28, 2009)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Mississippi: Monroe County Justice Court Judge Kevin Crook says leaving a horse tied up to die isn't animal cruelty; dismisses charge against school board president Michael Jackson

MISSISSIPPI -- The president of the Aberdeen school board was found not guilty last week on a charge of animal cruelty.

During a hearing held March 17, Monroe County Justice Court Judge Kevin Crook, determined School Board President Michael Jackson had not practiced animal cruelty when a horse died while under his care. Jackson was arrested on the charges in January.

The horse belonged to Nettleton Ward 3 Alderman Willie Brandon, who was studding the horse with Jackson''s, according to Justice Court Clerk Carolyn Carter.

After being told repeatedly by Jackson not to worry, Brandon took it upon himself to check on his horse and went to Jackson's pasture to check on the horse, he found it dead and filed the animal cruelty charges.

“I went to Mr. Jackson’s to check on my horse,” Brandon said. “When I arrived, I saw the horse on the ground. Mr. Jackson kept assuring me that everything was OK and that there was nothing to worry about. When I walked closer to the horse, I noticed it was chained to a pole with a short chain and the chain was wrapped around its neck and mouth. I saw fluids coming out of the horse and I knew that it was dead.” -- Willie Brandon

If you restrained your child in such a manner and left the child unattended and you came back and found the child dead, you didn't INTENTIONALLY cause the child's death but you caused the child's death by your negligent actions. The same for this poor horse. Shame on Monroe County Justice Court Judge Kevin Crook.

(Columbus Dispatch - March 26, 2009)


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Minnesota: Jury finds puppy mill breeder Kathy Bauck guilty of animal cruelty

MINNESOTA -- A jury cleared New York Mills dog breeder Kathy Bauck of two felony animal cruelty charges Tuesday night following several hours of deliberation.

Bauck wept quietly and muttered “Thank you, Jesus” as the jury returned not guilty verdicts on her two most serious charges.


Bauck was found guilty of four misdemeanor charges: three counts of torture and one count of animal cruelty.

The verdicts came at about 9:25 p.m. Tuesday after six hours of deliberation. Jurors heard closing arguments in the four and a half day trial early Tuesday afternoon.

Neither Bauck nor her attorney were available for comment following the verdicts. Prosecuting attorney Heather Brandborg had no comment, other than to say the state was “very pleased” with the result.

Bauck’s trial included testimony from veterinarians, law enforcement and Bauck herself. Jurors also heard from Bauck’s accuser, Jason Smith, and watched undercover video footage Smith filmed as an employee at Bauck’s breeding facility last spring. The highly-publicized footage showed images of wounded, seizuring and emaciated dogs.

During her testimony, Bauck said some of the injuries occurred after Smith placed dogs in the wrong pens, leading to fights. She said she reprimanded him several times during his two-month employment, which ended the same day a daily logbook went missing.

Bauck’s husband and daughter are the owners of Pick of Litter Kennels as of April 2008. Bauck was the former owner of the facility and remains employed there.

Following the verdicts, Brandborg requested representatives from the Minnesota Humane Society visit Pick of the Litter Kennels to ensure the safety of Bauck’s animals.

Judge Waldemar Senyk ordered the four guilty verdicts be reported to the Humane Society and to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for their consideration.

A sentencing hearing will be held April 24 following recommendations from Otter Tail County Probation.

Five other charges against Bauck, including two felony-level counts, were dismissed in late January.

(The Daily journal - March 25, 2009)


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Minnesota: Kathy Bauck, charged with animal cruelty, says she was sabotaged

MINNESOTA -- Kathy Bauck took the stand in her own trial Monday, suggesting incompetence or sabotage on the part of her accuser led to injuries among her dogs.

Bauck told an Otter Tail County courtroom she had never seen as many fights and seizures among dogs than during the two months Jason Smith worked at her New York Mills breeding facility last spring.

Smith has admitted he was hired by a national animal protection agency to work at Bauck’s Pick of the Litter Kennels. He took the undercover video used to bring charges of animal cruelty and torture against her.

Bauck said she reprimanded Smith several times during the months he worked at the kennels. She described situations in which animals under Smith’s care had been grouped inappropriately while they were in heat, leading to fights and injuries among dogs.

“I was almost blown over by the number of seizures,” she told the jury. “I couldn’t believe it.”

Bauck said she arrived at the kennels one morning to find Smith with a mastiff in the wrong pen. She moved the dog using its jowls because she was worried about a fight, she said, and Smith did not respond to her request to find a leash.

In regards to dipping dogs, Bauck said she used an insecticide/water mixture to prevent fleas, ticks and other pests among animals. She testified she used a low concentration of the insecticide with small dogs, dipping them in a tank briefly before removing excess liquid and returning them to their proper kennels. She strengthened the concentration with larger dogs, but never submerged their heads, she said.

Bauck also described a notebook used to log daily births, deaths, injuries, medication administrations and other events at the kennels. That notebook, stored in a breakroom and accessible to all employees, has been missing from the facility since Smith’s last day in late May, Bauck said.

During questioning by the prosecution, Assistant County Attorney Heather Brandborg pointed out inconsistencies between dogs’ veterinary records and descriptions given by Bauck. Bauck said those details were listed in the missing logbook. Her daughter must have forgotten to add them to the medical records, she said.

As her attorney read the charges against her, Bauck said she has never willfully abused an animal. Pick of the Litter Kennels is her family’s sole source of income and is currently under the ownership of Bauck’s husband and daughter, she said.

(The Daily journal - March 24, 2009)


Oklahoma: Army serviceman Cody Hahn arrested for intimidating witness in animal torture case

OKLAHOMA -- A man accused of cruelty to animals in a dog-dragging case was arrested Wednesday on a complaint of intimidating a witness.

Cody Hahn, 22, was booked into the Creek County Jail after investigators say he threatened a friend who had tried to provide Hahn with an alibi.

Anthony Teague told police that he was lying when he told the Creek County Sheriff's Office that he and Hahn had been in Tulsa at a Hibdon Tire Center when the dog was tied to a bumper and dragged in the area of 161st West Avenue and 63rd Street South on October 16, 2008.

Investigator Gary Simpson said he contacted Teague when cell phone records indicated Hahn used his phone at the time and general location where the animal cruelty took place.

Teague recanted his alibi on February 25, 2011, telling investigators that he lied because Hahn was a friend and he was "trying to keep him out of trouble."

On March 12, Simpson said Hahn contacted Teague with a threatening text that included the message "That's all good. Hope ur ready for jail time too."

Hahn admitted to sending the message to Teague, adding that he was driving on the Creek Turnpike when he sent the texts, according to Simpson's affidavit.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ponies die after neck and groin areas ripped out by pit bulls

OHIO -- Workers at an educational farm are grieving the loss of two Shetland ponies used to teach children about agriculture.

Employees of Learning Tree Farms said two pit bulls surrounded a group of Shetland ponies in a field last Wednesday. Witnesses said the pit bulls cornered two of the ponies and fatally wounded them by biting at their neck and groin areas.

A third pony, named Goldie, was seriously wounded but managed to survive.

Patricia Rau said, "I can't imagine the terror they felt, knowing they can't protect themselves."

Rau said the pit bulls' owner met with animal control officers and agreed to put the pit bulls down. Still, workers at the farm are struggling to deal with the loss of the ponies.

Rau said, "There's a piece missing [here]."

(WHIO - March 15, 2009)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Alabama: Laura Lifer charged with 14 counts of animal cruelty for allegedly starving livestock, pets

ALABAMA -- Madison County Sheriff's investigators have arrested the owner of a farm where more than a dozen animals were found starved to death last week.

Laura Ann Lane Lifer, 49, was charged with 14 counts of animal cruelty, a Class B misdemeanor, said Investigator Brent Patterson.

Lifer is accused of allowing at least 14 animals -- including cows, horses, goats, rabbits, dogs and cats -- go without food on her land at 487 Hammond Lane in Toney.

The animals were discovered March 4, when a passer-by noticed a "foul smell" coming from the area, Patterson said.

(AL.com - March 12, 2009)

Per online comments:
"Since her sentencing she has sold her farm in Toney, AL and moved to McBurg, TN. She moved most of the animals to TN before her court date. She is hiding them there."

An online search yields a result that says she owns property on Cathcart Road in Frankewing, TN. Another search states that she has lived in Pulaski, TN.

Records show that Laura Anne Lifer, 50, was arrested in Madison County, Alabama, on February 4, 2010.

Monday, March 9, 2009

St Bernard rescued in Montana after tail freezes to pond

St Bernards have become famous for leading daring Alpine rescues but one 16-month-old dog needed rescuers of its own after its tail was frozen to the ice on a golf course pond.

MONTANA -- Gene Larson said his 118-pound dog, Duke, escaped from the family's garden on Thursday night.

Rescuers believe the dog fell through the ice on a pond at a local golf course. While the animal was able to pull itself out of the freezing water, its tail got stuck, stranding it in the middle of the pond.

A worker at the Peter Yegen Jr Golf Club in Billings, Montana, saw the animal on Friday morning and raised the alarm.

Firefighters had to break up the ice around the dog's tail before hauling the giant dog back to shore.

The dog was later reported to be in good condition after being de-iced and warmed under a hair dryer at a local veterinarian's office.

(Telegraph UK - Mar 8, 2009)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Amanda Marie Conn says she couldn't afford to feed her dog (and was obviously too lazy to take it to a shelter)

GEORGIA -- A Buford woman told a Gwinnett County judge this week a no-win ultimatum led her German shepherd to near starvation: with money tight, she was forced to choose between feeding her children or the dog, not both.

The judge chose jail. Amanda Marie Conn was sentenced to two days in the Gwinnett County Jail on animal neglect charges Tuesday, followed by six months of probation, in addition to a $500 fine. She was released the following day, officials said. Trouble for Conn began when an anonymous tipster told police she was starving the animal. Animal control officers responded to her Branden Hill Lane address and observed "a very thin German shepherd," said Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. David Schiralli. Conn claimed the dog had liver problems and was being treated by a veterinarian, Schiralli said. An officer told Conn he'd return the next day to verify records of the animal's treatment, which she failed to produce, Schiralli said. The dog was impounded, and its owner cited with animal neglect, per a county ordinance. Conn, whose phone number is unlisted, could not be reached for comment Thursday. Another stipulation of her sentencing forbids her from having contact with domestic animals, said Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Stacey Bourbonnais. As for the dog? Schiralli said officials concluded the animal had no liver problems or underlying medical issues, other than starvation. A veterinarian at a local animal hospital rescued the animal and adopted it, he said. "The dog recovered from his condition," Schiralli said, "and gained about 20 pounds in a very short period of time."

(Gwinnett Daily Post - March 6, 2009)