Monday, October 29, 2012

Ohio: Puppy mill breeder Norman Hale Jr was convicted of animal cruelty in 2004. Hale is now accused of running a new puppy mill.

OHIO -- ACTION ALERT - SUSPECTED 'PUPPY MILL' BREEDER, NORMAN HALE (STAFFORD, OH)! The Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions (CBODA) has received a report that this convicted animal abuser is currently operating a "kennel" consisting of approximately eight rabbit hutches with Pomeranians and is selling the dogs via the internet and through local classified ads.

(It's our understanding he has been reported to the Monroe county dog warden, Ronda Piatt, "multiple times" with no success.)

CBODA will continue to watch this situation closely and keep everyone posted on updates as they are received from the field.

Mr. Hale ran a kennel out of his home. He kept between 90 and 100 dogs in four by six wire cages in four buildings on his property, with multiple animals in each cage. Hale would try exercising these animals every day or every other day.

When he wasn't present, a friend would exercise the dogs for him, but the friend only believed that Hale owned approximately forty dogs.

In March 2004, the Monroe County Humane Society received a complaint about Hale's property. Apparently, a dog had hung itself on a fence at Hale's home and had begun to decay. A few days later, after another complaint, Humane Society representatives and the Monroe County dog warden visited Hale's home. He told them that he first noticed the dead dog that morning. The dog warden then inspected Hale's kennel and, based on the conditions of the dogs, he doubted that the dogs were being exercised regularly.

On March 30, 2004, Hale was charged with twelve counts of animal cruelty under R.C. 959.13(A)(4), a second degree misdemeanor. After a bench trial, the trial court found Hale guilty of each count. 

It then sentenced Hale to thirty days in jail, suspended that sentence, and placed Hale on two years of probation. As conditions of that probation, the trial court revoked Hale's kennel license and ordered that he reduce his collection of dogs to no more than four animals.

COURT OF APPEALS OF OHIO, SEVENTH DISTRICT, MONROE COUNTY (State of Ohio, Plaintiff-Appellee v. Norman Hale, Jr., Defendant-Appellant; Court Date:
12/23/2005; Court Citation: 2005 Ohio 7080; Docket Number: No. 04 MO 14; Judges: Judge Degenaro, Presiding Judge Donofrio, Judge Vukovich).

Defendant-Appellant, Norman Hale, appealed the decision of the Monroe County Court that found him guilty of multiple counts of cruelty to animals in violation of R.C. 959.13(A)(4). Hale argued that this statute is unconstitutionally vague, that his conviction was against the manifest weight of the evidence, and that the trial court imposed improper sanctions upon him.

The court disregarded Hale's constitutional argument since he failed to provide legal argument in support of this claim. Hale's argument that his conviction was against the manifest weight of the evidence was also found to be meritless since the evidence in the record supported the trial court's decision that he recklessly failed to provide these dogs with wholesome exercise.

Finally, it was determined that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when imposing the sanctions since the conditions of his probation were related to the underlying offense and served the ends of rehabilitation.

For these reasons, the trial court's decision was affirmed and Hale's animal cruelty conviction remained.

(Puppy Mill Awareness Facebook group - October 28, 2012)