Tuesday, 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.

Illinois: Edward Hanania charged with animal cruelty for throwing elderly man's toy poodles from parking tower, killing one

ILLINOIS -- An Illinois man is facing two felony counts of animal cruelty after police say he threw two toy poodles from the top floor of a parking tower at Advocate Christ Hospital in south suburban Oak Lawn over the weekend.

Officers responded just after 12:05 p.m. on May 20 to a report of two injured dogs between Towers B and C near West 93rd Street and South Kilbourn Avenue. The dogs were described as white toy poodles.

Investigators believe 22-year-old Edward Hanania falsely claimed to be the owner of two toy poodles on a lost and found section of an area Facebook page. The Good Samaritan believed him and gave him the two little dogs.

Hanania is said to have taken the two little poodles to the hospital parking garage, gone up to the 5th floor level and then thrown them over the side. 

One of the dogs, 12-pound Angel is just over a year old, survived the five-story fall. Angel's father, 6-year-old Garo, was also thrown from the five-story structure but died. It's believed Angel survived because he landed on the grass while Garo hit the concrete.

The dogs' real owner is described as an older man who is now heartbroken over what happened to them after they escaped from his home near 55th and Troy. They were picked up by a Good Samaritan, and their pictures were posted to the local Facebook page.

Investigators say Hannania falsely claimed them as his only to have real owner show up a short time later with documentation.

The dogs' actual owner was overcome with emotion when he came in to claim his surviving dog.

"I had an elderly gentleman crying so hard and praying over the dead body and over Angel, and Angel's been crying for him now," said Linda Estrada, Chicago Ridge Animal Welfare League.

"He's a big elderly man, and just crying his eyes out. He said 'These are my babies. Why would someone want to hurt my babies?'" Estrada said.

Angel had to have a pin put in his leg in two places. He's also scheduled for surgery Tuesday morning.

"His leg is broke, he's got hip pins, two pins in it, and his ribs are real sore," said Linda Estrada, Animal Welfare League. "It's a good five-story fall. It's unbelievable."

Hanania has a criminal record and is expected to appear in bond court Tuesday. Police are also looking into witness accounts that he was seen at an Oak Lawn Target with a black dog whose whereabouts are unknown.

"I can't imagine why somebody would do it," said Division Chief Randy Palmer, Oak Lawn police. "I don't know if this individual went there with that specific intent of doing and at some point that did entire his mind, and carry out the act."

"I would just like to say to him why? Just why?" Estrada said.



(FOX 6 Milwaukee - May 23, 2017)

Nevada: Retired police officer runs out and shoots pit bull which was attacking man and his two small dogs

NEVADA -- A pit bull was shot to death after attacking a man at the 8300 block of Fawn Brook Court, near Deer Springs Way and Grand Montecito Parkway.


Police were called to the scene around 6:47 a.m. Friday. Witnesses say the pit bull escaped a yard and attacked a small dog being walked by an owner.

The pit bull then attacked a man. Police had originally said the person attacked was a woman.


Vince Hernandez says he was walking his two dogs, Jay and Willow, when his next door neighbor's pit bull got out and attacked the smaller dog.

Officials say the man was trying to control the pit bull when a neighbor saw what happened and shot the dog. The man was taken to the hospital while the dog died at the scene.

Neighbors say the man who shot the dog is actually a retired police officer. They say he did what he had to do in the situation.

The pit bull owner was not arrested. Police didn't say whether or not they issued the owner any citations for having a vicious dog running loose.

(KNTV - May 12, 2017)

Texas: Rosenberg hotel room bust leads to drug, animal cruelty charges for Nathan Lara and Stephanie Harger

TEXAS -- A man and woman were arrested on drug and animal cruelty charges Sunday after officers discovered criminal activity at their Regency Inn hotel room in Rosenberg.

The Rosenberg Police Department said in a release that officers were on the scene May 21 at about 4:23 p.m. to conduct a property check.

In the room where Nathan Lara, 23, and Stephanie Harger, 23, were staying, police allege they found marijuana, synthetic marijuana and cocaine.

Harger told them the room was registered to her and acknowledged that she was in possession of the narcotics.

Also in the room was a female pit bull mix that "appeared to be in distress," police said.

Lara allegedly told police the dog, which has no food or water in the room, had access to the drugs. The dog also had minor injuries to its back and paws.
Lara was charged with cruelty to a non-livestock animal.

Both suspects were taken to the Fort Bend County Jail. Lara also had three traffic-related warrants open on him, and his bond was set at $6,200.

Harger was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance 1-4 grams, possession of a controlled substance less than 2 ounces and possession of marijuana. She is in custody at Fort Bend County Jail, where her bail was set at $11,000.

The dog was taken to Rosenberg Animal Control.


(Houston Chronicle - May 23, 2017)

Oklahoma: Twelve-year-old boy attacked by neighbor's pit bull who claims not to have any money or insurance

OKLAHOMA -- Although this young boy's injury doesn't look so bad visually, the dog attack did a lot of damage and he's facing multiple surgeries ahead. From the comments on Facebook, it appears that Animal Control was contacted but they didn't issue any citations or seize the dog for a vicious dog designation. 

Of course, the pit bull owner claims not to have any money or insurance to cover the thousands of dollars in medical bills as a result of the attack. 

If Animal Control won't do their jobs, they need to get in touch with the mayor's office, the prosecutor's office, the media... get them involved. If that fails, speak with an attorney who specializes in dog attacks. If you can establish that the landlord knew the dog was vicious, you might be able to sue him/her. It's worth a shot since they're clearly not going to get one red cent from this pit bull owner.

Gauge Fleming's Medical Fund
For: Gauge Fleming
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Organizer: Robyn Cagle
$780 of $2,500 goal raised by 12 donors

The Story
On Wednesday April 12th, 2017, my nephew Gauge Fleming, became a victim of a pit bull dog attack.

He was walking to a friend's house to play 3 doors down from his own home. The pit bull dog came from beside the home of its owner and straight at my nephew.

Before he could even react and try to get away the pit bull jumped on him biting and ripping the lower half of his nose completely off on the right side. The pit bull dog then bit him on his left calf, leaving puncture wounds from his teeth. 

The fear my nephew felt during those moments is heartbreaking. He is still having issues at times getting the image out of his mind from flashbacks.

Gauge is left with a long road ahead of him with multiple surgeries in the near future, as well as later in life, to try and repair his nose from the sinus cavities inside all the way to the cosmetic appearance on the outside. The surgeons have already said it will never look the same, with scarring to always remind him of that tragic day. 

The medical expenses are already starting to add up. The pit bull owners did not carry dangerous dog ownership insurance and they're claiming to not have home insurance.

The fees from the hospital and surgeon's have to be paid up front starting with his first surgery in the next couple of weeks. I feel the least I can do is try to help raise funds to help out with Gauge's medical expenses. I know several of you have asked how you can help out financially, and this would be a great start.

I know everyone thinks their nephews are the greatest, but Gauge really is a harmless, sweet, and loving 11 year old boy. The fact that a part of his childhood has been stolen from him is very upsetting. This summer he won't be allowed to do much at all, including going swimming and playing his favorite sport, football. This truly is a unfair situation brought on by a pit bull owner(s) being careless and irresponsible.

Our entire family thanks you from the bottom of our hearts. Even if you cannot financially help to support Gauge's first round of medical expenses, please keep Gauge in your prayers.

Posted on 04/21/2017
A HUGE thank you to each of you who have donated so far to our sweet boy! It means so much to all of us to have the love and support in this madness!
A short update is that Gauge goes back to the surgeon on this Monday April 24, 2017. A detailed plan should be then put in place for the first stage of reconstructive surgery. Although the details won't make us feel any better, we're all ready to begin the inevitable. They will use some of his right ear to reconstruct his nose.

Please pray specifically for this to take and work, and of course for comfort. We know there is a chance it may not work using his ear, but we also know God's not done with Gauge. That was proven the evening of the attack by the pit bull.

Our family cannot thank you all enough for the love, donations, and most importantly the prayers for our Gauge. This auntie is ready for him to feel his best inside and out again.

Posted on 04/24/2017
Not a very happy Auntie. Gauge's doctors appointment was cancelled today because the elevator went out at the surgeon's office. The next available time they can get him in is Tuesday the 2nd of May. We just have to leave it in God's hands and know his timing is better than ours. But I'm still not happy. Ha. Waiting for answers is not my strongest strength. Thank you for keeping him in your prayers. And please keep sharing his donation page. There is a lot of funds to come up with up front to start the reconstructive surgery- eventually. Again, we are thankful to everyone!

Posted on May 3, 2017
Surgery date is officially set to begin Gauge's reconstruction on his nose. May 23rd is the set date. He is nervous about it, as we are as well. They will use his ear still to try to reconstruct the missing part of his nose and the surgeon said he will have to stay indoors a lot. No sunlight or water afterwards until they think it's ready. Pray specifically for his comfort and for this to take. Otherwise, at his age, there isn't much options for reconstruction. We still have a long ways to go to meet our first goal financially for this first surgery. Thank you for the prayers and support so far. Please keep sharing this fundraiser. We all appreciate it so very much!

Posted on May 19, 2017
This is our sweet boys last weekend before surgery day on Tuesday. We will all be there bright and early Tuesday morning to support him and offer him calming words. I can only imagine his anxiety. I know how it feels to watch it all happening from a Auntie's view, which is nothing but heartache, but to be a child living it- ugh!!!! It's so unfair that this happened.

The fact that we believe the pit bull is still alive and have been provided with no proof otherwise is even more disturbing. No other child, or even adult, should have to have the chance of this happening more than once from the same dog.

I really don't believe the owners of the pit bull know what exactly Gauge has and will be having to endure. Nor realize what financially this is going to cost now and in the future. Frustration has set in for this auntie. Please keep continuing to share Gauge's fundraiser and most importantly, keep him lifted in your thoughts and prayers. I will update again after surgery. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the prayers, shares, and donations so far.

Posted on May 19, 2017
Well, this is our boy's last weekend before surgery day Tuesday. I can only for sure know the anxiety from a aunties view, so I can only imagine how Gauge feels being only 11 and going through it.

It's so unfair. I've done my best to not allow some anger to come out, but the fact this dog is still alive to our knowledge and no proof given otherwise, it's frustrating. Why give it a chance to attack again FOR NO REASON!?! Then there's also the fact the owners have no idea or even sincere empathy towards what Gauge is having to endure why his family watches. 

Please just continue to keep Gauge lifted in prayer and pray specifically for this first surgery to go as planned with no infection and controlled pain management. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the prayers, shares, and donations so far. It truly helps out financially right now. The expenses just keep adding up. It's one thing I do not want my brother and sister in law to have to be out with. They're out enough having to go through this with their son due to a careless dog owner. I will update again after surgery.


Beverly Stuckey Johnson - Just curious.... how come the dog owner is not liable for this young boys injuries ?
May 19 at 7:33pm · Edited

Robyn Cagle - They do not have home insurance and they did not carry owning a dangerous dog in the state of Oklahoma insurance. And they do not own the home in which they reside in.
May 19 at 7:30pm

Robyn Cagle - And to our knowledge no citations have been given to them either.
May 19 at 7:31pm

Carol Freeman - Beverly this is my grandbaby and there is something very wrong about this whole situation. Lots of questions and not any answers. It is so frustrating. Prayers please that the questions will be answered.
May 19 at 11:50pm

Beverly Stuckey Johnson - Carol Freeman you got it!
May 20 at 12:33am