Tuesday, December 29, 1987

Florida: John Lavelle, 26, charged with animal cruelty; accused of abusing his dog repeatedly

FLORIDA -- A man accused of mistreating his dog, including picking up the animal by the tail and throwing him against a wall, has been arrested, police said on Monday.

The man was arrested after two police officers watched from a neighbor's home as he struck the dog, picked him up and slammed him several times on a concrete patio slab, according to the police report.

John Peter Lavelle, 26, of the 2200 block of Northwest 80th Terrace, was charged with cruelty to animals, police said.

He told police he was training the dog, according to the report. The report quoted Lavelle as saying, "How else would you get a dog to listen to you?"

Police also think that Lavelle threw the dog into glass panes on a garage door, the report said.

The dog, a 7-month-old male pointer named Buckeye, was taken to a pet emergency center and is being treated at Broward County Animal Control, officials said.

Buckeye is recuperating from small wounds on his head and neck, pain in the left side of his stomach and possible internal injuries, said Alan Davis, the animal control director.

The dog, who weighs about 30 pounds, is between 10 and 15 pounds underweight and his ribs show, Davis said.

Another dog at Lavelle's home was also taken into protective custody, police said. The dog, a 1-1/2-year-old female pointer, is in good condition and shows no signs of abuse, Davis said.

A witness told police that Lavelle started beating the dog about one month ago and did so two to three times a week because he was frustrated with trying to train the animal.

A neighbor of Lavelle's called police shortly before midnight on Wednesday.

The neighbor, who did not want his name revealed, said he was alerted by the sounds of an animal in pain.

He said he saw Lavelle pick up the dog and hold him by the neck. Then he said he saw the dog picked up by the tail and thrown against the wall.

"The poor thing was in such agony. It was a brutal scene," the neighbor said. "The poor dog was howling, crying, and was making all kinds of noises."

If convicted of the misdemeanor charge, Lavelle faces a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $5,000 fine, officials said.

Sgt. Sherry Schlueter, supervisor of the Broward Sheriff`s Office Animal Abuse/Agricultural Crimes Unit, said she encourages residents to report animal cruelty.

"Just as with child abuse, it's imperative that people act on behalf of victims who can't act in their own behalf," she said.

(Sun Sentinel - December 29, 1987)

Saturday, December 5, 1987

Oklahoma: Bill McAnally, his wife Paula McAnally and Johnnie Meders took pleas of no contest on animal cruelty charges after numerous horses dropped dead during endurance races

OKLAHOMA -- Four remaining defendants will stand separate jury trials Feb. 8 on charges stemming from June horse races that killed seven horses, Rogers County authorities said.

The four pleaded not guilty Thursday in Rogers County District Court.

District Judge Steven J. Adams denied motions to combine their trials.

William Schluneger and Billy Coghill of Broken Arrow and Marty Douglas Bates of Claremore each face trial on one count of animal cruelty.

Prosecutors brought two animal-cruelty counts against Jody Trotter of Kiefer.

The charges stem from their alleged roles in June 13 long-distance races near Catoosa in which horses died after competition in hot, humid weather, authorities said.

The race promoter Bill McAnally, his wife Paula McAnally and Johnnie Lee Meders were given fines and deferred sentences after pleading no contest to animal cruelty charges against them earlier this fall.

McAnally dropped a civil lawsuit Tuesday against an endurance ride organization that pulled out of the races before their running.

McAnally dismissed his lawsuit in exchange for the American Endurance Ride Conference's agreement not to sue him, according to court records.

(NewsOK - December 5, 1987)