Saturday, July 31, 2010

Man pleads guilty in dog neutering

PENNSYLVANIA -- Bandit's story will have a happy ending.

The young husky discovered last month in Elizabethtown after a botched attempt at neutering has been relinquished to Organization for Responsible Care of Animals, which will find a home for the animal.

This, after his owner, David Lamar Martin, of Elizabethtown, was charged with cruelty to animals, a summary offense to which he pleaded guilty July 27, according to court documents.

Martin paid $187 in fines and fees. He also agreed to give up the dog.

Reached at his home Friday, Martin referred all comment to Lancaster County Detective Joanne M. Resh, who filed the charges against him.

"You'll have to talk to her," said Martin. "I don't own no dog."

Resh said she could not comment, and referred calls to county District Attorney Craig Stedman.

State and newspaper records show Martin is the former operator of Linden Valley Kennels in West Donegal Township. The kennel closed voluntarily in 2009, according to Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture records.

According to newspaper records, Martin ran afoul of West Donegal Township officials in 2006, who didn't know he was running the kennel in the 3000 block of Bossler Road. The kennel was licensed by the state at the time. Martin subsequently received approval from the township zoning hearing board to operate the kennel.

Bandit was originally picked up by ORCA after being found more than three weeks ago with exposed testicular arteries and veins and no scrotum from being banded for a neutering attempt.

Though ORCA had begun to investigate, the DA's office took control of the case: The charges were filed against Martin by county Detective Resh.

"In essence," said Stedman in an e-mail, Martin "tried to neuter the dog — an infection set in which was not properly treated until we got it to the Humane League" of Lancaster County, where veterinarian Dr. Bryan Langlois cleaned and bandaged the dog's wounds before returning it to ORCA's care.

Dr. Mark Huber, who subsequently operated on Bandit, said the dog had been banded for home castration and was in severe pain. Kondravy said the surgery "was more extensive than we thought it would be.

"We were lucky the infection hadn't spread — but the dog is going to be fine."

District Attorney Stedman, in his e-mail, said Martin "was very cooperative with the detectives, pleaded guilty and voluntarily signed the dog over. We could not find any similar case to this one in Pennsylvania."

Kondravy said news of the case sparked an outpouring of support. "We had all these people call in," she said. "People will stop me and ask what's happening with the case."

ORCA and the Humane League of Lancaster County funded Bandit's medical care. But Kondravy said some donations have helped cover the bills.

An ORCA worker will keep the dog for the next week or so to gauge how socialized and ready for adoption it is. After that, "we have a whole list of people interested in adopting him."

(Lancaster Online - July 31, 2010)

Kentucky: Patrick Creed, 51, arrested for animal cruelty

KENTUCKY -- Patrick Michael Creed was booked in Boone County, KY on 7/31/2010. Unable to locate any additional information. ID: 53587749
Patrick Michael Creed
DOB: 01/21/1959
Age at arrest: 51
Sex: Male
Race: White
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 175
Hair: Blond
Eyes: Hazel
Arresting agency: Florence Police Dept.
Arrest date: 07/31/2010
Release date: 07/31/2010
Bond: $500


June 11, 2012
Location: Carrollton, Kentucky
Arrest date: 06/11/2012
Booking charge: 

January 5, 2009
Name: Patrick Michael Creed
Location: Carrollton, Kentucky
Processing Date: 01-05-2009
Booking Charge: 

December 31, 2008
Patrick Michael Creed was booked in Campbell County, KY on 12/31/2008
Badge: 4428
Arresting Officer: ARMSTRONG, CHRIS
Race: W
Sex: M
Eyes: HAZ
Booking Date: 2008-12-31
Age: 54
Release Date: 2008-12-31
Weight: 175 lbs
Hair: BLN
Height: 6' 1"
  • 1: 108219 08-M-1939 Open CASH$ 250
  • 2: 108218 05-F-00176 Open CASH ONLY $2,500

July 3, 2008
Name: Patrick Michael Creed
Age: 54 years
Location: Wilder, Kentucky
Processing Date: 07-03-2008
Booking Charge: 

December 6, 2005
Location: Carrollton, Kentucky
Arrest date: 12/06/2005
Release date: 12/09/2005
Booking charges:

Friday, July 30, 2010

Coyote examined as captors face cruelty charges

MASSACHUSETTS -- The female coyote found caged in a Truro apartment Tuesday was resting at the Cape Wildlife Center in Cummaquid yesterday after receiving a medical check-up and a new name — Phoenix — from center staff.

Meanwhile, her captors, Truro residents Wayne P. Martin, 41, and Amie Previe, 35, pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges of animal cruelty to the coyote. The police found the animal in what they described as squalid conditions in the couple's apartment at 25 Quail Ridge Road.

Martin was also charged with 17 counts of improperly storing a firearm, to which he also pleaded not guilty. Both suspects were released on personal recognizance yesterday.

Phoenix is considered evidence in the criminal case, and the coyote has not yet been turned over permanently to the Cummaquid wildlife facility, center director Theresa Barbo said yesterday. The coyote's long-term fate cannot yet be determined and will depend on decisions made in court, Barbo said.

The coyote appeared to have been living in the apartment for some time, the police said.

Acting on several tips, police officers from Truro and Provincetown arrived at the apartment at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday with a search warrant, according to the police report on the bust.

There was strong odor of animal urine and feces from the apartment and an animal was barking inside, the police report states. As the police entered the apartment, they saw the coyote in a blue metal cage.

After determining there were unsanitary conditions in the apartment, the police left the building and called town animal control officers and Truro health agent Patricia Pajaron. The police also asked the fire department to provide self-contained breathing equipment so a police officer could enter the apartment and collect evidence. A state Environmental Police officer and a person trained in tranquilizing the coyote went to the apartment as well, the police report states.

As the officials were dealing with the coyote, a Truro police officer noticed a wood cabinet containing nearly two dozen guns that the police say were unsecured and lacked any type of locking devices. The police seized the guns, which belong to Martin.

Wayne P. Martin

Yesterday, the police also filed charges of intimidation of a witness against Martin, according to Truro acting Police Chief John Lundborn. There will be a magistrate's hearing to determine whether any additional charges will be filed, according to comments made in court yesterday.

A criminal charge of animal cruelty involving wildlife is very rare in Cape Cod courts, according to Cape and Islands First Assistant District Attorney Brian Glenny. In 2009, jurors in New Bedford convicted an Acushnet man of animal cruelty for running over a female mallard duck on June 13, 2009, as the animal crossed a parking lot in the Dartmouth Mall with 12 ducklings.

Wayne Martin is the son of former Truro Selectman Robert Martin, who was found dead in Provincetown Harbor Sept. 13, 2008, in what appeared to be an accident. In June 2008, Wayne Martin's numerous public complaints about traffic citations and police retaliation against him drew the ire of the Truro Board of Selectmen. The selectmen banned Martin from making complaints against the police during the open-ended "public comments" portion of the board's regular meetings.

The animal cruelty charges against Martin and Previe have a maximum penalty of five years in state prison. A house of correction sentence or fines can be ordered as well. Martin and Previe face pretrial hearings Aug. 31.

(Cape Code Online - July 29, 2010)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pet dog savaged in Weymouth

UNITED KINGDOM -- A dog owner is calling for action on ‘danger dogs’ after her pet Jack Russell was savaged by a Bull Mastiff.

Retired Heather Burridge desperately tried to save her pet as she watched it being savagely attacked by another dog in Weymouth.

She said she thought her 18-month-old Jack Russell named Ruby was going to die after a Bull Mastiff took her pet’s entire head in its mouth.

It is the latest in a series of attacks by out-of-control dogs in and around Weymouth and Portland.

The brutal attack, which took place at Jordan Hill near Bowleaze Cove, has left Ruby with a five-inch bite on her neck, injuries to her head and damage to one of her eyes.

Mrs Burridge, of Puddledock Lane, was walking Ruby with a group of friends when the attack happened.

She said: “All of a sudden there was a big dog, which we think was a Bull Mastiff, running towards us. It saw my little Jack Russell and it shot forward like a bullet and took her by the throat.

“Three of us were desperately trying to break her free. I even poked the dog’s eyes and tried to get my hand in its mouth but it wouldn’t let go.

“I saw my dog’s eyes filling up with blood, at which point I was absolutely frantic. “I thought I was watching my little dog die in front of my very eyes.

“But then my friend, Debbie Eades, managed to get my dog free – she saved her life.”

 She said: “I think these dogs should be permanently muzzled at the minimum. If the owner isn’t responsible enough to do that then I think the dog should be taken away and put down.”

Mrs Burridge added that she would urge other dog owners to be cautious when out walking their dog.

She said: “This has happened to so many people and it is terrible that there are so many owners who cannot control their dogs. People should be aware of this – I want to warn everyone in the area that this is happening.”

Mrs Burridge took Ruby to Fielding and Cumber Veterinary Surgeons in Chickerell where she was operated on immediately for the puncture wounds to the head and neck and her eye injury.

(Daily Echo - July 27, 2010)

California: Pit bull attacks seven-year-old Oakland girl in the face

CALIFORNIA -- A 7-year-old Oakland girl is recovering after she was bitten in the face by a neighbor's pit bull.

Lt. Chris Landry of the Oakland Fire Department says the girl was taken to Children's Hospital in Oakland Saturday after she was bitten by the dog. She was in stable condition Saturday night.

The attack in East Oakland happened two days after a 2-year-old Concord boy was fatally mauled by three of his family's pit bulls in the garage of his home. The Contra Costa County coroner's office identified the boy as Jacob Bisbee.

In the Concord incident, the boy's step-grandfather was charged with child endangerment and owning a mischievous animal resulting in death.

The man's five pit bulls were euthanized by county animal services.

(UT San Diego - July 26, 2010)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Georgia: Cops say Maria Aguilar, 37, starved her horses to death while stealing from neighbors

GEORGIA -- A 37-year-old woman faces several charges after authorities found stolen property and starving horses on a farm in north Forsyth.

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office has charged Maria Rosario Aguilar of 4930 Smith Drive with three counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty and four counts of felony theft by receiving.

Aguilar is being held at the Forsyth County Detention Center, where records show bond had been set at $37,905.

Sheriff's Lt. David Waters said a neighbor complained of a stray emaciated horse running around in the area Wednesday.

He said animal control officers arrived to find a horse so malnourished, its hips and ribs were showing under the flesh.

Waters said Dr. Lanier Orr, who provides veterinary services for the county, evaluated the animal and another smaller horse that also appeared to be starving.

The horses were taken to Orr’s facility, where they are being nursed back to health.

“I’ve never seen anything like that, not that bad,” Waters said of the animals’ condition.

Waters said the pasture where the horses were kept had no grass and there was little water on the property.

Authorities later found the skeletal remains of a third horse in a stable on the site.

Waters said it was not clear how the horse died.

In addition, three all-terrain vehicles and a golf cart that had been reported stolen were removed from the site. The owners have been notified.

(Forsyth News - July 24, 2010)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Father of Boy Mauled by Pit Bull Speaks Out

CALIFORNIA -- A day after the step-grandfather of a 2-year-old boy mauled by a family pit bull, spoke out about the tragic death, the boy's father spoke as well.

Steven Hayashi, 52, was arrested Thursday afternoon on suspicion of child endangerment and possessing a mischievous animal that causes death, Concord police Lt. Jim Lardieri said.

Hayashi's step-grandson, Jacob Bisbee, died after three of his five pit bulls attacked the toddler in the garage of the family's home at 1785 of Trailcreek Court at about 8:45 a.m. Thursday, police said.

Hayashi was not at the house when the attack happened. Jacob was at home with his grandmother, his uncle and his 4-year-old brother when he walked into the garage and the three dogs attacked him.

Two other pit bulls were in the yard but were not involved in the attack.

Hayashi spoke Thursday from the jailhouse where he is being held.

"They were our dogs I blame myself...It's something I have to live with for the rest of my life," Hayashi said.

Hayashi's son -- and Jacob's father, Michael -- broke his silence a day after the incident. The 2-year-old's father still seemed to be in shock Friday afternoon.

He came to the door of the family home, holding on to his 4-year old son.

"I know for a fact that my father loves my son and I know for a fact it was an accident," he said. "I hope we get (my father) back because my family needs him to heal. It's not just the loss of my son my family needs him to heal. We can't heal without my dad. He doesn't deserve to go to prison"
Michael said he took great pain in making sure the dogs stayed away from the children.

In all the Hayashi family had five pit bulls living in the garage of the family home in the 1700 block of Trailcreek Ct. in Concord, Calif.  The step-grandfather said he got the original pit bull mix from the pound and later found out she was pregnant. She later had a second litter and the family ended up with five animals.

"I have the mentality a dog is a dog (and) now a realize why people treat pit bulls differently than a regular dog," Hayashi said.

Hayashi says his wife tried to give the 2-year-old CPR after she found his body in the garage. The last thing he said he heard his wife say is "he passed."

Steven Hayashi is facing child endangerment charges and is currently behind held in Contra Costa County Jail in Martinez on $120,000 bail.

(NBC Bay Area - July 23 2010)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Kentucky: Louisville man Joshua Headden, 25, arrested for alleged animal torture

KENTUCKY -- A Louisville man is charged with cruelty to animals -- and an injured dog is up for adoption -- according to Louisville Metro Police.

LMPD Officer Lisa Nagle tells Fox 41 News that it all started by a phone call.

"A few weeks ago, I had gotten a call from a Metro Animal Services officer who said they had a situation where a dog had been surrendered to them."

The little Jack Russell named Lucy belonged to a local woman whose name has not been released. That woman got into a fight with her boyfriend, 25-year-old Joshua Headden, and left the house. 

At that point the dog was fine, but when she returned, the dog had a severe leg injury -- one that appeared to leave its bones protruding.

"More than likely, that injury was sustained from a blow to the leg," Nagle said.

The unidentified woman took the dog to Metropolitan Animal Hospital, and the vets there told her the pet had received compound fractures to its femur and would require surgery costing just short of $4,000.

The woman told her she didn't have the money to pay for it.

That's when, Nagle says, a local charity called "Saving Sunny" stepped forward and provided the funds for Lucy's operation.

That was nice of them to raise the money for this dog, but before you think of donating to their cause take a look at their Facebook page. It is 90% pit bulls and full of 'anti-BSL' proclamations so my guess is that's what most of donated money is spent on. 

According to its Facebook page, Saving Sunny was created to, "assist the Louisville Metro Police Department with funding, equipment and training for Animal Cruelty Enforcement Officers who will be specifically trained to respond to animal cruelty cases."

The surgery took four hours and involved placing metal implants in Lucy's leg, according to Nagle, but the dog is recovering.  "I saw the dog about two weeks ago after her surgery," Nagle said. "She was doing fine."

Headden has been charged with torturing a dog, which is a felony, and cruelty to animals, which is a misdemeanor. He was arrested shortly after 9 p.m. Wednesday. He was arraigned Thursday morning and bond was set at $500 cash.

Nagle says Lucy will soon be put up for adoption. Metro Animal Services tells Fox 41 that the dog should be available by mid-September.

(WDRB - July 22, 2010)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Gregg County probation officer fired after cruelty to animals plea

TEXAS -- Kimberly Gale Kibbe is now a probationer and no longer a probation officer.

Gregg County's Adult Probation division terminated Kibbe, 51, this week after County Court at Law No. 2 Judge Rebecca Simpson sentenced Kibbe to one year deferred probation, 48 hours of community service and a $500 fine for animal cruelty, according to online court records.

Kimberly Gale Kibbe
Deferred probation means, if she successfully completes her probation period, no conviction will appear on her criminal history.

Kibbe pled guilty Tuesday to misdemeanor animal cruelty for failing "to provide necessary care or shelter" for seven cats and five dogs, according to court documents. She remained employed with the county since October, when a municipal judge ordered the seized animals into the care of the Northeast Texas Humane Society.

Neighbors at her Lafayette Drive home complained about odors from the residence, prompting city officials to investigate. Longview animal control officers reported finding dead kittens, a dead rabbit and a large amount of fecal matter within the home.

Kibbe's attorney, Steve Kattner, said Humane Society officials found no evidence the animals seized from her home were malnourished, according to a letter from the Humane Society's attorneys.

"The place should have been cleaner," Kattner said. "One of the animals had an upper respiratory infection, which is basically a cold."

County Judge Bill Stoudt confirmed Kibbe's firing. Though he was not involved in her termination, he believed probation officers in Gregg County must be clear of any criminal conviction.

( - July 16, 2010)


South Carolina: Darlington man, Alfred Dixon Jr., 37, faces animal cruelty charge, nine dogs seized

SOUTH CAROLINA -- A Darlington man is charged with animal endangerment after the city’s animal control officer found nine of his dogs malnourished and tethered with logging chains up to 2 inches in diameter.

It marks the fourth animal cruelty case reported in the Pee Dee within the past month.

Alfred Lee Dixon Jr., 37, of 107 Cotton St., Darlington, was arrested July 8, according to a Darlington Police Department incident report released Friday in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

Alfred Lee Dixon Jr
About 9:30 a.m. July 8, the city’s animal control officer, Merrel Sheffield, called police to the suspect’s residence after he was called there by one of the suspect’s neighbors. The suspect told both officers he’d been in New York for a week and returned to find his dogs in poor condition. Eight of the dogs were kept in the backyard, and the suspect said he’d asked his children to feed and water them while he was out of town.

Sheffield said it was clear to him the dogs “didn’t get like they were in a week’s time,” according to the report. All of the dogs were tethered to metal stakes in the ground with 1½- to 2-inch logging chains.

The “weight of the chains would cause issued to healthy dogs over time and the dogs were in a very malnourished state. The dogs’ ribs were all showing through their skin along with their spine,” according to the report. 

“All of the dogs appeared to have had open wounds on their body and seemed so fragile that they would strain to move.”

Each dog had a 5-gallon bucket of clean water and food, but the officers said it was likely placed there just before they arrived, according to the report.

A ninth dog was found inside the home and appeared to have been there for some time judging from the feces that covered the room, according to the report.

“The dog inside also had what appeared to be a wound on his left eye,” the report reads, “but (it) was hard to tell for he was fearful of officers.”

All of the dogs were photographed and taken to the county’s holding area for animals, according to the report. Their condition isn’t known.

Dixon has been released from the Darlington County Detention Center, but bond information wasn’t available.

In late June, Florence County Animal Control officials found a large black dog dead in a small transport crate after neighbors reported seeing the animal.

Charles Bell, of 805 Ventura Court in Florence, faces animal cruelty charges in connection with that case. He was not arrested, but is scheduled to appear in court July 23 at 10 a.m. to face the charges.

Scotty Davis, director of community services in Florence, said Bell’s first offense came in 2008, when officials found two pit bulls in a cage with feces.

Other recent incidents of animal cruelty include the case of Timmonsville’s Doc Smith, who tethered four pit bulls with a 19-pound chain ordinarily used for towing vehicles and other large items. Smith was cited for cruelty to animals and fined $1,078. The dogs remain at the animal control center.

On July 7, Ronald Ball of Lake View went before a judge to face charges of felony cruelty to animals and discharge of a firearm with in city limits in connection with the shooting of Von Dutch, a 5-year-old yellow Labrador retriever. After two surgeries two weeks ago, Von Dutch is expected to fully recover.

( - July 16, 2010)

Friday, July 16, 2010

New Jersey: Barry Norman and others accused of dog fighting offered plea deal

NEW JERSEY -- Plea offers are on the table for five people accused of dog fighting in South Bound Brook, but there is a key condition.

All of them have to take the deal, or no one gets it, Somerset County Assistant Prosecutor Robert Hawkes said.

The offers were discussed briefly today after the defense lawyers entered not-guilty pleas for their clients during their arraignment before Superior Court Judge John Pursel in Somerville.

The charges stem from the discovery police made on March 7 at a dwelling on Edgewood Terrace, where police found trappings of the blood sport, including a blood-stained fighting ring and five injured pit bulls. The dogs were later euthanized, the state says.

Artamas Miller, 40, of Forks Township, Pa.; Barry Norman, 28, of South Bound Brook; Armin Spann, 32, of North Plainfield; Mylyn Robinson, 28, of Somerville; and Kaysona Miller, 27, of South Bound Brook, are charged with third-degree animal fighting and animal cruelty. Artamas Miller is also charged with fourth-degree criminal trespass. All but Kaysona Miller appeared with their respective attorneys: Joseph Depa, Steven Lieberman, Richard Carlson and David Meiswinkle.

Kaysona Miller, who rented the home on Edgewood Terrace, is additionally charged with a disorderly persons offense for obstructing the administration of law. Defense lawyer Cedric Ashley said his client is incarcerated and he waived her appearance.

If they accept the deal, Norman would face three years in prison and restitution, Hawkes said. The others would face county jail time, probation, community service, restitution and psychiatric treatment. A conviction could mean up to 10 years in prison. Artamas Miller could face up to 11 ½ years.

( - July 16, 2010)

Name: Barry Lorenzo Norman ID: 47222784
Race: Black
Ethnicity: Black
Gender: Male
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Brown
Height: 6′ 0″ (1.83 m)
Weight: 225 lb (102 kg)
Birth date: 8/16/1981
SBI Number: 000502821C
Admission Date: 1/28/2011
Current Facility: Released from KT-SWR
Current Max Release Date: N/A
Current Parole Eligibility Date: N/A
Sentence Information:

Offense date: March 7, 2010
1 count of : 4:22-17*3 Cruelty to animals

Offense date: March 7, 2010
1 count of : 4:22-24*3 Animal Fighting Crimes

Offense date: June 4, 2008
1 count of : 2C:35-5B2*2 CDS/Possessn Heroin/Analog->.5 oz,<5oz/2

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pit Bull victim's face of courage

NEW ZEALAND -- An 8-year-old boy left with "half his face hanging off" after a pit bull attack told his crying mother he was grateful it was him and not his baby brother or sister.

AJ Maninoa spoke yesterday of the attack in the hope it might stop other children from getting too close to dogs they don't know well.

AJ Maninoa has told father Andy he's
worried kids at school will laugh at his scars.

The West Auckland boy said he was with his mother, Liga Misa, 2-year-old half-sister Tali and 18-month-old half-brother Juergen at a friend's place in Hindmarsh St, Henderson, when the attack happened on Monday afternoon.

Speaking from the Kidz First Hospital at Middlemore, AJ said he had just finished eating some cake and was going to check on Juergen when he saw the pit bull, which was chained up in the garage.

"I went to touch the dog and I saw the teeth and all of a sudden it bit me and I screamed."

As the dog held on to the side of AJ's face - its teeth piercing the skin on his cheek - the terrified little boy fought back.

"It wouldn't let go so I punched it on the side of its face."

The dog released its grip on AJ's cheek and he ran - clutching a hand to his bleeding face - inside to his mother, who screamed when she saw his injuries.

It was on the way to hospital that AJ tried to offer reassurance.

"His Mum was crying," said AJ's father, Andy Maninoa. "He said to her, 'Mum, don't worry, it's lucky it was me and not my little brother or sister, otherwise the dog would have had them for lunch because they are really little."

AJ - short for Andy Junior - spent three hours in surgery, where surgeons worked to repair a tear that narrowly missed his eye and a nerve that controls his upper lip.

He now has more than 100 stitches. Although he's being brave, AJ said: "I'm still scared and I keep on thinking about it."

His message to other children is simple: "Don't go near strange dogs."

Mr Maninoa, who was at work when the attack happened, arrived at hospital expecting to see a few bite marks. He was shocked by the extent of the injury.

"I felt it in my heart," he said, tears rolling down his cheeks. "When I first walked into the room I knew he was brave. He said to me, 'Dad look at my face."'

Mr Maninoa said AJ, who used to spend time in front of a mirror working on his mohawk, was worried about the permanent scars, and kids at school laughing at him.

"We told him, 'You just tell them you are a strong man - you fought with the dog."

Mr Maninoa's partner, Kelly-Ann Julian, said AJ was a wonderful young boy, never once crying despite his horrific injuries.

"It was shocking to see how half his face was just hanging there."

The pit bull, which was destroyed after the attack, was known as an aggressive dog and had a history of rushing at people.

The animal responsible for attacking a
boy in Henderson is led to a dog control
vehicle before being put down last night.

Waitakere City Council animal welfare manager Neil Wells said the council had warned the owners just days before the attack to keep the dog restrained and under control.

An investigation is under way to determine whether they will face charges.

(New Zealand Herald - July 15, 2010)

A man, who is believed to be the dog's owner, was seen crouching in the garage and patting the dog as animal control officers entered the property to take it away.

He then walked the dog to the road and surrendered it to the officers.

The dog was taken away and destroyed last night.

Livermore Falls man receives summons after his dog kills therapy dog

MAINE -- Livermore Falls dog owner was served with a court summons Tuesday morning after his dog, a Bull Mastiff - Mastiff - Rottweiler mix, called Hooch, killed a smaller Jack Russell terrier named Jack on Sunday afternoon.

Martin Vining, 41, of 46 Park St. was served the summons on civil charges of having a dangerous dog, having an unlicensed dog and having a dog at large by Animal Control Officer Wayne Atwood.

Atwood said he has mailed the information to the Androscoggin County District Attorney's Office.

Vining has an arraignment date of Wednesday, Aug. 11, at 1 p.m. in Lewiston District Court, he said.

The Jack Russell terrier, a therapy dog, owned by Bethany Miller was leashed and on a walk Sunday afternoon with her children, ages 14, 16 and 19, when Hooch, who was loose, attacked the smaller dog about a half-mile from Miller's home.

Although Vining, a friend of his and Livermore Falls Police officer Vern Stevens attempted to separate the dogs, the Jack Russell terrier died during the incident.

Vining's dog previously attacked a mail carrier in 2007 and he was charged with having a dangerous dog at that time, Atwood said. Hooch is also not registered with the town this year.

(Sun Journal - July 14, 2010)


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Urbana Man Attacked By Dogs

OHIO -- The Champaign County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an incident where a man was bitten by several dogs.

The incident happened on July 5 at a home in the 200 block of Jefferson Avenue in Urbana.

Deputies were called to the home on the report of a dog bite. Upon arrival, deputies found a 70-year-old man injured.

The victim claims that his neighbor’s dog, which deputies called two pit bulls and two husky mixes, attacked his dog named Wiggles.

The victim, Scott Shafner, said he intervened and tried to get the dogs to stop attacking Wiggles. He said the dogs bit him on the hand.

Shafner said he managed to get away from the attacking dogs and was treated at a local hospital.

The owner of the dogs was charged with having dogs running at large. The health department is also investigating the case.

(WHIO - July 13, 2010)

Family devastated after large dog kills terrier

MAINE -- A local family is devastated that their dog, Jack, a Jack Russell terrier, was killed by a Bull Mastiff - Mastiff - Rottweiler mix on lower Park Street on Sunday afternoon.

Martin Vining, the owner of Hooch, 9,  the larger dog, is also worried about what will happen to his dog.

Bethany Miller, owner of the 4-year-old terrier that was a therapy dog for her and weighed 20 pounds, said Jack was on a leash and out for a walk with her children, ages 14, 16 and 19, when the incident occurred.

RIP Little Jack

"My biggest concern — I’m devastated I lost my dog — but it could have been somebody’s child,” Miller said. “I don’t want to see anybody else get hurt. My dog spent his whole life, when he went out for a walk, on a leash. Something needs to be done about the dog.”

Her husband was taking Jack’s body to the pet crematorium on Monday, she said.

“We’re absolutely devastated,” Miller said.

She plans to get some counseling for her children, who had to watch the attack, she said.

Livermore Falls police officer Vern Stevens initially handled the complaint after he came upon the attack while he was on patrol, police Chief Ernest Steward Jr. said Monday.

The case has been turned over to Animal Control Officer Wayne Atwood, who said a police report and witness statements are being sent down to the Androscoggin County District Attorney’s Office to determine if there will be charges and what will happen to Vining's dog.

That dog also attacked a mail carrier in 2007, and the owner was charged back then with having a dangerous dog, Atwood said.

Miller’s children were about a half-mile from home when someone told them a dog was loose, her son, Kyle Wilson, 19, said.

“We hadn’t gone 5 feet when Hooch came around the corner,” Wilson said.

His younger brother, Jordan Gill, 14, was walking ahead of Wilson and another brother, John Gill, who was holding Jack’s leash, Wilson said.

Hooch gave Jordan a look and then Jack made a step toward Hooch, and the larger animal attacked, Wilson said.

Wilson said he and another man tried to get the dogs apart. Stevens arrived and pulled his Taser, but he couldn’t shoot it because he would have gotten “Jackie,” too, Wilson said.

Vining said he was outside burying another of his dogs that had been previously hit by a vehicle and had to be put down. Hooch was with him and a friend in the yard, he said.

His friend, Vining said, tried to break the two dogs apart, and the friend was bitten by the terrier. Vining took Hooch into the house.

But it was too late, Jack had died, Steward said.

"I didn't see what happened," Vining said. The owners of the terrier know Vining, and usually the small dog is carried by his residence, he said.

They tried to introduce the dogs previously, but Hooch is not very good with certain dogs, Vining said. The terrier was one of the dogs he didn't get along with. He doesn't bother all dogs, he said.

"I've had four or five litters of puppies, and he hasn't bothered any of them," Vining said. He also has chickens and turkeys, and Hooch doesn't bother them either.

The bull mastiff mix was not on a leash, Miller, Wilson and Steward confirmed.

“My dog was on the sidewalk, as were my children,” Miller said.

Wilson said he and his brothers were returning home from bringing “Jackie” back from a walk at the town’s recreation field. He was tired from the walk, Wilson said.

If he had known Hooch was on the loose, he might have done something differently, Wilson said.

"Nothing was done on purpose," Vining said. "I don't know the reason (Hooch) went after the little dog. I cannot control what two dogs do when they get into it."

Vining said that Hooch was not registered this year with the town. He also confirmed his dog bit a mail carrier three years ago, and it cost him $2,200.

(Sun Journal - July 13, 2010)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Massachusetts: Ayer farmer Ralph McNiff pays $29G in taxes to keep his property - and keep his poor animals living (and dying) in squalor

This article is being added to the blog because in 2016, Ralph McNiff had animals seized and a shutdown ordered at his dump - what he has insisted is a "farm" for all these years, but was really a junkyard full of dead and dying animals

MASSACHUSETTS --  Livestock farmer Ralph McNiff has paid $29,300 in back taxes on his Westford Road property dating back to August 2008.

Town Treasurer Stephanie Gintner said the payment was deposited into town bank accounts on June 30, the deadline to pay or else face eviction, according to a deal McNiff stuck with selectmen on May 4.

Photos, captions from 2016. Ayer still dealing with McNiff

Gintner said, in return, the town will return to Land Court to seek reversal of a February judgment conveying title to the town after McNiff failed to pay the taxes.

Interim Town Administrator Jeff Ritter said McNiff's attorney, Sherrill Gould of Littleton, was handling the filing with the town's assent so as to prevent any additional legal expense for the town.


Selectmen had threatened to evict McNiff, his cattle and pigs from the five-acre Westford Road property if he failed to meet the June 30 payment deadline.

Ritter said a recent Department of Agriculture inspection of the animals last week went positively for McNiff.

Messages left with McNiff and Gould on Tuesday were not immediately returned.

At their meeting last Tuesday, selectmen expressed relief that the showdown was over regarding the back taxes. Board members were also hopeful that McNiff would honor the spirit of their closed-door discussions to work to beautify his farm.

"The two legs of that commitment was to pay taxes and to get his farm up to optimum standards," Selectman Jim Fay said.

Fay said he'd hoped that McNiff, 68, would avail himself of an opportunity presented by a volunteer agricultural group to lend a hand to help reorganize the farming operation.

Good God! BEAUTIFY the "farm"? That place is just a JUNKYARD with animals running around it! The town should have taken the dump when they had the chance! The battle over this schitt-pit has been going on for YEARS and the property owner has shown NO good faith in any attempts to clean up this filthy eyesore. What makes anyone think that this will change things? Sure, they guy has a right to make a living, BUT the junkyard style farm could use more than a little cosmetics. Bulldoze it and start over.

Get a whiff of the place when you drive by - it's foul. We locals call it the Deliverance House. The word in town is he's been here forever and has influential friends.

I feel for sorry for the adjacent property owners

sorry but his millionare brother stanley left ralph the bulk of his estate and ralphs just jerking ayers chain pretending he has no $$$$...frickin child molestor how come he isnt on the sex offenders registry?

(Lowell Sun - July 11, 2010)


Friday, July 9, 2010

Minnesota: Police say Benjamin Stavaas slit animal's throat in fit of rage

MINNESOTA -- A 23-year-old Battle Lake, Minn., man faces animal cruelty charges after telling investigators he slit his dog's throat in a fit of rage because she wasn't trainable.

Benjamin James Stavaas is charged in Otter Tail District Court with leaving the German shepherd mix for dead around June 15.

Court records say:

Stavaas initially told an Otter Tail County sheriff's deputy that he slit the dog's throat after she was hit by a car to end her suffering.

But after investigators showed Stavaas a veterinarian's report that didn't support his story, Stavaas said he got mad at his dog, whose name is Star, when she chased a car after he let her outside.

"The defendant reported he became infuriated, very frustrated and very mad," the court complaint states. "He stated he called the dog back and he then returned to the house, grabbed a knife, went outside and slit the dog's throat."

Star wandered into a rural Fergus Falls yard about a week later and was taken to a veterinarian.

The laceration appeared to be caused by two incisions that form a Y pattern, suggesting that they were intentionally and maliciously inflicted, court records say.

Star had surgery last week and is in foster care while the Otter Tail County Humane Society reviews adoption applications.

Humane Society Manager Ericka Stoltenberg said she's encouraging people to contact the court to ask that Stavaas get the maximum penalty.

"This was a coward's way out," Stoltenberg said.

Stavaas is charged with two felonies, two gross misdemeanors and two misdemeanor charges related to torturing and mistreating the dog.

The maximum penalty for the felony is two years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.

Heather Brandborg, assistant Otter Tail County attorney, said most animal cruelty cases her office has handled involve neglect rather than aggression.

"This case is much different from cases we've seen in the past," Brandborg said, adding that the case appears to have outraged the community.

Stavaas is being summoned to court on July 26 for an initial court appearance. A phone listing for Stavaas could not be found.

He has a 2006 conviction in Wadena County for terroristic threats and domestic assault.

Donations for Star have poured in to the Humane Society, more than covering the cost of the operation, Stoltenberg said.

Star loves her foster family and may be able to live there permanently, she said.

"She's doing so much better now that she can be with someone," she said.

Stavaas told investigators he was unable to control the dog and no amount of training helped, court records say.

Stoltenberg said the dog, about 1 year old, is not badly behaved and probably needed more exercise.

"All she needed was somebody to teach her a few things," Stoltenberg said.

(WCTRIB - July 8, 2010)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Linden man who shot pit bull to save his dog says he made right decision

NEW JERSEY -- Despite spending part of a day in jail and paying hundreds in fines after shooting a pit bull, a Linden man said he would do it again to save his beloved dog.

The shooting occurred after midnight on Easter when Richard Rotkiewicz went into his yard to reset his flood lights, with his Boston Terrier, Bruno.

Suddenly, two pit bulls charged out of the night, Rotkiewicz said, and he put Bruno on his shoulder. But one of the pitbulls jumped up, grabbed Bruno and dragged the small dog towards the street.

With only a minute to think, Rotkiewicz said he dashed into his garage, grabbed his legally registered .357 Magnum and shot the attacking dog.

“A large pit bull, unleashed, attacks his dog,” said Linden Prosecutor Nicholas Scutari. “I believe there was some justification to it, and that’s why he didn’t go to jail.”

But the prosecutor said it was a “borderline” case, and Rotkiewicz, 62, deserved the fines and 30-day suspended jail time he got from Municipal Court Judge Louis DiLeo.

City officials declined to identify the pit bulls’ owner.

Rotkiewicz said he just wanted to save his dog, whom he feels especially close to because both have been treated for cancer in the last three years.

Rotkiewicz’s cancer, multiple myeloma, means his blood doesn’t clot very easily and Rotkiewic said he feared being bitten. So when the pitbull didn’t release his dog right away, he said he used the gun.

Rotkiewicz was charged with weapons possession and faced 20 years in jail if convicted, Rotkiewicz’s attorney, Joseph Spagnoli of Cranford, said.

Some of the charges stemmed from Rotkiewicz shooting the gun on the edge of the street, which is public property, and he didn’t have a permit to carry the gun in public, Spagnoli said.

Linden police examined Bruno, and, according to a report, found the terrier appeared uninjured.
Rotkiewicz was held in the county jail on $22,500 bail for nearly a day.

But Bruno’s vet at Westfield Veterinary Clinic found punctures and wounds consistent with a dog attack, according to a report.

[Police officers are NOT vets. Just because an animal doesn't have its throat ripped out does not mean it isn't injured.]

Eventually, the second-degree charges against Rotkiewicz were dropped.

“The county prosecutor had no interest in prosecuting,” Scutari said. “It was a borderline case, and that’s why it ended up here.”

In Linden court, Rotkiewicz pleaded guilty to disorderly persons charges and a city ordinance against firing weapons.

[He shouldn't have been charged in the first place.]

Rotkiewicz said he paid a $678 fine, plus $2,500 to the bail bondsman.

His lawyer believes he deserved the sentence: punishment, but not a criminal conviction.

“He had cancer, which was in remission. This was not some crazy juvenile doing this,” Spagnoli said.
Scutari agreed the punishment was appropriate.

“The guy was in public,” Scutari said. “You’ve got to safeguard the public from people being overly zealous.”

In June, Rotkiewicz got his gun back from Linden police.

And he has no regrets.

“I’m sorry, if I had to do it again, I would do it again, and go to jail again,” Rotkiewicz said last week.

(The Star-Ledger - July 4, 2010)