Monday, March 31, 2014

South Carolina: Mitchell Driggers, 31, charged for pit bull attack on state worker in Dillon County

SOUTH CAROLINA -- An employee of South Carolina's environmental agency was put into a coma earlier this month after he was attacked by two pit bull dogs in Dillon County; the man who owned at least one of the dogs turned himself in to authorities Tuesday morning.

Dillon County Sheriff's Office Capt. Cliff Arnette says on Tuesday, February 4, an employee of the Department of Health and Environmental Control was responding to a work-related call on Wilderness Place when he encountered the dogs.

He managed to call 911, but when deputies got on scene the dogs were still attacking the man. They had to immediately take action, shooting the dogs as EMS rushed the man to the hospital.

The employee was listed in critical condition. While the sheriff's office does not want his name released, a family member says he was put into a medically-induced coma.

The dogs were being tested for rabies while the Dillon County Sheriff's Office investigated who may be at fault for the attack.

On Tuesday morning, 31-year-old Mitchell Driggers turned himself in and was charged with owning a dangerous animal which attacks and injuries a human being. The bond hearing was held Tuesday morning in front of a magistrate judge.

The neighborhood where the attack occurred is located between Dillon and Little Rock. Part of the investigation looked into the law, to see if an ordinance is in place for that section of the county that requires owners to keep their pets locked up or on a leash.

"Our thoughts are with the employee at this time," stated DHEC spokesman Jim Beasley shortly after the attack was reported.

(WMBF - March 31, 2014)


Supervisor defends animal control visit to house where dead dog found

ILLINOIS -- The supervisor of Whiteside County Animal Control says they did everything they could when they checked on a complaint that Joseph Nelson was moving and left a dog in a cage in his basement.

Animal Control officers went to Nelson’s home on March 14, 2014. More than one week later, two men hired to clean the home Nelson had moved from found a dead pit bull locked in a cage.

The discovery leaves many wondering why animal control didn’t do more.

“They didn’t hear anything, see anything, and they didn’t smell any type of odor,” said Vanessa Scott, a supervisor at Whiteside County Animal Control.

Scott said Nelson wasn’t home when their two officers arrived. The officers did notice a TV on the porch.

“With the owner moving out, we figured that he was still there.  That’s why they left a door tag for him to contact us,” Scott said.

They say Nelson never did contact Animal Control.

Nelson was arrested Friday, March 28, and he was charged with aggravated animal cruelty.

“If it’s a rental, we can get in contact with the landlord and see if he can let us in. And, if we have enough evidence and we believe something’s in the house, we can contact the local police department to see if they can assist us in some way,” Scott said.

“We just didn’t have enough evidence,” Scott said.

Scott says they followed protocol, but she still thinks about the ‘what ifs.’

“We wonder if there is more that we could have done,” Scott said.

(WQAD - March 31, 2014)


Sunday, March 30, 2014

260 cats removed from 'crazy cat house' in Philly

PENNSYLVANIA -- Animal welfare authorities say they removed about 260 cats from a Philadelphia home with a sign that proclaims it "the crazy cat house."

The Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said Wednesday that officials had been working with the owner of the northeast Philadelphia property for several weeks.

A sign on a fence outside the home reads, "I'm the crazy cat lady. And this is the crazy cat house."

Spokeswoman Sara Eremus says conditions in the home have deteriorated to the point that the animals had to be removed by officers wearing respirators.

So workers spent Wednesday loading the animals into crates to take them to the SPCA's north Philadelphia shelter, where veterinarians were examining them.

No charges were immediately filed. The homeowner wasn't identified.

(Hawaii News Now - Mar 26, 2014)

"I hit him at one point in the back of the head, and it didn't even phase him. It was like bouncing off a concrete block."

FLORIDA -- A woman walking her two small dogs was attacked by another dog in Orange County on Friday morning.

Erica Bolivar said she went for a walk at 10:30 a.m. with her dogs, Peanuts and Butter, and her 18-month-old son, Sebastian. Matis, an American bulldog belonging to a neighbor, got loose and attacked her and her dogs on Barberry Drive.



"He started biting my Chihuahua, biting him on the neck and ribs. He bit me over here on the leg," Bolivar said.

"He kept biting and biting and biting and I had to push the baby in the stroller so he wouldn't bite him. That was my biggest fear."

Neighbor David Porter ran outside and fought the dog off with a baseball bat.

"I didn't know what to do, other than to use the bat," said neighbor Dan Porter. "I hit him at one point in the back of the head, and it didn't even phase him.  It was like bouncing off a concrete block."

Bolivar suffered a wound to her leg and a punctured lip but was not taken to the hospital.

Her Chihuahua was seriously injured and rushed to the vet.

Orange County Animal Control officials said Matis showed a high level of aggression and will be put to sleep.


In the video, the dog's owner says his dog, Matis, is a "sweetheart".

The dog owner

(WESH Orlando - Mar 28, 2014)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Officer Reportedly Attacked by Pit Bulls Returns to Work

TENNESSEE -- A law enforcement officer who says he was attacked by two pit bulls returned to work, Friday.

Asst. Chief Dave Chaffin at the Bradford Police Department informed WBBJ by email that he is a little sore, but able to return to work.

Chaffin was reportedly attacked after responding to a call about the dogs roaming on East Main Street early Thursday morning.

Chaffin followed the dogs along the adjacent Cantrell Street, where the dog’s owner lives.

According to police, the dogs charged Chaffin in the driveway as he stepped out of his patrol car, knocked him down then bit several times rolling Chaffin into the street.

The dogs’ owner says her pit bulls are always secured and that her pit bulls are very sweet and have never bitten anyone before. Montgomery believes her dogs would only bite when provoked.

Police said both dogs were taken to the pound to be quarantined until a judge decides their fate.

(WBBJ - Mar 28, 2014)

Mississippi Co. woman faces animal abuse, assault charges

MISSISSIPPI -- A Mississippi County woman is facing animal abuse and assault charges.

According to Mississippi County Sheriff Keith Moore, a Mississippi County woman has been arrested after an animal abuse investigation by his department.

Four times in recent months, Sheriff Moore said the sheriff’s department has been contacted about an aggressive pit bull that had reportedly attacked or attempted to attack several county residents.

The investigation began last month, when Deputy Marc Tragesser was dispatched to investigate allegations that a pit bull had attacked a resident in the Delmo Project community, located south of East Prairie.

Upon his arrival, Deputy Tragesser met with the victim and a witness, both of whom reported seeing Maria Gammons outside her home with a large pit bull. When it saw the men, it allegedly ran toward the witness but was restrained by a shock collar controlled by Gammons.

They say the dog then turned his aggression toward the victim, but this time, Gammons began to curse the man, and did not restrain her dog. The man, whom has previously been attacked by the same animal, was able to repel the attack by hitting the animal with a lawn ornament.

A few weeks later, Sheriff Moore said the man was allegedly attacked by the same animal as he walked out to his mailbox. This time, the man was able to fight off the aggressive animal with a small brick.

After each complaint, Chief Deputy Charlie Marcum and Deputy Tragesser contacted Gammons, but each time, she denied the allegations. She reportedly told the deputies her dog was friendly and always leashed, but was unable to show them the leash.

According to the Deputy’s report, Maria Gammons’ failure to provide adequate care and control for her pet placed the dog in a situation which resulted in substantial harm to the animal.

“It’s not fair to the animal to put it in that situation,” Sheriff Moore said, “and it’s not fair to those who are afraid to walk around their own property.”

Maria Lynn Gammons, 28, of East Prairie, was charged with animal abuse and assault, third degree, both class A misdemeanors punishable upon conviction by up to one year in the county jail.
Gammons was released from custody Tuesday evening, after posting $250 bond.

(KFVS - Mar 29, 2014)

Roaming Dogs Attack & Kill West Richland Family Cat

WASHINGTON --  A West Richland woman is distraught after she says a group of roaming dogs attacked and killed her cat.

The Orman's actually think the dogs could be from around their neighborhood. They say they saw collars on most of them.

Three year-old Angel the cat was in the yard Thursday morning like she is every day, but she could not survive the group of dogs roaming onto her yard out for blood.

The attack happened just off of West Van Giesen Street on South 40th Avenue. When the Orman's came out after noticing something was wrong through the window, they were too late.

Loretta Orman had been researching the breeds of dogs she thinks they watched run off from their yard.

"We were looking out the window and my husband saw her lying there and she didn't look right. He said something's wrong. All of a sudden I jumped up too and we saw a dog going back to her on the ground. We ran out there and the dogs ran away. She was gone," she explained.

As sad as they are, the Orman's think this could all have been avoided if others were more accountable for their animals. When we spoke with officers Friday they explained that in the city of West Richland if your dog is off your property it needs to be on a leash.

(KULR - Mar 29, 2014)

Man sentenced to 30 days for beating dogs with sledge hammer

OKLAHOMA -- A Tulsa man was sentenced to 30 days in jail after pleading guilty to beating two dogs in the head with a sledge hammer because "he did not own a gun."

Robert Beach, Jr. , 40, was sentenced on Friday to two concurrent sentences of 30 days in the Tulsa County jail with credit for time served.

According to the affidavit, on Sept. 23, 2012, an animal welfare officer responded to Beach’s residence after a complaint of a dog bite.

The first dog was described as an eight-month-old female brindle Boxer named “Little Girl,” the second described as a two-year-old female tan Boxer mix named “Lil’ F------.”

According to witness reports, Little Girl’s puppies escaped Beach’s fenced backyard and entered a neighbor’s yard. Two girls began playing with the puppies. At that time, one of the puppies yelped and the two adult dogs jumped the fence and attacked one of the girls. The girl received punctures to her hand and arm and several lacerations to her chin and throat, according to court documents.

Beach heard the commotion and entered the backyard to retrieve the dogs. According to police records, he wanted to “kill the dogs as quickly and painlessly as possible.”

Using a five-pound sledge hammer, he hit the two dogs in the head, according to documents.

Beach was previously convicted of second-degree burglary in 1992 and possession with intent to distribute in 1998, according to records.

Beach was fined $300 for each charge and assessed two $75 fines for victim compensation.

According to Oklahoma law, acts of cruelty to animals is punishable by imprisonment in the state penitentiary not exceeding five years, or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding $5,000.

(KJRH - Mar 29, 2014)

Pit Bull Shot Dead During Attack

CALIFORNIA -- On Friday March 28, at about 9:47 A.M., the Blythe Police Department received a phone call from a female subject reporting that she had been attacked by a “pit bull,” and that the dog was now attacking her dog.

Blythe City Animal Control and Police Officers responded to the canal bank in the 500 block of S. Seventh Street. When the first Officer arrived, he found the victim lying on the canal bank, and the pit bull fighting with the victim’s smaller dog.

As the officer approached, the pit bull turned its attention back to the victim. The dog jumped on the victim as she lay in the ground. The officer yelled at the dog, and the dog turned toward the officer and began to run at him. The dog aggressively approached the officer, and the officer shot and killed the dog.

The victim was transported to Palo Verde Hospital by Blythe Ambulance, and was later airlifted to another facility for further treatment.

City of Blythe Animal Control is continuing the investigation.

(The Desert Independent - March 29, 2014)

Boomer child seriously injured by dogs

NORTH CAROLINA -- A young girl who was seriously injured by dogs while playing in her yard in Boomer late Wednesday afternoon is now at home recovering, said Wilkes Animal Control Director Junior Simmons.

Simmons said the child’s grandmother looked out a window and saw a female pit bull dog and its four five-month-old puppies attacking the child in the yard. He said the grandmother looked out the window because her dog, a Chihuahua, started barking from inside the house.

He said the woman rushed out to help her granddaughter and was bitten on an arm and a leg while trying to get the dogs away from the child. A man who is related to the child and the grandmother started hitting the dogs with a board to get them away, said Simmons.

The child was then taken to Wilkes Regional Medical Center, where Simmons said she was treated for bites and scratches over much of her body. He said the child has since been released from the hospital. Simmons said she is either 9 or 10 years old.

Simmons said the man who owns the five dogs that attacked the child lives across the street from where the incident occurred. He said the man voluntarily let animal control officers have the dogs. The dogs didn’t have current rabies vaccinations and were euthanized so they could be tested for rabies, he said, but the test results aren’t yet back.

The yard where the incident occurred is along Big Country Drive, which is off High Rock Road.

Simmons said he didn’t know what prompted the attack and that the Wilkes Sheriff’s Department is investigating the incident. Simmons said animal control officers didn’t interview the child and that he didn’t know if anyone from the sheriff’s department has interviewed her for details about what happened.

Simmons said the mother dog appeared to be a full blooded pit bull and the puppies, weighing about 35 pounds each, appeared to be part pit bull

(Wilkes Journal-Patriot - March 29, 2014)

Three Staffordshire bull terriers savage dog in 'horror' attack in Cambridge park - then turn on terrified owner

UNITED KINGDOM -- A distraught woman has told of the “mayhem” wrought by three Staffies who savaged her pet pooch and bit her as she fought them off in a Cambridge park.

Liz McIntyre, 49, was walking her Springer Spaniel Sidney, 4, in Bramblefields nature reserve, off Laxton Way in East Chesterton, when the pack of Staffordshire bull terriers launched the attack as a group of schoolchildren looked on in horror.

The Chesterton resident told how one of the dogs ran from across the other side of the field and sunk its teeth into her pet before two more dogs joined in.

She said: “My dog was playing with his ball when the Staffie ran across directly at him and started attacking him. 

"Two other Staffies that were off their leads then joined in and started savaging my dog. My dog was on his back screaming. It was complete mayhem - horrible and frightening. I tried to pull the dog off and it bit into my hand.

“A teacher who was with a group of schoolchildren on a nature ramble came over to help and the teacher sprayed water on the dogs. The woman owner of the first Staffie walked over slowly and then pulled her dog by the back legs but could hardly shift it – she had no control over it.

“It was a terrifying experience. Sidney was bitten all over and had to have his ear stitched up and my hand was bleeding. “The teacher and the schoolchildren were wonderful and I am grateful for their help.”

The mother-of-two called Cambridgeshire police after the incident which happened at about 4pm on Tuesday.

She said: “The police came to see me and said that because they are not ‘dangerous’ dogs it may be a civil matter. I would hope that this incident will open a debate on dangerous dogs and what should be done about them.”

A Cambridgeshire force spokesman said officers are looking into the incident.

Mrs McIntyre has also reported the incident to Cambridge City Council.

The authority says that under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, it is an “offence to allow any dog to be dangerously out of control” in a public place.

The latest dog attack comes after a visually impaired woman was left “completely vulnerable” after her guide dog was badly injured by two dogs.

Yellow labrador Neda was walking with her owner in an area of south Cambridge in November when the dogs attacked the 8-year-old causing several wounds that needed stitches.

( - Mar 28, 2014)

For months, you feed and care for your daughter's dog and love it as though it were your own. One day, it decides to kill you. What type of dog could this be? Hmm...

CALIFORNIA -- I had been caring for my daughter's dog for a few months. She had never showed any kind of aggression toward me or anyone else.

On March 2, 2014, she and I were coming back from a walk. We entered the house and she jumped on me. I thought she was wanting to play at first, until she started biting me.

It became more out of control. I fought her for half an hour trying to keep her off me, protecting my neck and face. She was too fast and too strong. I knew at that moment I was going to die. I became so exhausted I could no longer fight her off.

Lavonne Preston after Pit Bull attack at Mercy Hospital
When I pushed her away, within seconds she was on me. Then her chain fell off her neck and she fell to her side, losing her balance. I crawled to get on top of her and put my bloody arms on her head to hold it down while I wrapped the chain around her mouth, then the leash around her neck and to a door knob.

I then crawled to my bedroom and shut the door to call 911. The police and paramedics arrived and would not enter the house because of the dog. I went outside and the paramedic cut my sleeves as they were drenched in blood. I saw the mauling and torn apart arm that the dog did to me as I saw the bone in my arm. I was in shock and thought I'd lose my arm.

This was the most devastating frightening thing I'd ever gone through in my life. I fought for my life with a dog that I'd never guess would attack me. She just turned on me, for no reason.

The Doctors told me how lucky I was to come out of the attack alive. I ended up with severe wounds to my arms, bites to my stomach, legs and chest. I'm so happy this dog didn't go off on a child, or even anyone else.

-- Lavonne Preston, Redding, California

( - March 28, 2014)

Sexton: Life-altering dog attack leaves man with debt, few options

NORTH CAROLINA -- Dog bites man typically is not all that interesting. But when a dog bite results in a man racking up medical bills of more than $60,000, well, that’s different.

Ronald Coleman, you have our attention.

“I only had surgery when the swelling wouldn’t go down and I couldn’t open doors or tie my shoes,” said Coleman, tracing the arc of scars on his left arm and hand. “I knew it was going to be expensive.”

Ligaments were torn from the bone. Two rods were put into his hand. Having reconstructive surgery isn’t cheap.

Worse than the injury, though, is what he found out afterward. The dog’s owner — or more specifically, his homeowner’s insurance policy — won’t be held legally responsible for helping pay the bills.

Like every other dog that’s not a pit bull or a Rottweiler in this state, the mutt that took a chunk out of Ronald Coleman basically gets one free bite and Coleman’s left with a mountain of debt.

‘Never forget it’
Coleman moved south to Winston-Salem from Maryland late last summer looking for a fresh start.
He’d been a firefighter in Prince Georges County, and figured he could apply for the same job here.

That plan derailed, though, on Sept. 6 on a sidewalk just a few yards from his place near downtown.

“Twelve-eighteen in the afternoon. I’ll never forget it.”

He heard the familiar sound of a dog sniffing around the bushes in front of a house at 655 N. Spring St. but he didn’t think too much of it.

“I’ve been around dogs all my life,” Coleman said. “I’ve been afraid of them. That’s why I didn’t run.”

What happened next is the stuff that causes nightmares. The dog, later identified by Forsyth County Animal Control officers as a 7-year-old brown Labrador Retriever / Mastiff mix named Colt, started barking and came after Coleman.

“Something in my head said turn around – you know those strange feelings you get – and the dog jumped on top of me and knocked me to the ground,” he said.

The dog also had a grip on Coleman’s left hand, shaking it violently back and forth as if it had a hold on a chew toy. Coleman said he struck it two or three times with his right hand before the animal left “as if somebody had called him. He went straight to the back door.”

Dazed and bleeding, Coleman dialed 911. An ambulance and a sheriff’s deputy assigned to Animal Control responded. The officer, Kevin Breen, showed Coleman what amounts to a canine photo lineup book in his computer.

Breen knocked on the door in front of the house where the attack took place and noticed a large chocolate lab. A woman who answered the door, Constance Hill, told the officer that the dog belonged to her son, who was at work.

“I asked (her) if the dog had been (roaming around loose) and she said yes and that she believed the backyard gate may have been left open,” Breen wrote in his report.

Bad options
At that point, Stanford Hill Jr. returned home. He told Breen that Colt indeed belonged to his son, who was away.

Because the dog’s vaccinations were up to date and it had no history of aggression, Breen approved a period of home quarantine as long as the dog remained indoors. The Hills’ house has a Beware of Dog sign displayed on the front door.

None of that helps Coleman, though, as he has now learned a hard lesson in North Carolina law.

After he realized he couldn’t avoid a costly surgery, he hired an attorney, James Roane, to see what his options were.

And what he learned stinks on ice.

Because Colt has no history and isn’t considered a dangerous breed, he gets what amounts to a get-out-of-the-pound free card and his owners likely have no legal responsibility to pay for any of the damage caused by their pet.

“In North Carolina and almost all states, in order to prove negligence you have to show foreseeability,” Roane said. “Was the incident reasonably foreseeable? … If a dog is a non-dangerous breed like a retriever or no history of aggressiveness, there probably won’t be negligence.”

The insurance company – it’s not clear from court papers which one – has offered $10,000, a far cry from the total owed. A letter Roane sent to Coleman last week makes it clear that the offer won’t get any better.

“Unfortunately this means that a portion of your medical bills will remain outstanding,” the letter reads.

Coleman could file suit anyway but he’ll lose. So what does he do? What would you do?

“I’ve exhausted all my savings and I’m behind on my rent now,” he said. “I’m going to have to take it. They have me over a barrel. … The doctor says I should go to therapy but I’m not going to. I can’t afford those bills, too.

“I just don’t understand. If I have a dog and it bites you, how am I not responsible?”

(Winston-Salem Journal - March 29, 2014)

New York's Finest: Police Officer Rescues Deer From Lights

NEW YORK -- Police officers are often called into action to assist people that are in need of help.  But recently, one off-duty police officer from Hudson, New York was able to use his skills to help another creature in distress.

Police officer Kevin Sweet was off-duty when he drove by his mother’s home to check on her.  While driving, he noticed something in the ditch that needed some special attention, and it was probably the last thing Officer Sweet probably expected to see. 

A young deer tangled in a long string of Christmas lights.  The Christmas lights were wrapped around it’s neck and front legs, making it impossible for the young deer to run away or even move. Sweet says that the young deer was having a hard time, and didn’t know what to do.

That’s when Officer Sweet jumped into action.

Talking as calmly as he could to the distressed animal, Officer Sweet, carrying only his IPhone and a pocket knife, slowly walked toward the frightened deer.  Sweet says,

I approached it slowly, talked to it and was able to free if from the Christmas lights.

Sweet was able to record the rescue on his IPhone.

After the Christmas lights were cut away from the frightened deer,  Sweet waited to make sure the deer was able to get up,  move freely and wasn’t injured.  The deer stood, and simply looked at Sweet, as if knowing that this man that just saved him from the tangled Christmas lights was his hero.

Officer Sweet said that be put some apples out for the animal, which were all gone an hour later.

(KIKN - Mar 24, 2014)

Michigan: Cruelty charges dismissed against Vickie Lamb; her caretaker Brandon Thyrion has been charged with cruelty

MICHIGAN -- Felony charges of animal abandonment and cruelty have been dismissed by Presque Isle County's 89th District Court against Vickie Lamb of Hawks.

On Jan. 30, authorities seized 38 dogs and two roosters from her residence, where she operates a kennel. Nine dead puppies and one dead adult dog were also removed from the residence.

It is expected the animals will be returned to the owner of the residence.

Presque Isle County Prosecutor Richard Steiger's office indicated the charges were dismissed because after questioning area veterinarians and the animal control officer who vouched for her, it was apparent that Lamb had taken steps to make sure the animals received proper care.

In addition, emails and text messages between her and a caretaker she had hired to attend to the animals also supported this.

Steiger stated in an Alpine News article, “"It became clear that it was the care provider she hired, not Mrs. Lamb, who allowed the neglect to go on," he said. "It was clear that she took every possible action while she was out of state to make sure those animals were cared for."

Lamb did plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of failing to renew her kennel license and must pay restitution to Presque Isle County for the cost of housing the animals since they were seized.

Lamb's dogs have been returned.

Brandon Thyrion should be made to pay Vickie Lamb back for what she had to pay to reclaim her dogs. After all, if he hadn't neglected them to the point where they would be seized, she never would have had to pay the money to reclaim them. 

The caretaker, Brandon M. Thyrion, of Hawks, has been charged with felony animal cruelty or abandonment to 10 or more animals and faces a May 12 court appearance in 53rd Circuit Court after pleading not guilty to the charges yesterday.

Since January, while the case has been in court, many of the dogs were housed at the Cheboygan County Humane Society as Presque Isle County does not have a shelter. Several of the dogs were also housed with foster families because the shelter did not have enough space to house them all.

“We are all disappointed beyond belief,” Cheboygan County Humane Society Director Mary Talaske said. “It was not the outcome we anticipated.”

On Jan. 29, the Presque Isle County Sheriff Department received a complaint of a possible dog neglect at the residence. An investigation was conducted and a search warrant to seize the animals was executed on Jan. 30. The dogs were all thin, dehydrated and in need of rescue, Talaske said.

Since they had been moved to the shelter, each of them have put on between 12 and 15 pounds.

“They are happy and healthy, fat and sassy, and now they have to go back to that place,” Talaske said. Several of the dogs have been treated for chronic ear infections, which stemmed from before they were rescued, as well as having problems with their feet, due to the conditions in which they were staying before rescue.

Talaske and the workers of the shelter knew there was the possibility of having to return the dogs to their owner, but they were hoping that wouldn't be the case.

“It breaks our hearts,” Talaske said. “We would like nothing more than to find a home for them.”

According to Talaske, the shelter was sent a notice of all of the charges being dropped against the owner, they did not receive a phone call. She said they are all deeply disappointed, but have to follow the law and need to give the dogs back to their owner.

“We don't know his reasons, but he dismissed all of the charges,” Talaske said.

Talaske said the owner of the dogs is currently on her way back from Texas and should be to the shelter to pick her dogs up this weekend. Talaske said she would like to thank everyone for their help and support while they housed the dogs. She also thanked those who had helped with fostering the dogs.

Randy Hewitt said his mother-in-law had fostered two of the dogs seized in the case, and she was told Wednesday morning she needed to take the dog back to the vet to be inspected by the sheriff's department. She was told the prosecuting attorney had dropped the charges.

“Nobody understands why,” Hewitt said.

Hewitt said he knows the people who have fostered the animals have grown attached to the animals and don't want to see them go back to their original owner. They are worried about what will happen to the dogs they just put all their time, money and hearts into, only to see them go back.

“They want to know what guarantees are in place to make sure this doesn't happen again,” Hewitt said. “It's a sad thing and nobody understands why the charges were dropped. It doesn't make sense to all of these people. Everybody feels for these dogs and hate to see them go back.”

According to Hewitt, the vet told him they are trying to reach out to the owner of the dogs to see if she would allow some of them to be adopted out by the families who have been fostering them.

(Cheboygan Daily Tribune - Mar 29, 2014)

Your TN tax dollars at work: Animal Control refuses to pick up two strays, tells woman to turn them loose. She does and a neighbor's pit bull attacks them

TENNESSEE -- "I care about animals, I love animals, I put them in my fence."

Charmaine Goodwin took a picture of the two dogs she says she was trying to protect Friday from getting hit by the many cars that travel in front of her Bennett Road home.

She says she called East Ridge Animal Services for an officer to pick them up and was surprised by their answer. "She said let the dogs out and they'll find their way back home," recalls Goodwin.

Against her own judgement, Goodwin heeded the advice and moments later, East Ridge Police and Animal Services responded a few doors down to her home.

"That pit bull got a hold of them and mauled them and left his one little leg a dangling," says the tearful neighbor.

Goodwin says it was an attack that could have been prevented.

We went to East Ridge Animal Control for answers, and got few.

"I can have her call you," said the lone officer at the East Ridge Shelter.

We were told Animal Services Director Andrea Dillard would talk to us, but in the meantime we spoke with East Ridge Police's Public Information Officer Corporal Robert Wade on Charmaine's call for help.

"She hung up the phone before animal control had the information that they needed to come respond to address the issue," said Wade after conferring with Animal Services.

"That's bull crap," says Charmaine, who admits to hanging up the phone in disgust after being told multiple times the two dogs would not be picked up.

Goodwin says East Ridge Animal Services is at odds with it's own mission statement of engendering a culture of compassion for animals, and says the next time something similar happens, she won't be calling them.

 "I'm just gonna put them in my pen, keep 'em safe, and hope someone gets them. If they don't, I will find them a home because East Ridge pound won't do nothing," says Goodwin.

The owner of the two dogs attacked says his 10 year old basset hound named Bandit suffered multiple bite and puncture wounds and sustained serious injuries to the dog's lower body.

The black puppy named Smokey escaped relatively unscathed. The dogs live next door to the alleged attacking pit bull, who, according to police, is with its owner tonight.

It's unknown whether any charges may be filed in connection to the attack.

We have yet to get a response from East Ridge Animal Services despite assurances to the contrary.

(WRCB - Mar 28, 2014)

Marcus Curry Pleads Guilty in Puppy Killing

TENNESSEE -- A Memphis man has been sentenced to 16 months in prison for killing a puppy by putting it in a dishwasher, Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich said Friday.

Marcus Curry, 27, pleaded guilty this week in Criminal Court to felony charges of aggravated animal cruelty for the death of the small mixed-breed puppy named Daisy.

Marcus Curry
The incident occurred in June of last year at Curry’s apartment in the 2800 block of Meadowlake Drive in the Fox Meadows area.

Witnesses told Memphis Police Department investigators that Curry put the dog in the dishwasher, turned it on and left it running. When Curry later opened the dishwasher the dog was not moving, police said.

The case was handled by assistant district attorney Kevin Rardin.

(Shelby County District Attorney - March 28, 2014)


Friday, March 28, 2014

Man faces 16 years for animal cruelty

CALIFORNIA -- A Northern California man faces 16 years in prison after being convicted by a jury of torturing and killing dogs.

Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Hilary Bagley-Franzoia said Friday that during the weeklong trial, 47-year-old Robert Lee Brian's neighbors testified that he repeatedly abused his pit bull terrier — punching, hitting and choking the dog as well as withholding food and water.
Bagley-Franzoia says the dog survived its injuries but has lost vision in its right eye.
The Sacramento Bee reports that Brian was arrested in October after a neighbor called authorities to report suspected abuse.
The Bee reports that an animal control officer subsequently found the remains of three dogs in Brian's backyard.
Brian's sentencing is scheduled for May 2.

Two teens arrested after killing animals in cult style manner

TEXAS -- Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office deputies arrested two teens on felony animal cruelty charges after they allegedly tied a dog up in a tree, killed it in a "cult style manner," and skinned it.

The two teens also allegedly confessed to killing a cat and three kittens in a "satanic-style ritual."

"The animal went through a lot of torture," Sheriff Jason Bridges said. "It was skinned. Some of the parts were removed. We all love animals. We all love him and they weigh heavy on our hearts and to see what these animals went through and the way they were tortured is sad. "
Mark Tyler Ainsworth, 17, of Nacogdoches, and Delaney Walters, 18, of Douglass, are both still being held in the Nacogdoches County Jail. Both of them were charged with five counts of state-jail felony cruelty to non-livestock animals. No bail has been set at this time.

According to a press release, the Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office had been conducting an ongoing investigation into the disappearance of a dog near County Road 769. Investigators received information that the dog had been killed in a "cult-style" manner by two teenagers.

Further investigation revealed that the dog had been tied up in a tree and skinned.

In addition, the investigation revealed that a cat and three kittens had also been killed in a "satanic-type" ritual.

NCSO investigators conducted interviews with the two suspects, and they allegedly confessed to killing the animals. The investigators also found one of the suspects to be in possession of photos and a video of the crimes that occurred.

Bridges said that when they first looked at the facebook pages of the individuals, there was satanic symbols but those have since been removed.

Licensed counselor Debra Burton is not connected to the case but said the occult is a popular subject among teenagers.

"Some of the allure that the occult has is power," Burton said. "That it is the power or knowledge that they are seeking."

Burton also said that there could be a mental issue.

"Sometimes it shows up in children or adolescence and it is what we call conduct disorder and that's one of the criteria; aggression towards people or animals," Burton said.

But diagnosing such a condition with the alleged incident could be hard.

"Sometimes we have to be careful with a diagnosed criterion being met," Burton said. In the conduct disorder for example, there are other areas that have to be met."

The owner of the dog did not want to go on camera but did tell KTRE that the dog was an 8 year-old Australian Cattle dog that the family found abandoned and took in when it was only two-months-old.

"He had a heart of gold," the owner said. "He loved children very much. He was very smart."

The owner said the hardest part about losing the dog was the connection the family had to the pet, and that every day the dog would walk with the children to the bus and wait for them to come home.

"[The dog] was one of a kind and he will never be forgotten," she said. "Our hearts have a missing piece."

(KTRE - Mar 26, 2014)

Pinckneyville man, Daniel Finney, charged with animal cruelty

ILLINOIS -- While investigating a report of animal abuse Thursday, Pinckneyville Police arrested Daniel Finney, 23, of Pinckneyville.

He was charged with cruel treatment of an animal and failure to obtain a rabies inoculation. Police took custody of all the animals, a boxer and beagle. 

The dogs were underfed and lacked medical care and were transported to a veterinarian's office, Pinckneyville Police Chief Jon Griffin said.

The department will petition the court to decide the fate of the dogs.

Finney was transported to Perry County Jail.

(The Southern - March 21, 2014)

Dead and dying dogs found dumped in cemetery

WEST VIRGINIA -- A number of dead dogs who appeared to have suffered animal cruelty were discovered in the Bethlehem Cemetery Monday.

Photos circulating on Facebook indicate their abuse and death, and one account says not all the dogs had died when discovered, calling the incident "extreme cruelty."

Calhoun's Animal Humane Officer, Chief Deputy J. D. Smith said Thursday, he is continuing to investigate the incident.

(Hur Herald - Mar 28, 2014)

Pittsburgh man allegedly decapitates family Chihuahua with machete, faces animal cruelty charges

PENNSYLVANIA -- A Pittsburgh man is facing animal cruelty charges after he allegedly used a machete to decapitate his mother's Chihuahua.

Authorities said they were called to the home Wednesday evening, and Matthew Ondo's parents showed them the remains of the dog, named Izzy, along with a bloody machete and butcher knife.

According to a criminal complaint, Ondo, 30, at first denied killing the dog, then claimed the devil, Allah or "the Mexican" did it.

Ondo's parents told police their son is an unemployed drug addict who has emotional problems.

His mother, Debra Ondo, told police she was playing upstairs with the 14-month-old dog when she heard her son call for Izzy. Her husband later came home and began yelling when he discovered what had happened, according to the complaint.

Ondo is being held at the Allegheny County jail, unable to post $25,000 bond. No attorney was listed on court papers.

A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Feb. 26.

(NY Daily News - February 13, 2014)

Pit bull breeder family charged with cruelty

NEW YORK -- Three people suspected of running a puppy mill were arrested on 52 counts of animal cruelty.

Diane and Paul Marriott of Fort Plain and Joseph Marriott of Gloversville were charged Monday with keeping more than 50 dogs for breeding in an unheated barn on Route 5S.

Troopers say they found the dogs Jan. 2 living in feces in the barn, which was exposed to the icy air, the dogs' water frozen.

The dogs, ranging in age from puppies to adults, were mostly pit bulls and many suffered from frostbite, open sores and worms.

The canines are being temporarily housed by several shelters and agencies. When, or if, they will be made available for adoption is unclear.

Joseph Marriott also was charged Monday with felony marijuana possession for allegedly having more than a pound of pot on his property and aggravated harassment, a misdemeanor, for threatening a local shelter employee, troopers said.

Joseph Marriott is connected to the "Sickpuppyz pit bull kennels" Facebook page, which prompted public outrage for posting disturbing pictures of pit bulls in poor health or chained up on short leashes.

Diane, Paul and Joseph Marriott were all arraigned in town of Minden Court and released.

(Times Union - Mar 28, 2014)