Hundreds of people gathered outside the Marathon County Courthouse in Wisconsin this week during a hearing for a woman who is accused of killing her boyfriend’s dog and describing her ongoing torture of the animal in her diary.
In a packed courtroom, Sean D. Janas, 20, of Wausau, waived her right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday and was ordered to stand trial on charges of felony mistreatment of animals, giving poison to an animal and obstructing an officer.
Janas is accused of poisoning and stabbing Mary, a 4-year-old Laborador-shepherd mix in June.
According to the criminal complaint, Janas kept a diary describing her intense hatred for Mary, and detailing the abuse she inflicted on the dog, included forcing her to drink bleach and Drano over the course of several months.
Janas faces more than five years in prison and $30,000 in fines if convicted. She remained in jail this week on a $2,500 cash bond.
Those attending her hearing — before Marathon County Circuit Judge Mike Moran — were required to walk through metal detectors, and Marathon County Sheriff’s deputies searched briefcases and handbags, according to the Wausau Daily Herald.
Before and after the hearing, protesters circled the courthouse, seeking justice for Mary and demanding more laws and tougher penalties to combat animal abuse.
“We don’t have tough enough laws that protect animals, and I believe vets should have to report any suspected abuse, just like they would in a child,” said Kelli Obremski, 42, of Mosinee, who brought both her children and her boxer to the protest.
“We’ll come to every appearance we can,” Obremski said. “It’s that important.”
(Photo: Sean D. Janas mugshot)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 2nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, accounts, animal cruelty, animals, bleach, boyfriend, county, courthouse, cruelty to animals, descriptions, diary, dog, dogs, drano, hatred, marathon, mary, pets, poison, poisoned, poisoning, protest, sean janas, stabbed, stabbing, wausau, wisconsin
A starving dog with a coffee can around her neck was dropped off Sunday at Dallas Animal Services, along with a second dog who appeared to be looking after her.
Both dogs were brought to the shelter by a citizen who who didn’t wish to be identified. He said he found the two dogs.
Officials at the shelter say the emaciated dog, named Java by its rescuers, has had the can around her neck for some time. It had cut into her ears, nearly severing one. The can was removed and Java was transferred to Metro Paws Animal Hospital for treatment.
The shelter posted on its Facebook page that “the next few days are critical. We have to get her stable enough for surgery and watch out for organ failure due to her starved condition. But that tail is wagging.”
The second dog, who was dubbed Joshua, is healthy and up for adoption.
“He was shy and frightened at all that was going on,” the Facebook post says, “but he was determined to be a reassuring presence for the girl.”
(Photo: Dallas Animal Services)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 30th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal allies of texas, animal cruelty, can, coffee, coffee can, cruelty to animals, cuts, dallas, dallas animal services, dog, dogs, dropped, ears, emaciated, found, injuries, java, joshua, metro paws animal hospital, neck, shelter, starving, stray, texas
On Sunday night, a Jacksonville, Florida, woman allegedly attacked her family’s dog with a butcher knife, later explaining to officers that she wanted to “know what it felt like.”
Two nights earlier, in California, a 12-year-old boy told police he’d hung the family dog because he wanted to see it die.
Let’s be clear. That’s not curiosity. That’s psychotic behavior, and if convicted they both should get to know what prison feels like, for a long time.
News 4 in Jacksonville reported that 22-year-old Mariessa Caggiano stabbed the family’s 10-year old Labrador retriever seven times with an 8-inch knife.
Authorities said Caggiano stabbed the dog once in the family driveway, and that the dog ran off with the knife still in her. Caggiano chased the dog into a neighbor’s yard and stabbed it about six more times, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
The dog, still alive when authorities arrived, was rushed to a veterinary hospital, but was not expected to live.
Officers said Caggiano admitted to stabbing the dog because she w”anted to see what it felt like.” She was arrested and charged with cruelty to animals.
In Salinas, California, a 12-year-old boy was placed in juvenile hall after allegedly hanging a dog because, he reportedly told officers, he wanted to see the animal die.
The boy, not named, was booked Friday into Monterey County Juvenile Hall on felony animal-cruelty charges, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Police said they were called to an apartment by a woman who sounded as if she was struggling with someone and yelled, “He’s hurting the dog.” When they arrived, they found the 12-pound terrier-mix dead, hanging by its collar on a bedroom door handle.
The boy came out of the bedroom showing no remorse, police said, and told officers, “I was mad at the dog so I killed it.”
(Photo: Mariessa Caggiano, courtesy of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 30th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 12 year old, abuse, animal abuse, animal cruelty, animals, arrest, butcher knife, cruelty to animals, dogs, door, handle, hanging, juvenile, killed, knife, knob, labrador retriever, law enforcement, murder, pets, stabbed, what it felt like
A concerned citizen saw this dog and, fearing she was being neglected, snapped a photo, posted it online and called animal control.
But the attempt to do good ended badly.
As it turned out, the family that owned her knew she had terminal kidney failure, and was letting live out her final days quietly at home.
All those who saw the picture, and went on to post nasty comments and threaten the dog’s owners, didn’t know that.
To make matters worse, the animal control department in Sparta, N.J., after picking up the dog, euthanized her.
This week, authorities in Sparta, in an attempt to stop the threatening and mean-spirited comments that continue to be directed at the family, issued an official statement to set the record straight.
The press release noted that the dog, Zoey, a Neapolitan mastiff, had been diagnosed with terminal kidney failure in April, and there were no veterinary options to save her life. Her owners, Roni and Elysia Amiel, chose to keep her home to live out her days among those who loved her.
On June 6, a neighbor who saw Zoey lying on the grass near the Amiel home took a photo of her and contacted animal control, believing that the dog had been abused or neglected.
“The investigation concluded that there was NO abuse whatsoever by the Amiel Family and they were only trying to make Zoey as comfortable as possible in her final days at their home,” the police press release said.
Because the dog wasn’t wearing tags, and the neighbor didn’t know who she belonged to, she was assessed at a local animal hospital and euthanized because of her poor health.
“The Sparta Police Department issues this news release not only to set the record straight on behalf of the Amiel Family but to also serve as an absolute warning that this department will not tolerate harassment to any of our residents and these matters will be aggressively investigated and brought to their logical conclusion.”
Posted by jwoestendiek October 26th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal control, animal welfare, animals, bad, civility, comments, do gooder, do gooding, dog, dogs, dying, euthanized, internet, investigation, kidney failure, nasty, neglect, new jersey, online, owners, pets, police, posting, rescue, sparta, threats, tumblr, zoey
When a dog who’d lived on the streets for three years got hit by a car in Roseville, Calif., a veterinarian treating her new injuries found evidence of some old ones.
X-rays showed the old dog, named Lady, had apparently been used for target practice and shot with a BB gun several times, said Karen Johnson, of the Johnson Ranch Veterinary Clinic.
Lady was about to be rescued from life on the streets when she was hit by a car.
Kristell Stout, who works in Roseville, had been feeding the dog for three years. When she left the job, she couldn’t bear the thought of not seeing Lady anymore and contacted an animal rescuing friend.
He was on her way to catch her when news came she’d been hit by a car, according to Fox40 in Sacramento.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 24th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, animals, california, car, cruelty to animals, dog, dogs, hit, homeless, johnson ranch veterinary clinic, kristell stout, lab, lady, mix, pets, practice, rescue, roseville, shelter, stray, street, streets, target
His name was Andre, and he was a miniature Pinscher, found in a knotted black trash bag on the side of a street in Tolleson, Arizona.
A man taking a walk noticed the trash bag was moving, and went to open it up.
Doing so would expose a particularly heinous case of what some humans do to animals, but it would also come to show how very many more humans step forward to help them.
Andre would go on to brighten the lives and bring out the best of all those he came in contact with, though, for him, the darkness continued — even once he was out of the bag. In addition to the other abuse he’d been subjected to, his eyes had apparently been gouged out.
Despite that — despite the cruelty with which one or more humans treated him — he’d continue to show love for the rest of the species, and keep capturing hearts for nearly 10 more months.
It all started with Jan. 3, when Cedric Conwright saw a car pull to the side of the road, and watched as a bag was tossed out the window before it drove away. Conwright approached the knotted trash bag and saw that it was moving. He nudged it with his foot and heard a whimper.
When he opened it, he found a small dog in bad shape. He picked him up and took him home. Two days later he took the dog to Maricopa County Animal Care and Control in hopes of getting it medical help.
Euthanasia was discussed, but instead vets opted to perform surgery, removing what was left of his eyes. From there he was taken in by Susy Hopkins, a member of the Feathers Foundation, a Paradise Valley non-profit group associated with the Circle L Animal Sanctuary. The foundation raises money for injured and neglected animals.
Her first stop was another animal hospital, where the first thing vets recommended was euthanasia. Hopkins said no, and asked the vet’s office to do what they could.
In addition to infections where his eyes used to be, Andre was anemic and had diabetes, and under his skin were what appeared to be BB’s from a pellet gun.
Over the next few days, Andre started appearing more lively, and his rescuers went to work trying to raise money for the medical care he had gotten and would need. Within days, $13,000 had poured in. A fundraiser at a downtown Scottsdale pizza restaurant brought in another $3,500.
There was something about Andre that brought out the best in people, Hopkins noted.
“People just wanted to see Andre, to hold him, to hug him,” she said. “And no matter how many people wanted to pet him, Andre never resisted. He was so calm, so gentle. It made me wonder even more why someone would treat him so badly.”
On Feb. 11, a permanent home was found for Andre. Sandy Powers had seen his story on TV. “It was love at first sight,” Powers said. “I had never adopted a rescue dog before, but I knew I wanted to care for this one.”
Andre walked carefully at his new home, several states away, and, though he couldn’t see, did his best to stay at the side of his new mom.
“When I talk or sing a little, he stays right with me on my heels,” said Powers.
He continued to get treatment for his diabetes. Amid other complications, there were some weeks Powers seemed to be making daily visits to the vet.
In recent weeks, his condition took a turn for the worse, and Powers did her best to keep Andre’s many fans informed on his Facebook page.
This week, she announced he had died Saturday. Andre has been cremated and his ashes brought home.
The dog who many were surprised didn’t die eight months ago now has — but not before getting a chance to give and get some love, add a few more chapters to his brave legacy and remind us yet again what being human is all about.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 10th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, andre, andre the rescue dog, andrea bocelli, animal cruelty, animals, arizona, blind, cedric conwright, cruelty to animals, dead, death, diabetes, dies, dog, eyes, facebook, gouged, memorial, min pin, miniature pinscher, moving, out, page, pets, phoenix, rescue dog, rescued, sandy powers, tolleson, trash bag
A year and a half after a starved pit bull was found at the bottom of a trash chute at a Newark high rise apartment — looking more like a corpse than a pet — the dog who would go on to be named Patrick is doing great.
Progressing far less quickly are court case against his former owner, and a proposed bill, named after Patrick, that would bring stiffer penalties against those who abuse and neglect animals.
Patrick’s Law would increase penalties against those who abuse and neglect animals. Last week, it cleared the New Jersey Senate Economic Growth Committee, but it still requires approval by another committee and both houses of the legislature.
The bill (S1303) would make certain acts of neglect and abuse fourth-degree offenses and increases the civil penalties — up to $3,000 for a first offense and $5,000 for a second offense, according to NJ.com. If an animal dies, offenders could be charge with a third-degree crime, which carries stricter penalties.
Sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr., it would also increase the penalties for dogfighting; failing to provide an animal with proper food, water and shelter; and leaving animals unattended in hot cars.
Patrick was found in March 2011 in a garbage chute at Garden Spires.
His former owner, Newark resident Kisha Curtis, was charged with animal cruelty and remains free on $10,000 bond. Curtis has entered a plea of not guilty and has rejected a plea deal under which she would serve 18 months in prison, pay a $5,000 fine and serve 30 days of community service.
Instead, she wants to enter a pretrial intervention program,which would involve no jail time and, once completed, leave her without a record.
That’s now under consideration by Newark Superior Court Judge Joseph Cassini III, who agreed last month to review documents from the Department of Children and Family Services regarding Curtis and her childhood.
Curtis admits to abandoning Patrick, but says she “never harmed” the dog and that she had only had him for a few days. She is not accused of throwing the dog down the chute, only of neglecting and abandoning him.
Patrick, meanwhile — after months of veterinary care and intensive rehabilitation at Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls, N.J.– is happy and healthy.
Who will eventually be awarded custody of him is still at issue, but it definitely won’t be Kisha Curtis.
(Photo: Tony Kurdzuk / The Newark Star-Ledger)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 21st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, animals, apartment, bill, chute, court case, courts, crime, cruelty to animals, davis, dogs, garbage, garden state veterinary specialists, high rise, kisha curtis, law, legislature, neglect, new jersey, newark, patrick, patrick's law, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, proposal, starvation, starved, starving, trash
On top of the jail sentence, he was ordered to spend an additional six months on electronic home monitoring and pay the golden retriever’s veterinary bills, which amounted to $5,000, the Bellingham Herald reported.
The judge also banned Knowles from owning pets or having animals in his house.
At the sentencing, Knowles apologized to the dog’s owners, who since have moved out of state.
Deputy prosecuting attorney Dione Hauger said she asked for the maximum sentence “based on the brutality of the actual crime … on the thought and premeditation that went into it. And it was based on the fact that this was a fairly vulnerable victim.”
Knowles was arrested in March after police found the 3-year-old dog, named Kona, tied to a pole in his garage. Police said he lured Kona to his property with treats. The dog has since recovered from the injuries, which included a skull fracture and broken jaw.
Knowles had reportedly complained to Kona’s owner in the past about the dog’s barking.
At the sentencing, Knowles said the act wasn’t premeditated. “I just couldn’t take the noise any longer,” he said. “He was barking and I just snapped. I can’t explain it.” (Video from the hearing is included in this KBOI report.)
During a search of Knowles’ home, authorities found blood-splattered cutting tools, a hammer, a bloody garbage can and dog treats.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 19th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, animals, attack, barking, court, cruelty to animals, dog, dogs, golden retriever, hatchet, judge, kona, neighbor, one year, orting, pets, ricky lee knowles, sentence, washington, wire
Elevator surveillance cameras have once again caught an apparent dog abuser in the act.
Brian Freeman, 28, who police say is the man seen repeatedly kicking a pit bull mix in this Aug. 26 video, was arrested on charges of torturing and injuring an animal.
The New York Daily News reports charges were filed against Freeman Monday when he appeared in court on a marijuana possession charge.
The video was taken by a surveillance camera in an elevator at the Wagner Houses on E. 120th Street in Harlem.
Freeman was not the first to be charged with cruelty to animals after being identified on an elevator surveillance video.
Two years ago, Chris Grant was arrested and charged with animal cruelty after being recorded kicking a pomeranian-Chihuahua mix on an elevator at the Grant Houses.
Later the same month Tiara Davis, another resident of the Grant Houses was captured on video abusing her Pomeranian.
And last year, New York City police released a video of Irving Sanchez abusing his pit bull mix dog in an elevator at the Wagner Houses. Sanchez was charged with aggravated animal cruelty.
The city and PETA had offered a combined $7,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the latest incident.
Freeman, according to the Daily News, was recognized by detectives and identified. His arrest record includes charges for assault, robbery and marijuana possession.
Police said they don’t know the whereabouts of the victimized dog or Freeman’s relationship to it.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 12th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, animals, beating, brian freeman, camera, cams, chihuahua, chris grant, cruelty, cruelty to animals, dog, dogs, east harlem, elevator, grant houses, harlem, irving sanchez, kicking, new york, pets, pit bull, police, pomeranian, security, surveillance, tiara davis, video, wagner houses
A state appeals court has upheld a California jury’s verdict requiring a man who struck a neighbor’s miniature Pinscher with a baseball bat to pay the dog’s owners $50,000 for emotional distress.
In what’s being described as the first ruling of its kind in California, the Fourth District Court of Appeal in Santa Ana said someone who deliberately injures or kills another person’s pet must — even though dogs are considered property — compensate the owner for emotional distress.
The ruling quoted an 1889 California Supreme Court ruling in which the justices observed that “there are no other domestic animals to which the owner or his family can become more keenly attached” than dogs.
The ruling upheld $52,800 in damages — $2,800 of it for medical bills — against John Meihaus, who struck his neighbors’ 12-inch-tall, 15-pound miniature pinscher, Romeo, with a baseball bat, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Meihaus’ next-door neighbor in Laguna Niguel, David Plotnik accidentally let Romeo enter Meihaus’ backyard, and later heard a squeal and saw Romeo stumble. He said Meihaus, who was holding a baseball bat, told him Romeo had been barking and growling at him, but denied striking the dog.
A jury ordered Meihaus to pay for a $2,600 operation to repair Romeo’s right rear leg and a $209 stroller the dog needed to get around while he recovered. It also awarded $50,000 to Plotnik and his wife, Joyce, for emotional distress.
Meihaus appealed the original verdict, but the appeals court upheld it. His lawyer said he may appeal the latest ruling to the state Supreme Court.
Donna Bader, the Plotniks’ lawyer, said the court recognized that people value their pets and suffer when they are harmed. “Every time your dog is in pain, I think it causes the homeowner pain,” she said.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 6th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animals, appeals, award, baseball bat, california, court, cruelty, dog, dogs, emotional distress, feud, jury, laguna niguel, min pin, miniature, miniature pinscher, neighbors, pets, pinscher, romeo, upheld, verdict