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Tag: juvenile

Mother cat set on fire in Baltimore

In yet another case of animal abuse in Baltimore, a teenager doused a young female cat with lighter fluid and set her on fire.

The cat, and the kittens she recently gave birth to, were taken to Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) after police responded to a call in the 3300 block Saint Ambrose Street.

The cat, who has been nicknamed Mittens at the shelter, is suffering from burns on most of her body.

Witnesses told police that, earlier this month, a juvenile placed the cat in a milk crate on the back porch, doused the milk crate and the cat with lighter fluid and then struck a match and threw it in the crate.

In flames, the cat broke free from the milk crate and ran from the yard, running in circles until the fire was extinguished, BARCS said. She then returned home and hid under a table.

Police have not reported whether any arrests were made at the residence, which they said still smelled of singed skin when they arrived.

The cat and her kittens are residing in “Critter Care” at BARCS. Mittens has third and fourth degree burns. She is expected to survive, but will need long term treatment.  It will be months before she is healed and her fur may not grow back

“This is another horrible case of animal abuse in Baltimore City, ” said Jennifer Brause, BARCS’ Executive Director. “Mittens is a wonderful cat, who despite her injuries is still caring for her kittens and is very affectionate to the staff.”

Mittens’ medical bills will be covered by BARCS’ Franky Fund, a fund that relies on donations from the public to pay the veterinarian and medical bills of injured animals that come to the shelter for care.

Donations to the Franky Fund are accepted through the BARCS website, or at the shelter, located at 301 Stockholm Street in South Baltimore (near M&T Bank Stadium).

Vick admits he fought dogs in Baltimore

Michael Vick told a group of young people yesterday that he participated in dogfights in Baltimore — held several years ago in an abandoned warehouse at an undisclosed location.

The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback told a group of 35 youngsters that, while he was an Atlanta Falcon and before his arrest, conviction and prison sentence, he came to Baltimore to fight dogs at an event organized by acquaintances inside an abandoned building.

Vick, who served 18 months in federal prison in connection with his dogfighting operation, spoke at Baltimore’s downtown Juvenile Justice Center.

The talk was one of many that Vick, working with  the Humane Society of the United States, has given to urge young people not to get involved in dogfighting.

While yesterday’s talk was not open to the news media, the Baltimore Sun says that those who attended said Vick acknowledged taking part in Baltimore dogfights. He spoke of his mistakes and answered questions about his football career. Vick also met with incarcerated kids inside the center.

The youngsters Vick addressed were from the Choice Program, which is a part of the Shriver Center at UMBC. The program provides young people with mentoring, supervision and case management, said its director, LaMar Davis.

“He was fantastic,” Davis said of Vick. “He really connected with the kids. I felt fortunate that he was able to connect with our kids.”

Vick returns to Baltimore for dogfighting talk

Michael Vick is back in town.

Two months after picking up his Ed Block Courage Award in Baltimore, he’s back today to talk about dogfighting with a group of juvenile offenders.

Media isn’t invited to the 5 p.m. talk, but the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback is expected to give reporters some comments afterwards.

The appearance was organized by the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services and the Humane Society of the United States, with whom Vick has joined to campaign against dogfighting.

Vick spoke last night (see angel-faced poster above) at the Lancaster Convention Center in Pennsylvania, at an event sponsored by the Children Deserve a Chance Foundation.

The event was rescheduled from last week, according to organizers, because of “the abundance of support and interest from the outside school districts and organizations.”

Brothers accused of setting fire to pit bull will be tried as adults, judge in Baltimore rules

Two brothers accused of burning to death the pit bull who became known as Phoenix will face felony charges as adults.

Travers Johnson and Tremayne Johnson, both 17, appeared Tuesday in juvenile court in Baltimore, where  a judge ruled they will be tried as adults, WBAL reported.

The teens are charged with dousing the dog with gasoline, then setting her on fire on May 27 in the 1700 block of Calhoun Street in southwest Baltimore. The 2-year-old pit bull suffered burns over 98 percent of her body.

The dog, rescued by a police officer, died four days later at a Pennsylvania animal hospital. Her death led to the formation of a city task force to review animal cruelty laws.

Attorney Caroline Griffin, who chairs the animal abuse task force, observed yesterday’s court proceedings.

“What impressed me was how seriously the state’s attorney’s office is taking this case, as well as the court. The court listened to testimony for hours,” she said. “Juveniles who commit these type of crimes are just so much more likely to commit violent crime in the future, and I think people are aware of that, and that’s why this case is so important.”

Prosecutors said both brothers were involved with gangs, had chronic truancy issues and previous probation violations. Both also face drug charges.

Assistant state’s attorney Jennifer Rallo told the judge that video and witness accounts prove the brothers tortured and mutilated Phoenix. She said the brothers used a vacant home at 1616 Gilmore St. to keep pit pulls, and that police found signs of dogs and gang activity there.

Defense attorneys wanted the case to stay in the juvenile system, where they said rehabilitation services and programs were available. They argued that Tremayne Johnson has health issues and suffers from depression and brain tumors for which he recently underwent brain surgery.

Teen gets detention in pit bull attack

A 16-year-old girl who used a pit bull dog to attack two women in Washington state was sentenced yesterday to 14 to 17 months in juvenile detention.

In the June attack, the girl and a group of boys were kicking the dog in a street in SeaTac when a woman driving by stopped because she thought they needed help. Police say the girl opened the door and beat the woman who was bitten by the dog. Another woman who stopped to help also was bitten.

The dog, named Snaps, was sent to an animal sanctuary because it was too violent to be adopted, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported.

Prosecutors argued that the girl’s actions stemmed from “pure cruelty” and that she deserved a 14- month term, instead of the 13-to-36-week standard term.

“This is a violence and anger-management problem,” King County Juvenile Court Judge Philip G. Hubbard, Jr., said. “Failure to address it is not an option.”

Prosecutors said the girl attacked the first woman when she stopped and told her not to kick the dog. When another woman stopped to inquire about the altercation, she too was attacked by the teen and dog, according to court documents.

The girl apologized to the victims, who were in court for the sentencing yesterday.

In court, the first victim, identified only as Inga, said the attack brought back memories of her own violent childhood. “When I was being beaten, all of that came back to me,” Inga said, speaking directly to the accused. “And I felt for you, because I know what that feels like.”

“I want you to get help,” she continued, eliciting tears from her attacker. “You were horrible. You were terrible, and you know it.”

Group urges adult charges in pit bull case

Recycled Love, the Baltimore-based animal rescue organization, is urging State’s Attorney Patricia Jessamy to charge as adults the two juveniles arrested in connection with the burning death of a pit bull.

In a letter to supporters, Recycled Love says, in addition to being doused with gasoline, the pit bull known as Phoenix  had gasoline poured down her throat before she was set on fire.

Two 17-year-old twin brothers have been arrested in connection with the case. Phoenix, found on fire by a police officer last month, received burns to over 90 percent of her body. She died three days later.

“We have seen firsthand the abuse and neglect these animals experience at the hand of city residents. Phoenix ’s case, unfortunately, was one of the most severe,” the letter to Jessamy says. “We are committed to honoring her short life by changing the standards intact for investigation and prosecution of animal abuse and cruelty cases.

“Residents are angry that this type of abuse permeates the city in which they live, work and play … To this end, we are urging the Baltimore City State ’s Attorney office to prosecute all individuals arrested and charged with Phoenix ’s death to the fullest extent of the law.”

Recycled Love is asking its supporters to e-mail Jessamy at mail@stattorney.org.

The organization has also launched a petition drive, urging Mayor Sheila Dixon and the City Council to take animal abuse more seriously by creating a task force, making the animal control office part of the police department, and ensuring that animal cruelty cases are prosecuted to the fullest extent.