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Tag: probation

Susie’s Law signed in North Carolina

Susie, an 8-week-old puppy when she was tortured, burned and left to die in Greensboro last summer, yesterday became the first dog to sign a piece of legislation in North Carolina — one aimed at protecting her kind.

Gov. Bev Perdue signed the animal cruelty prevention bill known as Susie’s Law. Susie, a pit bull mix wearing pearls and pink nail polish for the occasion, then put her paw print on the bill.

“Today, we make our homes better and our streets safer for the people who inhabit this state,” said Perdue. “No matter if they have two legs or four legs.”

It was about a year ago when Susie was tortured, set on fire and left for dead in Greensboro. Her ears were singed off and she was covered in maggots by the time she was found, about two weeks after the beating, which left her with missing teeth and a broken jaw, according to the Greensboro News & Record.

Lashawn Whitehead, 21, of Greensboro, was convicted and sentenced to probation.

Susie’s new owner, Donna Lawrence, was one of the forces behind the legislation, wanting to make sure that anyone who tortured a dog in the future would have to pay with jail time.

Under the new law, any malicious abuse, torture, or killing of animals becomes a Class H felony, punishable by up to 10 months in jail.

“This law will also protect, I believe, North Carolina’s people,” said Perdue. “The data is pretty clear. For those of you who don’t know the data, people who are actually cruel and do this kind of stuff to animals, are five times more likely to do this kind of thing to a human being.”

Perdue’s dog’s Dosie and Zipper also looked on as the bill became law.

(Photo: Lynn Hey / Greensboro News & Record)

Owner gets probation for tossing out dog

One year’s probation is all the sentence a judge deemed proper for a woman who threw her 18-month-old dog in the garbage, leading to him almost being crushed in a trash truck.

The dog, named Tommy, has had an extension cord wrapped around his neck since he was a puppy. His owner reportedly wrapped the cord around his neck because he kept breaking lose from his chain. Eventually it became embedded in his skin.

Prosecutors say 34-year-old Tracia Johnson of Cahokia, tossed the dog in the trash because she thought he was dead, according to KSDK in St. Louis. A garbage man found him and he was nursed back to health at Hope Animal Rescue.

Wednesday, Johnson pleaded guilty to misdemeanor animal cruelty and was sentenced to one year probation, 250 hours of community service and a $1,000 fine. Prosecutors had asked for 60 days in jail.

“From my perspective I really would have liked to see her get the sixty days in jail to think about it,” says Jackie Spiker with Hope Animal Rescue. “I just think in order to change the way things are we have to start holding people accountable.”

Tommy made a full recovery and now lives with new owners, who keep a scarf around his neck to hide his scars.

Chihuahua hoarder gets probation

The Michigan man charged with animal cruelty after authorities found hundreds of Chihuahuas in his home, live and dead, pleaded guilty in a plea agreement yesterday.

Kenneth Lang Jr. of Dearborn, will serve five years’ probation under supervision of a Wayne County mental health court.

Lang, 56, admitted in the plea that the animals in his home were subjected to abusive conditions because he was overwhelmed by their sheer numbers, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Lang will not be permitted to own any animals. He’s also required to make $3,000 restitution to the Animal Legal Defense Fund for the examination of the dead dogs, and restitution to the city of Dearborn.

Lang’s lawyer, James Schmier, said Lang has an IQ of about 70 and suffers from several psychiatric conditions. “He’s a very human guy with a very human story, and with very human frailties,” the lawyer said.

Lang was found living in squalid conditions with more than 100 live Chihuahuas and more than 100 dead ones found frozen in freezers. The prosecutors said of the 105 that were rescued, all but 13 have been successfully adopted. Those are living in a no-kill shelter.

Mother, son get probation in cruelty case

A mother and son accused of neglecting and abusing 21 dogs living at their home received a harsh scolding and probation, but no jail time at their sentencing last week.

“I am rarely at a loss for words,” District Court Judge Robert C. Wilcox said as he flipped through pictures of their Orchard Beach home. “But I have never, ever, ever seen a picture of a more filthy or more disgusting house. Caves are cleaner than this.”

Wilcox, during a hearing in Annapolis,told Janet Taylor and her son, Jeffrey, both Pasadena residents, that sending them to jail w0uld representative an improvement in their living conditions, The Capital in Annapolis reported.

“Putting you people in jail would be treating you better than these animals were treated,” Wilcox said. “Having said that, I’m not sure going to jail is the right thing. You’d be living better, and the taxpayers would be paying for it.”

The Taylors each pleaded guilty to five counts each of animal cruelty. Wilcox sentenced Janet Taylor, 62, to 90 days in jail for each count of animal cruelty, but suspended the sentence and placed Taylor on probation for three years.

Her son, 38, was sentenced to three months probation and six months of community service at the county landfill.  The judge said he was initially going to order him to perform community service at the county’s animal shelter, but “they don’t want you.”

Neither of the Taylors will be allowed to own a pet during their probationary period.

The Taylors originally were charged with 42 counts each of animal cruelty and inflicting unnecessary pain on an animal after animal control officers and other county workers raided their home Aug. 28. Authorities removed 21 Shar Pei mixes from the house and a camper in the front yard.

Dachshund drowning? There’s an App for that

Nathan App was sentenced in Montgomery County Court in Pennsylvania to five years of probation and 60 hours of community service after trying to drown a woman’s dachshund in a backyard swimming pool.

Under a plea agreement, App, 20, of Douglass Township, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of cruelty to animals.

“His conduct was disgusting. It was a small, helpless dog. He was basically torturing the dog by repeatedly dunking the dog in water and dragging it by its leash in the water,” Assistant District Attorney Abby Silverman said of the July incident.

Judge William R. Carpenter, who accepted a plea agreement in the case, also ordered App to undergo a psychological evaluation, and prohibited App from owning any animals, according to an article in the Delaware County Daily Times.

App apparently has a history with the dog’s owner — a previous court order had prohibited him from having any contact with her. Apparently, her dog was another matter.

The dog’s owner, who rushed the dog to a veterinarian for treatment after the incident, told police she was alerted to the attempted drowning by her neighbors who had witnessed the cruelty.

Two neighbors reported they observed App pull the dog by a leash into the pool area and then throw the dog into the water, according to the arrest affidavit. One witness claimed App tossed the dog into the air and watched the dog land in the pool, then repeatedly dunked the dog under the water.

Neighbors yelled at App and he pulled the dog out of the water, police said.

The dachshund survived.

FBI agent who shot dog has left the bureau

The FBI agent who shot and killed his neighbor’s 3-pound Chihuahua last year is no longer an FBI agent.

Erik Vasys, an FBI spokesman in San Antonio, would not say if Leslie Ledger, an agent stationed in Waco, resigned, retired or was fired — only that he’s gone, the Waco Tribune-Herald reported.

Ledger, 41, could not be reached for comment, the newspaper said.

Ledger was sentenced to deferred probation for two years and ordered to perform 300 hours of community service in July after pleading no contest to state felony animal cruelty charges stemming from shooting his neighbor’s dog, Sassy.

He shot the dog with a pellet rifle when she appeared in front of his home. The dog belonged to a young girl whose family lives down the street from Ledger.

SPCA supervisor in Texas convicted of cruelty

The former supervisor of a local SPCA in Texas was found guilty yesterday of allowing her 5-month-old German shepherd puppy to starve to death inside her Plano apartment.

Alicia Marie Martin, while qualifying for a two-year state prison sentence, received three years probation, a $500 fine and four days in the Collin County jail — the four days before Thanksgiving, the Dallas Morning News reported.

“I’m sending you there so that hopefully, when Thanksgiving rolls around each year, you will thank God that you are not incarcerated in jail somewhere,” State District Judge Mark J. Rusch said. “I’m not interested in crushing you … I am interested in your rehabilitation. I am interested in you knowing this was unacceptable behavior.”

As part of her sentence, she is forbidden to own a pet.

Martin, the former supervisor at the McKinney Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, was fired after her arrest in March.

According to prosecutors, Martin, 24 and a single mother, let the puppy starve to death inside her waterlogged apartment. She adopted the dog as a Christmas gift for her daughter, now 3, but the puppy became ill. She said couldn’t afford to take the dog to a veterinarian and was too embarrassed to take him to the local SPCA  where she worked for help.

When the electricity was cut off she temporarily moved to a hotel and left the dog at the apartment, returning once a day to let him out of his crate  and feed him. A veterinarian who testified, however, said the emaciated animal had no signs of food or fat in his system and was covered with open bedsores.