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
Despite an outpouring of support from the public, time is running out for four dogs found starving and tied to a tree in Columbia, Tennessee last month.
The four, described as “American Shepherd-Bulldogs,” were all set to go to a rescue organization, but on Christmas Eve the plan fell through, News Channel 5 reports.
Now, unless another rescue can be found, the dogs are facing the end of the road — an outcome they weren’t far from when they were found.
“I was physically ill when I saw their intake pictures,” said Sonja Rine with Pet Pals of Maury County Organization.
“They were vomiting rocks and twigs because that is all they had eaten and they were all attached to one tree,” said Councilwoman Debbie Matthews, who is also trying to help them find a home.
An animal control officer spotted the dogs tied to a tree in their owner’s backyard last November. The owner told the officer the dogs hadn’t been fed in “a couple of days.” A judge ordered the owner to give the dogs up and donate $100 worth of dog food to the shelter.
He has yet to do so, but others in Columbia have stepped forward with donations.
“What a little love can do, it’s an amazing thing,” said Matthews.
The dogs are about a year old. They’ve tested heartworm positive, and have some other medical issues, so they need to go to a rescue before they can be adopted individually.
“They have tried so hard, they have such a will to live, they forgive. They don’t hold a grudge,” said Rine. “It’s gonna happen, it’s just gonna happen they deserve it,” said Rine.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 29th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoption, animal control, animal cruelty, animals, columbia, cruelty, cruelty to animals, dogs, donations, euthanasia, four, home, pets, rescue, rescued, shelter, starvation, starving, tennessee, tied, time
More than a dozen dogs starved to death while at the Muddy Paws animal shelter, operated by Diane Eldrup.
The 49-year-old woman faced up to five years in prison for 18 counts of animal torture, and up to three years in prison for 18 counts of aggravated animal cruelty. A jury convicted her of the charges last month.
Lake County Circuit Judge James Booras sentenced Eldrup to 30 months of probation to serve at the same time as the 30 months of “periodic imprisonment,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported
“It takes a certain mean spirit, a certain meanness of heart,” Booras said. “She was running a concentration camp for dogs, taking those dogs in so that she could kill them.”
A jury heard evidence that Eldrup allowed 14 dogs to die of starvation and dehydration while they were under her care at the Deer Park animal shelter. Their rotting carcasses and four live dogs were found at the facility in December, 2010.
Evidence was presented at Tuesday’s sentencing hearing that — in addition to the 14 dogs that died of starvation and dehydration at the facility – eight to 10 more carcasses were found at Muddy Paws after the snow melted.
“The defendant has been hiding and killing dogs far longer than the evidence of trial,” one of the prosecutor said. “The state is asking for a prison sentence. She starved them to death. She prolonged their suffering. This was a torture camp for animals and she was a prison guard.”
Her defense attorney said Eldrup has has obsessive-compulsive disorder and a depressive disorder and was undergoing a divorce and having business difficulties.
Booras also ordered Eldrup to perform 200 hours of community service and fined her $1,000.
Under her periodic imprisonment, she will be kept in the custody of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office in a residential facility next to the jail, and will be released from custody for counseling, court obligations and work.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 20th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 30 months, animal, animal cruelty, animal shelter, animal torture, concentration camp, deaths, deer park, diane eldrup, dogs, illinois, judge james booras, Muddy Paws, periodic imprisonment, pets, rescue, sentenced, shelter, starvation
A distressing animal cruelty case came to an unsatisfying conclusion yesterday here in my temporary hometown.
Upon being convicted of starving two dogs to death, Lysandra Nicole Chambers, 33, of Winston-Salem, N.C., was sentenced to 45 days in jail — but the sentence was suspended.
The Winston-Salem Journal reported that means she’ll serve no jail time as long as she doesn’t break the law for the next 18 months.
The ruling was issued by Forsyth District Judge Roland Hayes.
Chambers was charged on June 21 last year with two counts of cruelty to animals.
According to Forsyth County animal control officer Gary Lancaster, who testified Thursday, he found one malnourished dog chained to Chambers’ back porch and another dead inside a crate.
Lancaster said Chambers told him her children were supposed to be taking care of the dogs.
Jennifer Tierney, a founding member of Fur-Ever Friends of N.C., said the surviving dog had to be euthanized.
Tierney called the punishment a slap on the wrist: “… She should have been told that she could never own animals again for the rest of her life. This is a situation that repeats itself all over the county and all over the state, and unless lawmakers get serious about animal cruelty, it’s not going to change.”
Posted by jwoestendiek June 10th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, conviction, forsythe county, fur-ever friends, jennifer tierney, judge, lysandra nicole chambers, neglect, punishment, roland hayes, sentence, starvation, starved, winston-salem
Rural Caswell County is prosecuting its first suspect under North Carolina’s tougher animal cruelty statute, known as Susie’s Law, but the case — in which three dogs starved to death while chained – is drawing little media attention.
Jimmy Lee Spears was charged with three felony animal cruelty counts, accusing him of willfully killing the dogs by “intentional deprivation of necessary sustenance” — namely, food and water.
All three dogs were found dead, chained and huddled together in the same doghouse.
But neither state nor local news media have reported on the case, according to a Feb. 22 letter to the editor of the Caswell Messenger, written by Karen Schneider, a board member of the animal shelter in Yanceyville.
“My husband and I found out about this case only because of our board member involvement with the animal shelter (APS) in Yanceyville. The three dead emaciated dogs were brought to the shelter by animal control on January 24th,” she wrote.
While praising the new law, which makes willful cruely to animals a felony, Schneider points out in her letter that tougher penalties won’t have much deterrent effect if such cases are not publicized.
“…There is something crucial missing in the handling of the Spears case and that is, no one seems to know about it … There have been no reports in the newspapers covering the details … This is a first test case of Susie’s Law for our county. Little benefit will result if it tiptoes quietly through the court system,” she added.
An Internet search reveals no news reports on the case, only Schneider’s letter and Facebook postings.
While no article on the case has appeared to date in the weekly Messenger, more than 50 residents have posted comments on Schneider’s letter.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 28th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal shelter, animal welfare, animals, caswell county, chained, cruelty, dead, dogs, jimmy lee spears, karen schneider, killed, letter to the editor, media, neglect, news media, north carolina, pets, public, public attention, publicity, starvation, starve, starved, susie's law, yanceyville
Jelly Belly, as he has been named, looks like he arrived just in time at Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS).
Severely emaciated, the three-year-old dog was abandoned at BARCS after being, from all indications, nearly starved to death.
Staff at BARCS describe Jelly Belly as a “sweet soul.”
“He is so forgiving of humans … what happened to him just isn’t fair.”
Rescue organizations interested in taking in Jelly Belly should contact BARCS adoption counselor Kathleen Knauff (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 27th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, abuse, animals, baltimore animal rescue & care shelter, barcs, dog, dogs, emaciated, jelly belly, neglect, ohmidog!, pets, rescue, shelter, starvation, starved, starving, urgent
A California kennel attendant charged with felony animal cruelty in the case of a starved dog was fired from her job Wednesday.
Kimberly Nizato, of Bellflower, was arrested April 16 after authorities with Southeast Area Animal Control Authority determined she was the owner of Bosco, a dog that was found near death on her property.
Nizato, 26, who worked at Southern California Veterinary Specialty Hospital in Irvine, was charged with one count of felony animal cruelty and one misdemeanor count of failure to provide care.
Her 3-year-old German shepherd weighed 37 pounds and was unable to walk or lift his head when a good samaritan stepped in and took the dog to a veterinarian earlier this month, according to the Orange County Register.
German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County agreed to pay for the dog’s medical bills and care.
Renamed “Courage,” the dog was treated at Community Veterinary Hospital in Garden Grove before he was moved to a foster home.
Courage continues to improve and has gained 10 pounds in two weeks.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 23rd, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, animals, charged, clinic, courage, fired, german shepherd, hospital, irvine, kennel, neglect, orange county, pets, rescue, southern california veterinary specialty hospital, starvation, starved, veterinary, worker
There’s not an animal shelter around — public or private — that isn’t entering 2010 overloaded, overworked and overwhelmed. Some are handling the burden better than others.
Six dogs died of neglect in Alaska — while in a city animal shelter. And the troubled city-run shelter in Memphis, raided and closed in the fall, recently euthanized a dog scheduled to be adopted — again.
The six Alaska dogs represented the entire dog population of the Dillingham animal shelter, opened by the city five years ago and staffed by a single officer whose job duties also included picking up drunks.
The city suspended the animal control officer after finding the skeletal, partially eaten remains in early December, the Anchorage Daily News reports. An examination of the dead dogs by a veterinarian determined they died from dehydration, starvation and neglect.
“I’ve never seen animals desecrated quite to this extent,” said Jim Hagee, a Chugiak veterinarian who frequently practices in Dillingham. “The cannibalism is really what got to me.”
The city closed the shelter and state troopers are now investigating.
Police found the dead dogs Dec. 8 at the unheated shelter. Garbage, tools and feces covered the floor. Decomposed dog carcasses were in cages or curled on the plywood floor, among them a black husky found inside a plastic bag and a 14-week-old Rottweiler puppy wearing a pink camouflage collar.
Hagee estimates the dogs had been left alone for four to six weeks.
Dillingham’s mayor is Alice Ruby (email@example.com), and its city council members are Steve Hunt (firstname.lastname@example.org), Carol Shade (email@example.com), Bob Himschoot (firstname.lastname@example.org), Keggie Tubbs (email@example.com), Sue Mulkeit (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Tim Sands (email@example.com).
Meanwhile, in Memphis, a worker mistakenly euthanized a dog last week that was set to be adopted – the second time that has happened since authorities raided the facility Oct. 27, and cameras were installed to allow the public to monitor the shelter on the Internet.
“I do not condone, I do not accept, I do not seek to excuse what happened to that pet,” said Mayor A C Wharton. “I accept responsibility for it, and I hope our city will say we collectively take responsibility for these innocent creatures.”
He added, ”When you’re in there and you’ve killed 25 dogs, and that’s what you’re doing, sometimes you lose sensitivity and you’re not as alert,” said Wharton. “What’s the difference, the fifteenth dog, and the sixteenth dog and the twenty-sixth dog? That’s the culture and somehow we have to break out.”
Shelby County Sheriff’s Deputies raided the facility in October after reports of abuse and neglect. An investigation continues into the shelter’s finances and whether euthanasia drugs are missing. Criminal charges are expected.
One can contact the Memphis mayor and city council members here.
(Photo: Dillingham Police Department)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 4th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: a c wharton, abandoned, abuse, alaska, animal control, animal shelter, animals, city council, closed, dehydration, die, dillingham, dog, dogs, euthanasia, investigation, jim hagee, mayor, memphis, mistake, neglect, officer, pets, shelter, six, starvation, state troopers, tennessee