Spiked collars, break sticks and Michael Vick’s indictment papers are among items on display at a new exhibit at the Crime Museum in downtown D.C.
The dogfighting exhibit, put together by the ASPCA, is scheduled to run through September.
“We want the public to see that dogs used in dogfighting are the victims of the crime, not instruments of the crime,” said Dr. Randall Lockwood, senior vice president of ASPCA Forensic Sciences and Anti-Cruelty Projects. “We want people to realize the brutality of dog fighting and see that it’s the greatest violation of the human-animal bond.”
Janine Vaccarello, chief operating officer at the Crime Museum, told WTOP the exhibit seeks to expose the public to the brutality of dogfighting, but that attempts were made to keep it rated “PG.”
The exhibit features artifacts and evidence seized by the ASPCA during dog fighting raids, including the largest dogfighting raid in U.S. history, carried out in 2009.
The exhibit, “Dog Fighting: The Voiceless Victims,” also looks at the work of ASPCA veterinary forensic experts in investigating such crimes.
Among the artifacts in the exhibit is the indictment naming Michael Vick, the NFL quarterback who served time for his participation in dogfighting and has since worked to speak out against it and rehabilitate his image.
“Personally, I have difficulty in forgiving him, but if he can be helpful in the fight against dog fighting, we welcome whatever help we can get,” Lockwood said.
Also on display are a treadmill used to condition dogs for fighting; a “rape” stand used to immobilize female dogs for breeding purposes; breaking sticks used to force a dog’s release on another dog; a spring pole used to strengthen a dog’s bite, neck, and leg muscles as he pulls or hangs from the end, a handmade nailed collar used to antagonize fighting dogs; an electrocution device used to kill dogs who lost a fight or failed to show sufficient aggression; and a pit bull skull excavated from a dogfighting crime scene.
Lockwood says pit bulls have suffered most from dog fighting.
“Too often, pit bulls in general are demonized as the weapons of dog fighting, but from our perspective they are the victims of dog fighting,” he said.
The exhibit does have some upbeat notes, including the story of Dragon, a dog rescued from a Virginia dogfighting ring who has since been adopted into a new home.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 31st, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animal welfare, aspca, break sticks, crime museum, dc, devices, displays, dog fighting, dogfighting, exhibit, forensics, indictment, investigations, michael vick, mueseums, photos, pit bulls, pitbulls, randall lockwood, spiked collars, tools, torture, washington
But there’s one thing their car accident theory can’t explain:
How Cesar ended up with a warning, written in green magic marker, on his back. It said, “Back off, Bob.”
Cesar made headlines across the Twin Cities last week when Midwest Animal Rescue and Service (MARS), in Brooklyn Park, began a social media campaign to help pay for his medical treatment.
His owner Robert Cole, a dog trainer, had taken the dog to be treated at MARS, where he sometimes helps out with newly arrived pit bulls. MARS issued a statement on its website and Facebook page last week seeking help with Cesar’s medical bill, and described what had happened to him as an abduction and torture.
That’s how a lot of media outlets in the Twin Cities reported it.
Now, police say the dog’s wounds were not the result of torture, but most likely inflicted by a car.
“They probably believed the dog was taken and tortured, but the evidence doesn’t support that,” Capt. Dave Muelken told KARE 11.
Cole said Cesar and his black Lab, Shelby, disappeared Wednesday, and later turned up back in his driveway. Only Cesar was injured.
Cole came home and discovered what he thought were stab wounds to Cesar’s hind legs, and someone had written “Back off Bob” in green magic marker on Cesar’s back.
Police said on Friday that the physical evidence shows that the injuries were not consistent with Cesar being beaten or stabbed, and appeared to have come from a car accident. Investigators based that on a medical report they received from the Douglas Animal Hospital in Osseo, where Cesar was taken after he was treated at the animal rescue. As for the writing on his back, they offered no explanation for that.
Cole said he’d like to believe the police version, but neither he nor MARS seem convinced.
“If he was struck by a car he’d be pretty messed up all over his body, not just his legs and hips,” Cole said. “And how do you explain the markings?”
A veterinarian who examined Cesar on behalf of MARS said Cesar had no broken bones, no road rash, and that his cuts appeared to be “clean,” as opposed to the more jagged ones that would result from a car accident.
MARS officials said anyone who donated to Cesar’s care and feels they were misled can retrieve their donations, all of which were made through PayPal.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 31st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, animals, back, back off bob, car, cesar, dogs, green, investigation, magic marker, message, minnesota, pets, pit bull, pitbull, robert cole, savage, struck, threat, torture, warning, written
The Pennsylvania SPCA has upped the reward to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of whoever doused a young female pit bull with gasoline and set her on fire last weekend.
The dog, named Chloe, died Sunday, about an hour after she was discovered on the 700 block of Gray Street in East Germantown and taken to an animal hospital in central New Jersey.
“This is an extreme case of animal abuse,” said Lisa Germanis, head veterinarian at the Pennsylvania SPCA’s Shelter Hospital.
Chloe was originally taken to the PSPCA shelter. But the extent of her burns and injuries led to her transfer to a rescue facility in Lambertville operated by Animal Alliance NJ.
Investigators say the dog appeared to have been doused with an accelerant and set on fire.
She suffered extreme burns on her entire body.
Veterinarians at the Pennsylvania SPCA’s Shelter Hospital evaluated Chloe, treated her burns and gave her pain medications before transferring her.
Investigators with the PSPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement Department say they located the dog’s owner and believe Chloe lived near the location where she was discovered.
According to NBC10 in Philadelphia, investigators also believe there are multiple witnesses who have information on the people or person responsible. Authorities ask that anyone with information call the Pennsylvania SPCA Anti-Cruelty Hotline at 866-601-7722 (SPCA).
Posted by jwoestendiek June 27th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, accelerant, animal alliance, animal cruelty, animals, burned, chloe, cruelty to animals, dog, doused, gasoline, new jersey, pennsylvania, pets, philadelphia, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, pspca, reward, set on fire, soaked, spca, torture
Andrew David Thompson, the former Michigan State University medical student who admitted killing about a dozen Italian greyhound puppies, was sentenced yesterday to probation.
Thompson, who admitted to beating, kicking and throwing the puppies against walls when he became angry with them — and buying new ones to replace those who died — will serve five years of probation.
At a hearing in Ingham County Circuit Court, Judge Paula Manderfield rejected prosecutors’ request for a prison sentence of two to four years, the Lansing State Journal reported.
“I am disgusted and embarrassed and have so much remorse for what happened,” Thompson told Manderfield during the hearing, which his mother, father and other supporters attended. “I’m shocked I even let it get to this point.”
Thompson pleaded guilty in April to three counts of animal killing. Two of the charges were for killing two different dogs while he lived in East Lansing. The third charge was for killing nine dogs when he lived in Meridian Township.
Stacia Buchanan, Thompson’s attorney, argued that his offense was a ”property crime” and that he had no prior criminal record. She said he has mental health issues for which he hasn’t receive treatment.
Under the sentence, he will.
The judge ordered Thompson to undergo mental health treatment, perform 400 hours of community service and not own or care for any animals while on probation.
Technically, Manderfield sentenced him to a year in jail, but she gave him credit for the 107 days he has served and suspended the remainder of the jail term pending successful completion of probation .
Manderfield said she didn’t believe a prison sentence would serve anybody’s interests. Probation, she told Thompson, would allow her to “always hold the hammer of prison over your head… I’m not convinced society would be served spending thousands of dollars to incarcerate you for two to four years,” she said.
(Photo: Paul Henderson / Lansing State Journal)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 14th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, andrew david thompson, andrew thompson, animal cruelty, animals, cruelty to animals, dozen, five years, former, italian greyhounds, judge paula manderfield, killed, lansing, medical, mental health, michigan, michigan state university, pets, probation, problems, puppies, school, sentence, sentenced, student, torture, treatment
And that, in itself, would be another crime.
Nally was sentenced last month for torturing and killing dogs, at least 29 of which he collected by perusing Craigslist’s ”free to a good home” ads.
While the sentence isn’t harsh enough for most animal advocates, it’s a pretty significant one, relative to most others meted out in abuse cases, and given it was handed down by a judge in West Virginia.
Then again, Nally, based on court records and witness statements about his heinous acts, seemed pretty close to graduating, as many an animal abuser does, to human killing.
According to his former girlfriend, Jessica Sellers, Nally had been holding her captive in his home in New Cumberland and terrorizing her by torturing and murdering the animals in front of her.
Sellers said Nally told her the only way she was leaving his home was “in a body bag.” On the day of his arrest, she claimed, he forced her to hold a puppy as he bored into its head with an electric drill.
His victims were obtained through Craigslist — dogs advertised as free to a good home. Nally would pick them up and return them to his place, about as far from a “good home” as you could possibly get.
Nally’s house was raided in March of 2011 after Sellers’ mother called authorities. Police found 29 dog carcasses, guns, tools covered with blood and hair, and what appeared to be a beagle’s pelt and eyes in a jar, according to an account in PetPardons.com.
Nally, 20, faced 29 counts of felony animal cruelty, one count of domestic battery, one count of kidnapping and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm.
In January, he turned down a plea deal, but in April, as his trial neared, he accepted it. He entered guilty pleas to nine of the charges of felony animal abuse and received one to five years for each count. In exchange, all the other charges, except for the firearms one, were dropped.
He will have to serve a minimum of five years before he can apply for an early release.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 18th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, animals, beagle, craigslist, cruelty to animals, dogs, drill, eyes, free to good home, jeffrey nally, jessica sellers, new cumberland, pelt, pets, prison, sentence, torture, west virginia
Donations and adoption offers have poured in for Freeway, the German shepherd who lost a leg after being dragged down a northern California interstate by a pick-up truck.
Freeway, as he is now known, spent some time Friday afternoon playing quietly and getting used to life on three legs. He was visited by Angie Porter and her 13-year-old son, River, who went to his aid after seeing him being dragged down the highway.
As they followed the truck down Interstate 780, honking their horn, the rope the dog was being pulled by snapped when the pick-up truck exited, slamming the dog into a concrete abutment. Authorities are searching for the truck’s driver.
At Benicia Middle School, where Porter works as a campus supervisor, donation pots were placed around campus to raise money for the dog’s medical care, and more than $2,200 has been raised there alone.
The Humane Society of the North Bay has fielded at least two dozen calls offering to adopt Freeway — including one from an Illinois woman, executive director Peter Wilson told the Vallejo Times-Herald.
Freeway’s sutures will be removed in less than two weeks. On Tuesday, he will be transferred to a foster family, Wilson said. In four to six weeks, the humane society will put the dog up for adoption, likely holding a lottery due to the high degree of interest, Wilson said.
Donations for Freeway will go to the Humane Society’s Maya Fund, created to help animals with medical needs.
Anyone with information about the dog, or the driver that left him behind, can call animal services at 707- 333-6039.
(Photo: Chris Riley / Vallejo Times-Herald)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 30th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, adopt, adoption, angie porter, animal cruelty, animals, benicia middle school, contributions, cruelty to animals, dog, dogs, donations, drag, dragged, dragging, freeway, german shepherd, humane society of the north bay, interstate, lottery, maya fund, offers, peter wilson, pets, pick-up truck, pickup truck, torture, vallejo
Closing arguments were made today and the jury deliberated for less than an hour before pronouncing the brothers not guilty of a crime that led the city to reexamine and strengthen its animal welfare laws and procedures.
Phoenix — the name the dog was given after her rescue — was euthanized days after she was found, on fire, by a Baltimore police officer.
The first trial for the Johnson brothers ended in a hung jury in February 2011.
Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg Bernstein issued the following statement after the verdict:
“While I respect the jury’s decision, I am disappointed we didn’t achieve the outcome that we fought for during two challenging trials. Animal cruelty is a serious crime of violence, and those who commit it too frequently commit subsequent crimes of violence against humans. As we demonstrated in this case, we are dedicated to vigorously prosecuting individuals accused of this appalling offense.”
Defense attorneys for the Johnsons focused their defense on whether police mishandled the investigation and some of the evidence.
Craig Beyler, a fire protection engineer, called to the stand as an expert, testified that police mishandled clothing seized from the Johnsons’ South Baltimore home by mixing two pairs of jeans and a pair of sneakers in one bag. The clothing contained traces of an ignitable substance that could not be identified, but Beyler said it could have been a common chemical used in sneakers that might have transferred from the shoes to the jeans.
Prosecutors’ arguments linking the brothers to the burning centered mainly on a police surveillance video recorded from atop a pole near the crime scene.
No DNA, fingerprints or other forensic evidence connected the suspects to the crime.
A police sergeant identified the brothers in the video, in which two young men can be seen walking the dog minutes before the burning, and running away from the scene afterwards. A bystander, Tiera Goodman, told police soon after the incident she too saw the brothers run from the scene.
But Goodman refused to testify in the retrial. A video of her testimony from the first trial was played instead.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, animals, baltimore, brothers, burned, burning, cruelty to animals, died, dogs, doused, euthanized, Gregg Bernstein, johnson, killed, not guilty, pets, phoenix, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, police, retrial, set on fire, torture, travers johnson, tremayne johnson, trial, verdict
When a missing West Highland terrier in Florida returned home after three hours, her owner could tell right away something was wrong.
“She wobbled back into our yard about 10 p.m. I could tell she had been kicked because she screamed when I picked her up,” said Shawne Boardman, 49.
But that wasn’t the worst of it.
“Bailey’s jaws were glued shut,” Boardman told the News-Press. “She was having trouble breathing.”
The North Fort Myers woman said she and her boyfriend pried open the 13-year-old dog’s jaws and fed it water with a turkey baster. She says she didn’t take Bailey to a veterinarian because they were able to open the dog’s mouth. But on Saturday, Bailey took a turn for the worse.
“She died in Dan’s lap,” Boardman says. “She was a great dog. Bailey was like our baby.”
Boardman says she buried Bailey next to a gardenia bush in her yard.
Glenn Johnson, operations manager for Lee County Animal Services, says whoever glued the dog’s jaws shut faces a third-degree felony. The maximum penalty is a fine of $5,000 and a sentence of five years in prison.
The incident is similar to one last month in Sanford, N.C., where a Chihuahua mix with its mouth glued shut was abandoned at a local shelter, according to pet-abuse.com
“The dog was unable to open its mouth,” said Abbey Lindauer, adoption coordinator for Sanford’s Carolina Animal Rescue & Adoption (CARA). CARA workers spotted the dog’s suspected owner driving away in a red truck.
Lindauer said the dog died later that night after it was transported to the Lee County Animal Shelter.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 10th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abuse, abused, animal cruelty, animals, bailey, breathing, closed, cruelty to animals, dog, dogs, florida, fort myers, glue, glued, jaws, missing, mouth, pets, shut, torture, west highland terrier
A 22-year-old man and a 13-year-old boy were arrested in Chicago after torturing five puppies and posting videos of it on YouTube, police said.
Joshua Moore, the adult, told police he did it because he was bored, and that he thought “it was not a big deal.”
The videos showed dogs — both the pups and their parents — having duct tape put on their testicles and ripped off, being suspended and spun in a harness, being forced to drink lemon juice and eat their own feces, and being thrown into air, choked and shaken.
The grown dogs were a Chihuahua and a terrier; the pups were mixes of the two, police said.
Moore and the boy were arrested Thursday and charged with animal torture and animal cruelty — all felonies. Moore was ordered held on $150,000 bail today.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the torture came to light when a tipster contacted People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
PETA reported the cruelty to the Fort Wayne, Ind., Animal Care and Control officials on Sunday, after learning that Moore was from Chicago but living in Fort Wayne.
The dogs were seized Thursday from a home in the Austin neighborhood and placed in the care of Chicago’s animal care and cruelty department.
The videos were removed from YouTube before the arrest, but PETA had made copies of them by then.
(Top photo: By John J. Kim / Chicago Sun-Times
Middle photo: Screen grab from videos, courtesy of PETA
Bottom photo: Chicago Police Department)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 9th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 13-year-old, abuse, animal cruelty, animals, arrest, bored, chicago, chihuahua, choked, cruelty to animals, dog, dogs, feces, genitals, harness, joshua moore, mixes, no big deal, peta, pets, police, posted, puppies, ripped, shaken, spun, tape, terrier, testicles, thrown, torn, torture, tortured, video, youtube
Willie T. Bell, 41, of Palmetto, told police he was trying to make the dog stronger.
He pleaded no contest to the third-degree felony earlier this week, the Bradenton Herald reported.
Police in April spotted the two-year-old pit bull mix, named Blackie, in the Manatee River, not far from where Bell was fishing.
According to Palmetto police officer Micah Mathews’ report, the dogs snout was sticking up as it tried to tread water.
“Mr. Bell said he was trying to make the dog stronger,” Mathews wrote.
“The dog was unable to touch the ground and was not able to move the weight,” the officer wrote. “When I arrived I could see only the nose of the dog out of the water.”
On the officer’s request, Bell brought the dog to shore. Bell told the officer the dog had been swimming in place for about 15 minutes.
Mathews asked Bell the same question that’s probably running through your mind right now: Would he like to be anchored to a dumbbell and left in the water like that? Bell replied, “Hell no,” the police report states.
Bell was not the dog’s owner, animal control officials said.
The dog was returned to its original owner and animal control officials said it suffered no lasting physical damage.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 27th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, animals, blackie, conditioning, cruelty to animals, dog, dogfighting, dumb bell, dumbbell, florida, jail, manatee, mix, neck, palmetto, pets, pit bull, plea, police, river, sentence, sentenced, tied, torture, training, willie bell