Judge denies bond for man in donkey-dragging case

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A judge has denied bond for a Splendora man accused of dragging a donkey from the back of an SUV last October, severely injuring the animal, according to Montgomery County prosecutors.

Visiting state District Judge Suzanne Stovall denied bond Monday on a motion to revoke probation charge for , 30, who is being held on a $50,000 bail for a felony animal cruelty charge stemming from the Oct. 25, 2012, incident, said Rob Fryer, a Montgomery County assistant district attorney. Saunders is on probation for assaulting his wife in 2008.

“I’m very happy with Judge Stovall’s decision,” Fryer said. “It was obvious that the judge took her role very seriously. She listened to the evidence that the state presented and based her ruling on the horrendous natural nature (of the case) and brutal allegations as presented.”

The chain of events began when friends of Saunders told him that Susie Q, the jenny, had wandered around the corner and was secured on Acorn Hill Drive, northwest of New Caney, so that someone could retrieve her, investigators said.

Another friend offered to walk the donkey home, but Saunders insisted on driving, saying he would tie the animal to the trailer hitch on his Chevrolet Blazer and slowly lead her.

Saunders, accompanied by another man, found Susie Q, and they tied her to the vehicle with a rope, according to a news release from the Montgomery County Precinct 4 Constable‘s Office. The second man sat on the open tailgate of Saunders’ SUV and they took off with the donkey in tow.

The man continued to yell, but watched helplessly as the donkey was injured by the pavement. The man estimated that Saunders drove about 40 mph as he dragged Susie Q about one-quarter mile.

“The blood trail left by the donkey supported the witness’s story and showed that Saunders drove at least 10 to 15 feet farther after Susie Q fell on her side when the pavement had ground off her hooves between 1.5 and 2 inches, exposing raw flesh and bone,” the release states.

Meanwhile, Susie Q continues her long road to recovery at her New Caney home.

News Link:-http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Judge-denies-bond-for-man-in-donkey-dragging-case-4193449.php


Seven men and a woman face animal cruelty charges

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Six members of the same family have appeared in court along with others charged with almost 200 counts of animal cruelty.

Samuel and Cathy Kirkwood, from Parkgate Crescent, east Belfast, appeared with their sons: Chris, Ryan, Wayne and Gary, from Island Street.

Two other men also face charges.

The group appeared at Belfast Magistrates Court to face almost 200 charges of animal cruelty

They are Daniel Scott from Tower Court and Jamie Morrow from McAllister Court, Belfast.

The charges follows a police operation at the Kirkwoods’ home and other addresses in November.

A number of dogs were taken away by the USPCA in the operation.

Officers also removed equipment, mobile phones and computers from the house and an adjoining yard.

On Thursday, the defendants faced a range of charges at Belfast Magistrates Court, including causing unnecessary suffering to animals, attending animal fights, having equipment to be used in animal fights, photographing and video recording animal fights and disturbing a badger sett.

Questioned by a defence solicitor, a detective constable confirmed that some of the dogs seized have since been destroyed but she said an expert had confirmed they were the same animals seen on seized video footage of fights.

News Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-19096014

Police move in at ‘puppy massacre’ site near Crosby- Video

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Nearly a dozen law officers fanned out Wednesday to look for clues as they launched a sweeping animal cruelty investigation along the San Jacinto River banks in Crosby.

Animal rescue groups said the secluded dumping ground off Highway 90 and FM 2100 is the site of a ‘puppy massacre’ that left between four and 10 dogs and puppies dead while dozens of others were found abandoned and alive.

“Something’s wrong with those people,” said Crosby resident Brittany Sanders, who accidentally stumbled upon the gruesome find that led to Wednesday’s law enforcement effort.

“We just saw all the bodies. We couldn’t even pull in all the way because there were puppy bodies everywhere, scattered out everywhere,” she said.

Animal rescue groups have created a Facebook page aimed at drawing attention to the cruelty.

“If somebody can hit a 6-week-old little puppy in the head with a hammer and watch it bleed out on the road and then just leave, something’s wrong with you. That’s not right,” she said of one of the dogs she found.

She also found some dogs that had been shot, and she told police that some of the abandoned survivors showed signs of continued abuse. She described them as “bait dogs” that are used to tempt and taunt animals for practice in dog-fighting scenarios.

One of the survivors seemed to be only days old and sealed in a feed bag, she said.   “It was a tiny, tiny, tiny Chihuahua puppy.  Still alive … fine … still alive. It looked like they were trying to suffocate it by the way they tied the feed sack,” she said.

She said at least 10 tortured and dead dogs were found that particular day, while other animal rescue group members said additional dogs have been dumped in the same area since then.

Rhonda Heffernan, who has spent six years rescuing animals and finding them homes after abuse, said, “This place is just a nightmare. I’ve never seen anything this bad before. We have animals not only being dumped, but being mutilated, being shot at, being terrorized, so it’s just a horrible spot.”

Other neighbors told police on Wednesday that so many different people choose that area to abandon unwanted dogs and puppies that locals know to bring water and food when they are riding all-terrain vehicles in the area.

“It’s very sick, very twisted. I don’t understand it. We need some action,” said Heffernan.

She and other animal rescuers said law enforcement seemed less than interested at first, but her pushing helped to organize an entire team of Harris County law enforcement officials to visit the site and coordinate their next steps.

“We hope that, together, we’re able to solve the underlying issue here,” said Assistant Harris County District Attorney Belinda Smith, chief prosecutor for animal cruelty.

She said her office has launched an investigation which could include hidden cameras being placed at the dumping site or potential undercover police stings aimed at catching the abusers of the animals being found there.

“The stories are heart-wrenching, they’re horrific and some of the stories constitute felony animal cruelty. They constitute torture,” said Smith.

Deputies from the Harris County Precinct 6 Constable‘s Office arrived at the site with prosecutors Wednesday, since that office specializes in investigating animal cruelty.  Precinct 1 deputy constables, who specialize in environmental crimes, also started sifting through rubble in search of any clues that may point to who dumped some of the regular roadside trash in the area.

Deputies pulled out pay stubs, mail and a medical insurance card that could point to whomever dumped the garbage. That could yield clues on who is behind some of the animal cruelty dumping as well, investigators said.

News & Video Link:-http://www.click2houston.com/news/Police-move-in-at-puppy-massacre-site-near-Crosby/-/1735978/12530264/-/2fo71z/-/index.html

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