Santa Fe Police Discover Gruesome Case Of Animal Cruelty During Drug Bust

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“Sick POS…need to pay with jail time, for the animals they tortured & need to be removed from decent society; so they can’t harm or torture any more animals.”

SANTA FE, Texas – Santa Fe police say a drug bust led to the discovery of some horrific animal cruelty.

 38-year-old Veronica Lynn Springer

According to the Santa Fe Police Department, 39-year-old Brian Anthony Cheek and his wife, 38-year-old Veronica Lynn Springer, were arrested Friday night on narcotics charges after officers found almost 9 grams of crystal methamphetamines, a scale and packaging materials for sales.

However, while executing the warrant, detectives made a gruesome discovery, police said. Twenty cats ranging from kittens to full grown cats were discovered dead.

 39-year-old Brian Anthony Cheek

Police said the cats all appeared to have been tortured and killed. Evidence of strangulation, blunt force trauma, disemboweling and burning was found.

One of the dead cats was discovered in a box in the bed of Cheek’s truck, police said.

Remains of several of the cats were picked up by the Galveston County Sheriff’s Animal Cruelty investigators and will be examined by necropsy at which time additional felony charges are expected.

Cheek, already on felony probation, is charged with manufacture/delivery of controlled substances, a first-degree felony, police said. He is being held on a $300,000.00 bond.

Police said Springer is charged with possession of controlled substances, and she is being held on $20,000.00 bond.

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Success! Charges in Dog Dragging Case Upgraded to Felony Cruelty

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By  – December 23, 2013

The efforts of compassionate Care2 readers have helped changed the course of an animal cruelty prosecution.

An incredible recovery & a Misdemeanor charge now changed to a Felony. Kudos to all that helped this happen

The man accused of dragging a young pit bull for more than a mile behind his pickup truck in late November now faces a felony rather than a misdemeanor criminal charge.

Andra Grace is recovering nicely.

Deputy Omar Yahya of the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office said Roger Dennis Owens was charged with felony “ill treatment of animals” on December 17, according to Fox Carolina News.

Owens had originally been arrested on December 6 and charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty, an offense that carries a maximum penalty of only 90 days in jail and an $800 fine.

“The felony charge comes with a much stiffer penalty if the suspect is convicted,” Yahya said.

In addition, Owens is now charged with two counts of driving under suspension and two counts of being a habitual traffic offender. The felony cruelty charge could bring Owens from six months to five years in prison. If convicted of multiple offenses, he may face significantly more time.

Why the shift from misdemeanor to felony charge? There seems to be only one answer. People like you — many, many people like you — used social media, e-mails, letters and phone calls to call for sterner charges for this harrowing crime. Greenville County heard the outcry, took a closer look and seems to have decided stronger charges were warranted.

Andra Grace: Wagging Her Tail and Recovering

Meanwhile, Andra Grace is recovering nicely. Though she was badly injured, her condition is so much improved that has moved to her new foster home in time for Christmas, according to the Justice for Andra Grace Facebook page.

Want to see how happy and well Andra Grace is now? The Justice for Andra Grace Facebook page has posted this video, as well as many others, so well wishers can keep up with her remarkable recovery. Rescuers were able to recover four of Andra Grace’s puppies as well. They are doing well and will accompany her to their new foster location.

Andra Grace’s puppies, resting before their trip to their new foster home

A Heartwarming Reunion with Two Special Women

Andra Grace had two special visitors on December 19. Kaye Skinner and Jennefer Bullock, the two women who reported seeing Andra Grace being dragged behind the truck, were reunited with her.

According to the Justice for Andra Grace Facebook page, when Kaye and Jennefer saw the pickup truck go by them in the opposite direction, dragging a helpless dog behind it, they turned around to follow it. After the truck sped away without the dog, they searched the roadway until they found her.

Kaye and Jennefer called police and stayed by Andra Grace for the two hours it took for help to arrive. They covered her battered, bloody form with a jacket while trying to soothe her. It might break your heart a little to know that Kaye and Jennefer say poor Andra Grace was wagging her tail as they did what they could to help her.

Kaye Skinner and Jennefer Bullock are reunited with a much recovered Andra Grace

Andra Grace is now happily settled in her new foster home, where her two foster parents are both veterinarians. She’s getting a lot of loving care and is well on her way to a contented and satisfying life. Likewise, her now-weaned puppies are in foster homes and can look forward to long, happy lives.

Care2 readers, your signatures oour petition helped turn the tide with respect to the crime committed against this gentle and loving dog. Your outrage, coupled with a deluge of phone calls and e-mails to Greenville County officials, appears to have convinced authorities to take a closer look at this case. Now Roger Owens is charged with a felony. The possible punishment he faces for this heinous act of cruelty is considerably increased.

May justice prevail for Andra Grace and for all abused animals.

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On the day after Thanksgiving, two people witnessed something that horrified them — someone in a pickup truck was dragging a helpless dog down the road on a rope. The rope broke, leaving the dog, an emaciated female pit bull, to die by the road. The trail of blood indicated the poor dog had been dragged over a mile. Her injuries were extensive and grievous. Fortunately Animal Control got the dog to an animal hospital, where it is now receiving care and love.

The truck driver has been identified, and reportedly has at least one prior animal cruelty conviction, but incredibly he has only been charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty in this case.

However, South Carolina law also contains a felony animal cruelty provision applicable to anyone who:

“…tortures, torments, needlessly mutilates, cruelly kills, or inflicts excessive or repeated unnecessary pain or suffering upon any animal or by omission or commission causes the acts to be done…”

Please sign this petition asking 13th Judicial Circuit Solicitor W. Walter Wilkins to prosecute this case under the felony provision of South Carolina’s animal cruelty law, rather than as a slap-on-the-wrist misdemeanor as currently charged.

Petition link (now closed)

Child Porn with Bestiality, Bondage Found in Ravenswood Home

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“Take note of this sick EVIL MF…if you see him, know of him or live in the area, keep an eye on your children & your pets! See the cold black empty look in his eyes, he has no soul & no heart, because he made a deal with the devil. Filthy scum needs locking away for good, no amount of jail time will stop him from wanting & needing his repulsive daily fix! Monstrosity’s like him should have their manhood chopped off & the word “Bestial Pervert” tattooed across their heads, so where ever they go; people will know that they are in the presence of a depraved abomination!”

A Ravenswood man admitted to possessing more than 2,500 videos and images of child pornography—some with children as young as one.

The announcement came Friday afternoon from the Cook County Sheriff’s office.

Seamus Webb

Seamus Webb, 51, was arrested Thursday and charged with four felonies for disseminating and possessing child pornography. Police said the images included bestiality and bondage of minors.

Cook County Sheriff’s Police Child Exploitation Unit found Webb in his apartment on the 1600 block of West Carmen Ave and arrested him without incident.

The arrest occurred after police received a search warrant based on information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, police said. Officers confiscated several computers and other items.

The charges—all class X felonies—include aggravated child pornography, dissemination; aggravated child pornography possession; child pornography, possession of pictures; child pornography possession of movies.

Bond for Webb was set at $100,000. His next court date is scheduled for April 11. 

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Woman Has Sex With Dog, Boyfriend Photographs

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“Sick & perverted; I just feel sorry for her child when she grows up & someone tells her what mummy did with a dog!” 

Samantha Golt and her boyfriend James Crow had a preliminary hearing Friday for their case in bestiality, where Golt had sex with a dog and Crow photographed it.

Samantha L. Golt, 24, and James P. Crow, 25, were each charged with one count of felony bestiality and one count of felony second-degree conspiracy.

According to Golt’s Facebook page she is the owner of three dogs, including pit bulls and pit bull mixes. She is also the mother of a 4-year-old girl.

Police say the sexual acts occurred in the woman’s home and that her boyfriend was also arrested for taking photos.

The investigation began last month when troopers received a “canine abuse tipfrom a concerned neighbour on Dec. 28, Delaware State Police Master Corporal Gary E. Fournier told The Huffington Post via email. 

Authorities believe the offence occurred in Golt’s Wilford, Del. home sometime between August 31, 2012 and December 29, 2012.

Police confirmed Golt’s identity when Crow’s photographs were removed from the home as evidence and compared to her driver’s license photo.

On Wednesday, state police issued the couple an order to have no contact with any animalDelaware State News reported. Authorities contacted the Kent County SPCA when the investigation began.

Golt and Crow were released after posting $12,000 bail apiece. According to NBC10 Philadelphia, Golt refused to comment when contacted Friday morning.

Golt allegedly hung up on a reporter when contacted at her home early Friday morning. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for today in the Kent County Court of Common Pleas in Dover.

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Preteens Accused of Animal Cruelty on House Arrest

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“I hope & pray the judge will come down heavy on these little shit heads, if they have the mind-set to do that now, what are they going to be like when their in their late teens…it will be kids or the elderly…if this isn’t nipped in the bud now!”

LAS VEGAS Two 11-year-olds accused of animal cruelty that led to the death of six kittens appeared in Clark County Family Court Monday afternoon.

A judge ordered house arrest for the boys. They are required to wear ankle monitoring until Oct. 30 when the judge will decide if the case will go to trial. “IT must go to trial to get these psycho’s off the streets until they understand the ramifications of their actions”

The boys were caught after neighbours told police they saw them throwing rocks against a building in the area of the 9600 block of West Russell Road in the southwest Las Vegas valley.

It was later discovered they were…

throwing the rocks at a cat giving birth.

The pre-teens each face seven counts of animal cruelty.

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Boulder judge: No probable cause Tater the dog ‘tortured’ by owner in stomping case

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Tater the dog (Humane Society of Boulder Valley)

A Boulder County judge threw out felony animal cruelty charges Thursday against the man accused of stomping on his 4-month-old puppy Tater last month, but Boulder’s district attorney — stressing the importance of pursuing cruelty cases — said he may appeal the decision.

Judge David Archuleta ruled prosecutors did not show they have probable cause to try Edward McMorris, 26, on felony charges in the alleged beating. McMorris could still face misdemeanor animal cruelty charges, but Archuleta said he did not find evidence McMorris “knowingly tortured” Tater, which is the requirement for the felony charge.

McMorris, a transient, still faces a misdemeanor charge of obstructing a police officer.

“When we see this case, people might say, ‘Oh my God, he’s torturing that animal,’ and we might use that language,” Archuleta said at the end of Thursday’s preliminary hearing.“But legally, to make it a felony, I don’t think it rises to that level.”

Edward McMorris (Boulder County Sheriff’s Office)

Eric Zale, McMorris’ attorney, argued that Tater didn’t suffer serious injury.

“This was not some sadistic kid,” Zale told the judge. “There was no bruising, no broken bones. The dog had food in its stomach and it was friendly.”

After the ruling, Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett said his office will review the case and could file an appeal within the next few days.

“Animal cruelty cases are a top priority in this community,” Garnett said. “We will go over the record of the case and determine whether we want to move forward with an appeal.”

If he doesn’t appeal, Garnett said he could instead file misdemeanor animal cruelty charges. The DA’s office has 14 days to file a notice of appeal.

According to a police report, officers began receiving calls around 11:48 p.m. Aug. 29 from witnesses saying a man was kicking and stomping a dog near the intersection of Canyon Boulevard and Broadway.

Boulder police Officer Ashly Flynn, who was the first officer to arrive at the scene, testified at McMorris’s preliminary hearing that she heard the dog yelping and then observed McMorris dragging Tater behind him.

“I believed the dog was in a situation where it was endangered,” she said.

Flynn said when she finally was able to get the dog away from McMorris, it crawled under a bench and had trouble getting up when police tried to transport it to a veterinarian.

Witnesses told police they saw McMorris stomp and kick the dog, with one of them saying the yelps sounded like “screams of agony,” which Deputy District Attorney Jenny McClintock said was proof McMorris knew what he was doing to the dog.

Witnesses described him hitting (the dog) over and over again, so this was not a case of him losing his temper once,” McClintock said. “This was a shocking. People were standing on the side of the street screaming.

But Archuleta said that while torture was not defined in previous cases, he noted that “excessive beating” is normally classified as a misdemeanor.

“From what I heard today from the witnesses, that’s what this was,” he said. “There isn’t probable cause the animal was tortured.”

After McMorris was arrested, Tater was taken to the Boulder Emergency Vet Clinic and kept overnight. The dog has since been transferred to the Humane Society of Boulder Valley. No one is being allowed to adopt Tater while the case against McMorris remains open, according to the Humane Society.

McMorris, who remains in custody at the Boulder County Jail on $3,000 bond, is scheduled for a case management conference Oct. 4.

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Animal cruelty trial continued until December

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A trial for a Leavenworth man charged with felony animal cruelty has been continued for two months.

Jerald Halstead’s case had been scheduled to go to trial next week, but a continuance was granted Friday in Leavenworth County District Court. The trial is now set for Dec. 10.

Jerald Halstead

Halstead, 23, was arrested July 8 by Leavenworth police after a wounded dog was found in a trash bag in a wooded area in the 1500 block of Choctaw Street. The dog was put down by police.

Halstead is accused of carrying the wounded animal to the wooded area after it was shot by Joshua Elliott.

Elliott pleaded guilty to felony animal cruelty in August. Last month, he received a 180-day jail sentence and probation.

The continuance in the Halstead case was requested by the prosecution.

Reviewing the reason for the request, District Judge Gunnar Sundby said it appeared a witness would be unavailable for the trial, which was scheduled for Tuesday, and it’s now believed the trial may take more than a day.

Halstead’s attorney, Michael Willcott, said he agreed the trial probably will last longer than a day.

Willcott said even though the prosecution had objected to an earlier request he made for a continuance, he was not objecting the prosecution’s request to reschedule the trial.

Sundby said the trial had been scheduled for Tuesday with the idea it would last only a day. He said jury deliberations could continue into Wednesday. But he can’t have the evidentiary portion of the trial continue into Wednesday and still handle the docket he normally has on Wednesdays.

The judge found there was good cause for continuing the trial. Sundby said he has a pretty full trial schedule for the fall. He said the trial could be continued to Dec. 10, or it could be placed on the docket for an earlier date as a backup to other trials.

Assistant County Attorney Sherri Becker, who’s prosecuting the case, said Dec. 10 is still within the speedy trial requirement for the case. Sundby said Halstead’s trial will be “first up” Dec. 10.

This was not the first time the trial was continued. It had been set for Tuesday after a continuance was requested by the defence.

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Conway man arrested on two counts felony animal cruelty

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Conway police arrested Michael Woole, 1555 East German Lane, on two felony counts of animal cruelty Tuesday.

Woole, 34, was the suspect in the possible death of two dogs beaten over the head repeatedly with a baseball bat, according to the Conway Police Department.

Michael Woole

A neighbor and witness called police Thursday of last week when he allegedly saw Woole beating the dogs in a pen at his home.

According to the witness, when he approached Woole at the time of the incident, Woole stated he was “putting the dogs down.”

A CPD incident report stated the witness told police he saw Woole load the dogs into the back of a truck and leave the area.

In an interview with police, Woole stated he was not beating the dogs, but used a shovel to usher the dogs into another pen, according to La Tresha Woodruff, CPD public information officer.

Woodruff said an animal welfare officer who responded to the scene took photos of blood inside and around the pen.

In the interview, Woole denied striking the animals or causing them to bleed, Woodruff said.

Formal charges were filed against Woole by Prosecuting Attorney Cody Hiland Tuesday.

The two counts of animal cruelty are class D felonies, punishable up to six years in prison.

“The way the statute is written, you have to engage in some pretty egregious behavior before it reaches the level of felony animal cruelty, and the use of a baseball bat to beat the animals to death, we feel certainly rises to the level of activity that would warrant a felony charge,” said Hiland.

The act allowing felony charges for cruelty to animals was passed in 2009 and applies to horses, dogs and cats.

Hiland said the animals have to be tortured for the felony status to apply, as defined by the statute.

Woole was released on a $5,000 bond the day he was arrested. His court date is September 17.

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Sexton: Judge gives little penalty to woman for starving dog to death

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“OMG…I am enraged about this so called judge Burke (What a fitting name, he is a berk)…letting this women get off, for starving a dog to death! This judge needs to be removed from the legal system, if he can’t see that starving a dog is maliciously & purposefully done, which is animal abuse…he needs to be starved of food & water for 48 hours so he feels 1% of that dogs pain & misery. I so want to be a Judge!! R.I.P Diamond”

In the end, the court proceedings against Angelanetta Gladden — she was charged with felony cruelty to animals — wound up mimicking the death of the dog she was accused of starving to death.

Angelanetta Gladden

They were slow and painful, gruesome and gut-wrenching. And ultimately, the case came to an unfair and unjust end.

Gladden, 33, walked out of the Forsyth Hall of Justice on Tuesday with a mere misdemeanor conviction, with no jail time and no fine imposed — a slap on the wrist administered by a soft-hearted judge.

“I think you know how the state feels, and obviously the court disagreed,” prosecutor Matt Breeding told Judge Todd Burke, who dismissed the felony. “But this goes beyond mere neglect.

“Neglect means you leave a dog outside in a rainstorm while you take a nap or forgetting to change the cat’s litter box. … This was systematic starvation and dehydration of a defenseless animal. It was cruel and malicious and deserves an active sentence.”

Judge Todd Berk (by name & nature)

Ruling things out The case against Gladden began Jan. 10, 2011, when she called Forsyth County Animal Control to report that her dog, Diamond, a black pit bull, had died.

Michael Gainey, the sheriff’s deputy who responded, found an extremely emaciated animal lying dead inside a dog house with no roof. He took photographs, wrote up a report that included Gladden’s statement that neighborhood kids might have been feeding candy and chips to Diamond and gathered up the corpse for a forensic exam.

That process took about 10 days, a fact seized upon by defense attorney Stephanie Goldsborough, who asked Gainey why he didn’t charge Gladden immediately. Goldsborough also said her client knew something was wrong with the dog and gave her worming medication but lacked the expertise to know exactly what was wrong.

Gladden was initially cited for misdemeanor cruelty to animals; a grand jury indicted her on the more serious felony in September after Breeding learned about the case.

“I’m not an irrational person,” Gainey testified. “If it was this serious, I didn’t want to charge her when I didn’t fully understand (the cause of death).”

In other words, he wanted to have a veterinarian conduct a necropsy to make sure the dog didn’t die of worms, parasites or another disease.

What the vet found — and what was repeated in court — was that Diamond was so severely malnourished and dehydrated that she began to digest the lining of her stomach and bone marrow tissue.

That doesn’t happen overnight; the process could take several days, if not weeks.

“I ruled out just about everything I could think of. … In my opinion, the animal died of starvation,” testified Dr. Darrell Rector of the N.C. Department of Agriculture.

Soft sentence While gruesome, the testimony offered was also straightforward. The case turned, in the judge’s view, on whether Diamond’s death was malicious.

Goldsborough made a motion asking Burke to toss out the felony. “There may be an argument that there was some neglect but not maliciousness,” she said.

Breeding countered by reading a legal definition of the felony cruelty to animals charge, which includes the phrase “condition of mind that can prompt a person to inflict or allow seriously bodily harm without excuse or just cause” to describe malice.

“We don’t have a device in the defendant’s head that can determine the level of hatred, spite or ill will,” he said. “Surely at some point she looked out the window and saw the dog starving. The state contends she did nothing, and that’s malice.

Burke disagreed. He chucked the felony, said he credited Gladden for calling animal control herself, then started leaning on Gladden to make up her mind about whether to plead guilty to the misdemeanor. He even told her he was not going to send her to jail.

“You’ve had I don’t know how many months to think about this,” he said. “You take this plea, or we can proceed to trial (on the misdemeanor).”

After dithering and consulting with supporters in the courtroom, Gladden took the deal. Then Burke sweetened it even more than promised: a suspended sentence with no jail time (Breeding asked for the maximum 45 days for the misdemeanor), three years of unsupervised probation, and waived fines and court costs. Gladden’s lawyer said she didn’t have anything to say to this columnist.

Oh, Burke did impose one small thing that could be construed as punishment: Gladden isn’t allowed to own another pet until and unless she does 24 hours of volunteer work at the Humane Society.

Too little, too late for a dog named Diamond who died a painful, lonely death in a dilapidated dog house.

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SD dog killing case renews animal cruelty debate

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The arrest of an 18-year-old Sioux Falls resident for allegedly killing his mother’s dog is reviving debate about whether South Dakota needs a stronger penalty for animal cruelty.

Injuring or killing an animal and inhumane treatment of animals are misdemeanor counts in South Dakota, and the maximum penalty is a year in jail. The lack of felony penalties makes it “barely even illegal” to mistreat animals in the state, activist Jeni McNamara told the Argus Leader ( newspaper.

It’s less illegal than drunk driving,” she said.

Marcelo Vargas, who his mother says is developmentally disabled, is accused of intentionally beating her Chihuahua to death on Monday night while she was in the hospital and her husband was at work. Vargas allegedly told police officers and his mother that the dog had tried to bite him.

Judge Natalie Damgaard released Vargas from custody Tuesday without requiring the posting of a bond, on the condition that he show up at his court hearings.

The Sioux Falls case follows another high-profile dog killing in South Dakota last year, when Robert Kyte, of Burbank, killed his neighbor’s German shorthair pointer with a hammer. The dog’s owners, Shayne and Kim Ludwig, wanted Kyte charged with a felony. He eventually was _ first-degree intentional damage to property _ because the dog was valued at more than $1,000.

“The only reason that was possible was because that was a prize hunting dog,” McNamara said. “Most dogs aren’t worth that much.”

Kyte reached a plea agreement with prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty to reduced misdemeanor charges. He was given a 60-day suspended jail sentence, and ordered to pay nearly $400 in fines and fees and $2,000 in restitution.

In 2010, then-Rep. Joni Cutler introduced a bill in the South Dakota Legislature that would have created a felony class of animal cruelty laws. She introduced the bill at the request of several of her constituents and eventually voted against it, citing the possibility of unintended consequences. Agriculture interests lobbied against the bill, saying it could be used to punish farmers.

Cutler now says there ought to be a way to write a law that would encompass animal cruelty without endangering agricultural activities. However, national animal rights organizations often clash with agriculture groups when debate over felony penalties arises in the state, she said.

“We should be able to act on behalf of our constituents, but the larger debate takes over,” Cutler said. “Even a very focused bill gets lost in it.”

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