Ag-Gag Laws Almost Lead to a Prosecution in Utah

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First Ag-Gag Prosecution Almost Comes to Fruition in Utah

Amy Meyer was driving by the Dale Smith Meatpacking Company slaughterhouse in Utah when she decided to pull over and videotape what she saw: piles or horns littered across the property, cows being dragged across the grounds, one cow in particularly who appeared sick or injured being hauled off in a tractor “as though she were nothing more than rubble,” Meyer told the online paper Green is the New Red.

Meyer’s videotaping did not go over well with the slaughterhouse manager, Darrel H. Smith, the town mayor, who told her to stop. She made it clear that she was not on his property, and had every right to record anything she wanted.

At least that’s what she thought.

However, later on Meyer learned that she was going to be prosecuted under Utah’s new law (a law many people refer to as an “ag-gag law”) which is designed to prohibit undercover videos of farms and slaughterhouses.

The charges were eventually dropped, perhaps since Meyer was on the roadside, and not trespassing on private property (although Utah’s law is sketchy on those particulars). However, this brings to light the progress that these ag-gag laws have made over the course of the year.

Background on Ag-Gag Laws

Ag-Gag Laws aren’t that new. Kansas, Montana, and North Dakota all have had forms of this type of law in place for the last two decades. But in recent years more and more states are considering implementing rules that prohibit undercover videos of animal abuse. Much of this has come as a result of troubling videos made by groups like the Humane Society and Mercy for Animals. These videos were truly undercover, meaning that the videos were taken on the property of the farms (oftentimes by employees-turned-whistleblowers of the farm or slaughterhouse).

Most of the Ag-Gag laws don’t prohibit the ability to film from a roadside (like Meyer did). However, states are finding ways around this. For example, Pennsylvania’s proposed bill criminalizes anyone who “records an image of, or sound from, the agricultural operation,” or who “uploads, downloads, transfers or otherwise sends” footage using the Internet.

Tennessee’s bill passed, and is awaiting the governor’s signature. During the process, however, one state rep (Andy Holt) referred to the Humane Society’s use of undercover footage of animal abuse as no different than how human-traffickers use 17-year-old women. He claims that organizations like the Humane Society “seek to profit from animal abuse” using a “tape and rape” method.

Proponents of ag-gag laws share at least part of Holt’s sentiment. Proponents claim that if any animal abuse does take place at a facility, employees have the ability, and obligation, to report to authorities. Videos, they believe, do nothing but sensationalize the problem, and, in fact, those who videotape these abuses for use in supporting a cause are participating in the abuse. Those who videotape animal abuse ought to be required to submit the evidence to police, immediately, rather than to broadcast it to the world.

Opponents of ag-gag laws claim that employees are not likely to openly report abuses to authorities, because they aren’t quick to report themselves or their co-workers. Furthermore, opponents claim that these videos can be used later on as evidence of abuse, if formal charges are ever brought to light.

However, above all else, opponents of ag-gag laws claim that not being able to broadcast abuse severely limits their ability to inform the public of the truth. When people actually get to see and hear the abuse, they’ll realize the problem is far worse than they imagined. These images and videos might stir people into anger and, eventually action.

Currently Nebraska, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Vermont are considering ag-gag laws similar to that of Utah and Tennessee.

Well-known animal activists, such as Carrie Underwood, aren’t taken this ag-gag progress lightly. On April 18, soon after Tennessee’s bill passed, she tweeted this to her thousands of followers:

“Shame on TN lawmakers for passing the Ag Gag bill. If Gov. Bill Haslam signs this, he needs to expect me at his front door. Who’s with me?”

Well, who’s with her?

News Link:-http://www.allpetnews.com/ag-gag-laws-almost-lead-to-a-prosecution-in-utah

Emily Deschanel’s PETA Ad Targets Troubling Dairy Farm Practices (Video)

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Bones’ star Emily Deschanel has joined with PETA to highlight controversial practices within the U.S. dairy industry.

Emily Deschanel Reveals Shocking Dairy Farm Cruelty (Some Distressing Scenes)

Published on 6 May 2013

Emily Deschanel has the joy of raising her son every day, but mother cows on dairy farms have their calves torn away from them just hours after they’re born. Removing dairy products from your diet helps cows and keeps you and your family healthier. Find out how to cut dairy products out of your diet:https://secure.peta.org/site/Advocacy…

The ad was released in advance of Mother’s Day and criticizes the separation of dairy cows from their young, tail docking and other controversial practices faced by themore than 9 million dairy cows in the U.S.

Large-scale factory farms are facing scrutiny as reports of animal cruelty have emerged over the past few years. Some dairy farms are particularly problematic due to the forced production of milk and unsanitary living conditions, often inside feed lots without grass, the Humane Society reported in 2008.

Animal rights organizations have received some star-studded endorsements recently,including those from Ke$ha and Ryan Gosling.

News Link:-http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/12/emily-deschanel-peta-ad_n_3240370.html?utm_hp_ref=green

AgGag Casts Doubt On Bill Requiring Quick Turnover of Animal Abuse Photos To Police

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Tennessee’s proposed “Ag Gag” law suffered a setback Thursday when the state’s attorney general labeled it “constitutionally suspect” and said it could violate freedom of the press and the right against self-incrimination.

The bill, awaiting either Gov. Bill Haslam’s signature or veto, would force anyone who purposefully took pictures or video of livestock abuse to turn those over to law enforcement within 48 hours.

That limits the media, incriminates those who captured the video through trespassing and exposes police to copyright problems should the public ask for copies, Attorney General Robert Cooper wrote.

Haslam has until Wednesday to either sign or veto the bill, his spokesman confirmed, but the governor’s office offered no further comment. If he took no action at all, it would pass into law automatically, with those who broke it facing a $50 fine.

The bill’s author, Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden, said he didn’t see a constitutional problem and compared its provisions to forcing medical doctors to report suspected child abuse.

A hog farmer and relentless critic of the Humane Society of the United States, Holt said the only reason someone would want to videotape animal abuse and hang onto it would be for profit.

“If people are engaged in criminal activity, it will be abundantly apparent.  “No it will not” You don’t have to have two months to provide clarity to law enforcement,” Holt said. “Ask yourself this question: Should an animal have to suffer an abusive situation for two months?” “Those animals will suffer whether being videod or not, if they are already in an abusive situation; often the management don’t know their animals are being abused. To ensure a conviction, evidence has to be collected over a period of time, so people can’t say it was a “one off” act of violence…FFS people…open your eyes. Those who want Ag-Gag laws must want them for a reason!!”

A two-month undercover investigation by the Humane Society led to state and federal animal abuse charges last year against famed Tennessee Walking Horse trainer Jackie McConnell of Collierville. The group released stomach-turning video of McConnell beating a horse and of its legs being chemically burned to encourage the breed’s prized longer, higher gait.

Holt said his bill has nothing to do with that case. Instead, it would prevent video of legitimate animal husbandry being represented as inhumane and used for fund raising, he said.

Humane Society leaders held a news conference earlier Thursday at Gaylord Opryland Convention Center, where the group is holding its Animal Care Expo. They denounced Holt’s bill and called upon the Tennessee attorney general’s office to investigate the walking horse industry.

A letter from the group to Cooper cites a 76 percent positive rate on U.S. Department of Agriculture tests for foreign substances on horses’ legs at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration last year in Shelbyville.

“We need to know what perversion looks like and not be a part of any activity to either celebrate it, encourage it or somehow honor it,” said Dr. Michael Blackwell, president of the online Humane Society University.

Mike Inman, the Celebration’s CEO, didn’t respond to messages left Thursday but has said that walking horse trainers found McConnell’s actions deplorable. He said the industry is striving for 100 percent compliance with the federal Horse Protection Act.

Written by Heidi Hall The Tennessean

News Like:-http://www.tennessean.com/article/20130510/NEWS0201/305100086/AG-casts-doubt-bill-requiring-quick-turnover-animal-abuse-photos-police?nclick_check=1

$5,000 Reward Offered After Kitty Found Burned In Kensington

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“My apologies for the graphic image, but this type of heinous cruelty needs to be seen by the public; so they can see what sort of monsters are out there! If you see any strange or suspicious looking behaviour, between kids or adults, messing around with animals…it could end up in a similar tragedy to this…so please stay vigilant, don’t keep quiet…if it looks & sounds wrong, it probably is wrong!!”

“WTF… seriously, if ANYONE is friends, know’s or lives with the person that did this, then I would be very worried about your own safety too! Just because you’re a friend doesn’t mean this repugnant vermin won’t turn on you!! Only the mind of a demented, deviant psychopath, could purposefully set fire to a tiny kitten. What happens when they have grown tired of inflicting pain on innocent animals, they may turn to children; anyone they can intimidate & manipulate! Could you have that on your conscience, knowing you could have stopped this sadistic bully; by just speaking up now?”

“This horrific attack happened last week, can anyone remember someone coming home; smelling of flammable liquid or who may have had burns or singe marks on their clothing or shoes…Or…perhaps someone has overheard a person boasting or bragging about setting fire to a kitten? Just remember, those who commit crimes of this nature, normally don’t stop, because of a fine or even jail!! they will soon strike again! Somebody knows who did this, please help put an end to this now. If you know anything, that may help catch the monstrosity that did this, please contact the number below!!”

A $5,000 REWARD is being offered to help authorities catch whoever intentionally set fire to a kitten found in Kensington last week.

A woman recovered the 4- to 5-week-old male kitten last Thursday at Allegheny Avenue and F Street. Authorities said the kitten suffered burns over more than one-third of his body, with most of the burns on his head and back.

The Humane Society of the United States announced the reward yesterday, citing the “depraved act of cruelty.”

“This is the latest in a disturbing string of animals apparently being intentionally lit on fire,” Sarah Speed, Pennsylvania state director for the Humane Society, said in a statement. “This depraved act of cruelty will not be tolerated, and we hope this reward will encourage anyone with information to come forward and help bring the perpetrator to justice.”

The kitten is being treated at Crown Veterinary Hospital in Lebanon, N.J., and is expected to recover.

The Pennsylvania SPCA is investigating. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call 866- 601-SPCA (7722). – By Solomon Leach

News Link:http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20130430__5_000_reward_offered_after_kitty_found_burned_in_Kensington.html

Dog Breeder Convicted Of Animal Cruelty: Sentenced For Growing Marijuana

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HELENA — A malamute breeder who was convicted last year of 91 counts of animal cruelty has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for manufacturing marijuana. (Other animal abuse story below)

Mike Chilinski waits in District Judge Loren Tucker's courtroom before his restitution hearing Wednesday morning.

Mike Chilinski waits in District Judge Loren Tucker’s courtroom before his restitution hearing Wednesday morning.

Mike Chilinski of Jefferson County previously pleaded guilty to the marijuana charge after an October 2011 raid on his kennel led to the discovery of 336 marijuana plants and more than 1,000 grams of processed marijuana.

The sentence handed down Thursday by U.S. District Judge Charles Lovell is to begin after Chilinski completes whatever prison time he receives in the animal cruelty case.

The 52-year-old Chilinski was sentenced in that case to 30 years with the Montana Department of Corrections, with 25 suspended. But his lawyers earlier indicated he may be paroled within a year to start serving the federal sentence.

News Link:-http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/dog-breeder-convicted-of-animal-cruelty-sentenced-for-growing-marijuana/article_87b7f414-a385-11e2-ac67-0019bb2963f4.html

Earlier case on the dog abuser:-Jefferson City man gets 30 years, 25 suspended, in malamute abuse case

Posted December 20, 2012

BOULDER — Mike Chilinski, the Jefferson City man convicted of more than 90 counts of animal cruelty related to his malamute breeding operation, will be under state supervision and banned from owning any animals until he is in his 80s, according to a sentence handed down Wednesday.

Mike Chilinski was sentenced to 30 years with the Department of Corrections, with 25 years suspended, by District Judge Loren Tucker Wednesday in the Jefferson County Courthouse. Chilinski was convicted of animal cruelty in connection with his Malamute breeding operation. Chilinski is also waiting to be sentenced in federal court for cultivating marijuana.

Mike Chilinski was sentenced to 30 years with the Department of Corrections, with 25 years suspended, by District Judge Loren Tucker Wednesday in the Jefferson County Courthouse. Chilinski was convicted of animal cruelty in connection with his Malamute breeding operation. Chilinski is also waiting to be sentenced in federal court for cultivating marijuana.

District Judge Loren Tucker followed the recommendation of the prosecutor in the case and sentenced Chilinski to 30 years in the custody of the Montana Department of Corrections, with 25 years suspended.

Chilinski, 52, is also scheduled in April for sentencing in federal court for growing marijuana, and faces a five-year mandatory minimum prison sentence in that case.

Tucker and a probation officer noted Chilinski’s failure to fully accept responsibility for his actions, which led to the seizure of 161 dogs from his property.

A probation officer and witnesses involved in the rescue of the malamutes said some dogs were emaciated, nearly all were malnourished, many suffered disease, and they lived amid large amounts of feces. Rescue workers reported an “eerie quiet” when they approached his kennels.

Chilinski, speaking in orange jailhouse attire just before the sentence was pronounced, acknowledged that many dogs were undernourished much more than he realized at the time, but claimed he watered them twice a day and insisted he never abused them.

He maintained — as he did when pleading guilty to the drug charges in federal court in October — that several of his constitutional rights were violated. “When you have committed such a crime, your constitutional rights should be taken away; you play by the rules or don’t!”

He said the Lewis and Clark Humane Society and the Humane Society of the United States had no authority to exercise the “police powers” they used in entering his property and taking the dogs.

He said photographs of dogs taken by the groups were not congruent with the reality of the dog’s conditions, and that outside parties should not have had such a role in the legal process. “I don’t think the angle of a photo would make a difference, any angle would still show thin malnourished dogs…just who the hell does he think he is?”

“The multimillion dollar corporation of the HSUS and their animal-rights agenda virtually made a mockery” of the legal system, he said. “Just how did he reach that conclusion?”

Of the 161 dogs rescued in October 2011, several died, Lewis and Clark Humane Society Executive Director Gina Wiest said. Several puppies were born and some dogs were adopted out, but most were kept in the custody of animal advocates pending the trial outcome.” So how does the court deal with living evidence; that, by the time the court sees them, they look normal & healthy?”

The dogsnow 176 of them — have been kept at three different locations around Helena, and are now at the former site of the Montana State Nursery on Highway 12 west of Helena.

Tucker ordered the dogs forfeited to Jefferson County, which plans to find homes for them through groups including the Alaska Malamute Assistance League. “That’s what I like to hear, those animals are going to get a second chance & live in loving homes…nothing less than they deserve; “I applaud Tucker for this act of compassion!”

Jefferson County Attorney Mathew Johnson said restitution costs, mainly related to keeping the dogs, could amount to more than $500,000. HSUS contributed more than $377,000 to the effort, according to a report described in court.

A hearing on the exact restitution amount will come later. Chilinski’s lawyer, Betty Carlson, said she had not seen some of the restitution documents until just before the hearing.

Wiest testified that the case had been an ordeal for Humane Society staff and volunteers, many of whom watched the hearing in court.

“From an emotional standpoint, I’d like to have the book thrown at him,” Wiest said. Wouldn’t we all!!”

She said the group has been “hanging on by our fingernails” and wants to move on.

“Not only was this a huge undertaking financially and for staffing, but there was a huge emotional component that went with this,” she said. “Some died. Puppies, because their mothers were so malnourished, died. For each and every person who has handled those dogs on a daily basis, it’s been an emotional roller coaster from the beginning.”

Adam Parascandola, the director of animal cruelty response for the HSUS, has participated in more than 100 rescues nationwide, including the Chilinski case.

“The degree of suffering was quite large in this case,

He recommended jail time for Chilinski and noted his unwillingness to take responsibility — as shown by the fact that he kept breeding puppies even when he knew he was losing his ability to control the growing operation due to health and financial reasons.

If the Department of Corrections sends Chilinski to prison during the five-year portion of the sentence that is not suspended, Chilinski will be eligible for parole in as little as 15 months. If Chilinski is sentenced to federal prison by then, the Montana Board of Parole and Pardons is likely to parole him so he can begin serving the federal sentence, a probation officer said.

Chilinski said his dogs were his life, and his ability to earn a living by breeding them was already ruined with the revocation of his American Kennel Club certification.

He faces a fine to the federal government of $70,000, or forfeiture of his property if he cannot come up with the money.

His dream of retiring to a life as a dog show judge is gone, he said. He said he was once a nationally respected breeder. “Now, I’m a pariah,” he said. “Well that’s what you call Karma!”

Tucker said Chilinski showed little sign of changing his ways and noted that all the dogs were completely dependent on him.

“In essence, each one of those animals you chose to keep was in bondage to you and was (in) no better position than a slave,” he said.

News Link:-http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/jefferson-city-man-gets-years-suspended-in-malamute-abuse-case/article_d765dd34-4ac8-11e2-8a1e-001a4bcf887a.html

Authorities: Telford Man Sparked Other Animal Welfare Concerns

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A Telford man facing a spate of animal cruelty and weapons charges in connection with his arrest last month has been on animal welfare authorities’ radar for nearly two years, according to Tracie Graham — a Humane Society police officer and shelter manager with the Montgomery County SPCA.

Graham said that since late 2011, she and other Humane Society officials have been investigating 52-year-old Earl C. Heitz III, of the 100 block of Forrest Road, on suspicion of animal cruelty and failure to provide proper care for animals.

Heitz was arrested at his home by Franconia Township police on March 21 and arraigned on 27 charges — including 21 counts of cruelty to animals and three counts of felony illegal firearm possession — after a report of an injured goat led officers to his residence.

 MCSPCA seized 24 animals from the property, “which are being housed and cared for,” said Graham, who — citing the ongoing nature of the case — did not disclose the medical condition of any of the animals. She said that the removed animals included 11 puppies, three chinchillas, two goats, two roosters, two guinea fowl, two parrots, one iguana and one cat.
On Wednesday, Heitz had his preliminary hearing before District Judge Kenneth Deatelhauser of Souderton continued for a second time. Court personnel did not provide a reason for the continuance. Heitz remains free after posting $50,000 bail on March 22.

“This is not the first time there’s been a problem like this with (Heitz),” according to Graham. She said that on Feb. 19, she filed four non-traffic summary citations for animal cruelty against Heitz with District Judge Catherine Hummel-Fried of Red Hill. That was in regard to 40 animals — including goats, horses and cattleHeitz allegedly keeps on an Upper Salford property that’s owned by someone else, said Graham, adding that those animals have not yet been seized from the property.

“We are going to be requesting forfeiture of all of the animals,” she said.

Court records show that the four citations are in the process of being transferred from Hummel-Fried’s court — Graham explained that she is trying to have them consolidated into Heitz’s criminal case in connection with his March arrest.

According to police, just after 1 p.m. on March 21, officers were dispatched to Heitz’s property after receiving a tip that a goat on a nearby road had been struck by a vehicle and appeared to have a broken jaw, and that several dogs were running up and down Heitz’s driveway.

When officers approached the house to locate the homeowner, the criminal complaint states, they found the front door wide open, announced their presence but got no response and then, “not knowing if the homeowner was injured or incapacitated,” entered the residence for a well-being check.

Inside, officers found “deplorable conditions,” according to the affidavit: Animal feces in every part of the home, a dead fish on the floor of an upstairs bedroom and a number of live animals both inside and outside the home, including puppies, goats, chickens, chinchillas and birds. Police said they also found three .22 caliber rifles inside the house, which authorities took for safekeeping since the house was open “and anyone would have access to the firearms.”

The MCSPCA and Humane Society then responded to the scene and made the decision to take the 24 animals into protective custody, the complaint states, and an official from Franconia Township was also called in to inspect the property. The township made the determination to condemn the property and posted an official notice to that effect on the front door of the house that afternoon.

Police said that as they were leaving the property, Heitz returned and asked what was going on. According to the affidavit, Heitz was advised that authorities were called to the property because of the goat that had been injured, that the MCSPCA had taken his animals, that the township had condemned the property and he was not permitted inside the house and that he needed to leave the property immediately.

Shortly after 5 p.m. that same day, police received a call that someone was at the house and there were dogs running on the property, court papers state, and while officers were en route back to the property, they learned from the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office that Heitz was convicted of a felony drug charge in 1992 and thus was prohibited from possessing firearms. Police said they were advised by an assistant district attorney to make an arrest based on that information.

Upon arrival, Franconia police — observing that the township’s condemned property notice had been removed from the front door — knocked on the door, and when Heitz came to the door he was taken into custody without incident.

A new date for Heitz’s preliminary hearing has not yet been scheduled, court records show.

According to information posted online by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department, Heitz’s Forrest Road property is listed for Sheriff’s Sale on May 29.

News Link:– http://www.thereporteronline.com/article/20130412/NEWS01/130419844/authorities-telford-man-sparked-other-animal-welfare-concerns#full_story

Woman Faces Animal Cruelty Charges For Second Time In Less Than A Year

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“WTF…pitiful excuses by this selfish bxxxh! I sometimes wonder what these Judges are thinking about, when all the evidence proves someone guilty…yet they let them get off! I have more to say with each paragraph below; as one needs to know the full story…so read on!”

HAMILTON, Ohio — A 19-year-old woman faces animal cruelty charges for the second time in less than a year, involving the same dog, after her pit bull was found nearly starved to death this week.

Elizabeth Lewis, 19, of Hamilton, faces animal cruelty charges for the second time after her pit bull was found nearly starved to death this week. (Photo: Gannett/Jennifer Edwards Baker, The Cincinnati Enquirer)

Elizabeth Lewis, 19, of Hamilton, faces animal cruelty charges for the second time after her pit bull was found nearly starved to death this week. (Photo: Gannett/Jennifer Edwards Baker, The Cincinnati Enquirer)

But Elizabeth Lewis insists her pit bull was sick with mange and denies starving Bruiser nearly to death. “I see no vet report to say the dog was sick with mange…only pathetic excuses for letting this dog starve to death!”

Butler County Deputy Dog Warden Tonya Hanson ordered the owner, Elizabeth Lewis of Hamilton, to take Bruiser to an emergency vet clinic so he could be put to sleep and no longer suffer, according to a statement from Animal Friends Humane Society.

Hamilton police went to Lewis‘ apartment Monday after receiving a report that an emaciated dog had fallen down the stairs. They alerted the dog warden, who said she was horrified.

“I’ve been doing animal cruelty cases for 15 years and it is the most emaciated dog I’ve ever seen,” Hanson said.

Hanson said when she questioned Lewis about why she let the 10-month-old dog deteriorate so far, “her response was she knew it was being selfish … and that was all she said.” “Selfish…to right bloody selfish, I bet she sat stuffing her face while the poor dog got nothing, not even tit bits..that’s not just selfish, it’s bloody cruel!”

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Warden ordered the emaciated dog put down
  • First charged in August concerning same dog
  • Woman says she couldn’t afford to have sick animal euthanized

Previous charges in August

Lewis was charged Tuesday with cruelty to a companion animal and failure to license a dog, both misdemeanors. She is scheduled to appear March 6 in Hamilton Municipal Court.

The vet clinic that euthanized Bruiser told the warden the dog’s body temperature was so low when he arrived, it didn’t register on a thermometer and he had been starved, according to the humane society. “Starved…that means not feeding on purpose!”

This is not the first time Lewis has been charged with animal cruelty. In August, the same dog was brought to the humane society by the dog warden. At that time, Bruiser was “extremely lethargic and malnourished, weighing in at 17 pounds,” according to the society. “Seriously, is the Judge going to give her another “get out of jail free card”

Since Hamilton Municipal Court Judge Daniel Gattermeyer found Lewis not guilty, the dog was returned to her care. When Bruiser left the dog pound on Oct. 5, he weighed 38 pounds, the humane society said. “This proves the dog had a healthy appetite, there can be no excuse for the dog getting thin again; apart from not being fed!”

A pitbull’s average adult weight typically ranges between 35 and 65 pounds, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

This time, Hanson said she plans to ask the judge to ban Lewis from owning more animals. “I don’t want to give her another chance to mistreat another animal,” Hanson said. “Good, at least somebody cares!”

Hanson referred questions on the August case and why the animal was returned to Lewis to the judge. Gattermeyer said he couldn’t really comment since there was another, similar case now in front of him involving Lewis. YES there is, because this Judge didn’t do the job properly the first time round, if he had; the dog might still be alive today!!”

“If something happened in the prior case that becomes evidence in this one, it wouldn’t be appropriate and legally ethical for me to comment on it,” Gattermeyer said. “It’s very difficult to comment in any way, but if a person is found not guilty, well, that would be the reason why the dog was returned. But it is sad a dog has died, any time a dog dies.” “Yes it’s very sad, & it could have been avoided had he done his job properly & had the dog taken of this bitch…too late to be sorry about it now!”

Case a misunderstanding, woman says

Lewis, who is 10 weeks pregnant, said the whole situation is a big misunderstanding. “Well it would be wouldn’t it…19 & pregnant, she couldn’t care for a dog but now she’s having a baby!”

She said Bruiser suffered from hereditary mange, a skin disease caused by tiny mites, common external parasites found in dogs. ” WAS this found by a vet then? or is she a qualified vet??” Bruiser also didn’t seem to want to eat at times, so she gave him anti-stress calming tablets.

She said she got Bruiser and a second dog, Buster, from a litter that her brother’s dog had last year and has tried her best to care for them while earning $800 a month working at a convenience store and now a warehouse. “Well if you don’t have the money to care for yourself, you don’t get 2 dogs to care for…how stupid!”

Buster is now at the humane society. They took him in light of the second cruelty charge, Lewis said. “Thank God for that!”

She said the August citation resulted from a misunderstanding between her and her former room mate, who mistakenly thought Lewis had abandoned Bruiser so she took him to the police, who called the humane society. “Sorry…I thought when you had a room mate you told them most things, especially about the pets you own!”

Lewis said the society had the dog checked out by a vet, who couldn’t prove the animal cruelty charge, so the judge found her not guilty. “Interesting to note that the vet didn’t mention or say the dog was suffering from hereditary mange, & a skin disease caused by tiny mites!”

“I feel like they are making it out like I am crazy because I have one dog who was sick,” Lewis said. “You can ask all my friends. He ate dog food and treats. I am 19 and I am pregnant. I have a feeling people are going to look at it like ‘if this is what she does with her dog, what is she going to do with her baby?‘” “WOW…took the words right out of my mouth…but hang on, further up in this story, she said ” he didn’t seem to want to eat at times”, yet in this paragraph she says “he ate dog food & treats”?? which is it???”

She admits she knew Bruiser needed to be euthanized, but said she couldn’t afford the $200 cost, which she wound up paying anyway this week at the dog warden’s order. “I’m sure if you took a dog who needed to be euthanized, to a vets, they would do it, without asking for money, they have a moral code to put the care of animals first…i.e. before money!”

Lewis said she had been trying to arrange for a relative to take the dog. Now she is afraid she will be found guilty of the current animal cruelty charge and sentenced to 180 days in jail and/or fined $1,000. “Sorry I have no sympathy what’s so ever!”

“I should have gotten him put down. I am not going to sit here and deny it,” she said. “I didn’t know what to do, but he’s gotten skinny before and then pulled back up.” Oh, please, didn’t know what to do? what a feeble & pathetic excuse!”

News Link:-http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/03/01/dog-abuse-death/1957677/

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