COURT CALENDAR

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1993:

Dog Crimes
The Cuyahoga County, Ohio
grand jury on April 23 indicted Jeffrey
Mann, 36, for murder, alleging that he
ordered his pit bull terrier to fatally maul his
common-law wife, Angela Kaplan, 28, on
September 2, 1992. The indictment came
as result of an eight-month probe by
Cleveland homicide detective Michaelene
Taliano, and extensive observation of the
dog’s nature by animal behaviorist Karen
Arnoff. Taliano suspected the attack was a
murder, not an accident, because the dog
bit Kaplan more than 100 times, but never
around the neck and throat, the usual sites
of fatal bite wounds. Mann pleaded inno-
cent and was freed on $25,000 bail.

Sheila Devore Levy, 30, of
Oakland, California, was charged May 17
with assault with a deadly weapon, for
allegedly setting her Rottweiler on an 11-
year-old boy who was fighting with her two
sons. The victim, bitten multiple times,
may undergo rabies treatment too, as at
deadline the dog hadn’t been found.
Billy Shepherd Jr., age 2, of
Hicksville, New York, was killed by a
121-pound Rottweiler on May 14 while
swinging in a neighbor’s yard. The dog
broke out of a four-foot stockade and
crushed the boy’s skull with one bite as his
mother, Jill Shepherd, tried to intervene.
Michael Chenevert, age 8, of
Kenner, Lousiana, received 45 stitches to
his face, ear, arm, back, and shoulder on
May 18 after beating off a Rottweiler who
attacked his 5-year-old sister Amanda. The
girl was unhurt.
County Animal Control in Santa
Fe, New Mexico, has recorded 76
Rottweiler attacks on people and other ani-
mals during the past two years.
Tyler Olson, age 3, of Toms
River, New Jersey, was awarded $850,000
on May 14 by Superior Court judge Rosalie
Cooper, in compensation for the loss of his
right arm, which was ripped off above the
elbow by a neighbor’s wolf hybrid when he
was 16 months old. The liability verdict
was rendered against the neighbors, Robert
and Beverly Speivak; wolf hybrid breeders
John and Christine Boehm, for selling an
animal inappropriate to be kept as a pet; and
baby sitter Jean Archer, who allowed Olson
to wander into the Speivak property. Olson
will receive $644,343 after legal expenses,
which will be kept in a trust fund. His
injuries, also including a stroke, a coma,
eye damage, nerve damage to his left leg,
and brain damage resulting from a failed
attempt to reattach the arm, cost more than
$300,000 to treat, but the family’s medical
insurer agreed not to seek reimbursement.
Crimes Against Livestock
Lancaster Stockyards, of
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was convicted of
cruelty on April 27 for having failed to
promptly treat or euthanize a downed cow on
July 22, 1992. The case, the first-ever con-
viction of a U.S. stockyard for cruelty, was
filed on the complaint of Farm Sanctuary
humane officer Keith Mohler. Lancaster
Stockyards pledged to stop accepting “down-
ers” (animals so badly injured or ill they can’t
stand) in 1988, but Farm Sanctuary says
similar cases are a continuing problem.
The Australian poultry industry
is assessing the repercussions of an 18-page,
seven-count cruelty conviction rendered by
magistrate Philip Wright on Feb. 24 vs. the
Golden Egg Farm of Acton, Tasmania.
Since the verdict hasn’t been ratified by any
higher court, it has no weight as a legal
precedent, but it has affected public opinion.
Veterinarian Richard John
Burroughs, 51, of Mt. Airy, Maryland,
was convicted May 18 of letting two cows
starve on his land in January 1992. Another
veterinarian, Dr. Frederick Lewis, testified
that both cows were at least 250 pounds
underweight when rescued. Burroughs said
he would appeal.
Activism
The Illinois Department of
Conservation has appealed a lower court
ruling that it must provide a list of all pigeon
shoots it has licensed to anti-pigeon shoot
activist Steve Hindi. Illinois senior assistant
attorney general issued an opinion on
September 16, 1992, that pigeon shoots
appear to violate section 4:01 of the state
Humane Care for Animals Act, but the
DOC has refused to tell shoot organizers to
cease and desist.
District judge Kenneth Bronson
of Chelsea, Michigan, on May 19 over-
turned the October 1992 hunter harrassment
convictions of anti-hunting activists Joe
Taksel of Pittsburgh, Jodi Louth of Ann
Arbor, and Patricia Dodson of Arbor Hills,
on grounds that the hunters they allegedly
harrassed had entered the Pinckney State
Recreation Area too early in the morning to
be hunting legally.
Fund for Animals staffer Heidi
Prescott has sued radio station WRIF-FM of
Detroit and bowhunting rock-and-roller Ted
Nugent, alleging that Nugent called her a
“shallow slut” on the air and said, “Who
needs to club a seal when you could club
Heidi?”, while program hosts Drew Lane
and Mark Clark called her a “butthead” and
asked her in an interview if she was wearing
clean underwear.
Crimes Against Wildlife
Former U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service researcher Richard Mitchell was
convicted May 26 in Alexandria, Virginia,
of smuggling the pelts of endangered
species into the U.S. in contravention of the
Endangered Species Act, but a Federal
District Court jury cleared him of misusing
his job for financial gain. In addition, U.S.
District judge Claude Hilton threw out six
counts of tax evasion and one count of
smuggling, and ruled that the court could
not hear evidence about Mitchell’s activities
prior to 1986 because the statute of limita-
tions had expired. Mitchell said he would
appeal the remaining conviction. Scheduled
to be sentenced on August 13, he faces a
fine of up to $250,000 plus five years in
prison. In 1984, while on loan from the
USFWS to the Smithsonian Institution,
Mitchell set up the nonprofit American
Ecological Union, heavily funded by Safari
Club International, and began escorting rich
trophy hunters on trips to bag endangered
species in China, Nepal, and Pakistan
––including former Texas governor Clayton
Williams. The scam came to light in 1988
when Williams was charged with illegally
importing the pelts of Argali sheep. The
Smithsonian paid for Mitchell’s defense.
The Louisiana legislature is con-
sidering a bill to split the state Department
of Wildlife and Fisheries in two, creating a
new office of wildlife law enforcement.
The bill originated out of discontent among
wardens after the legislature cut the use of
general funds to support the DWF, costing
the present enforcement division $1.6 mil-
lion of a $10.8 million budget. Other DWF
divisions, partially funded by the federal
government on a matching basis, were less
affected. Hunting writer Bob Marshall of
the New Orleans TimesPicayune predicts
that creating the new office will not solve
any financial problems, as it would still be
funded by the sale of hunting, fishing, and
trapping licenses, all of which are declining.
Humane Enforcement
Attorneys for Animals, an asso-
ciation of 60 Michigan lawyers incorporated
in December 1992 by Wanda Nash, is com-
piling a handbook on the state’s various ani-
mal statutes.
The Clatsop County, Oregon,
animal shelter is looking after 117 mal-
nourished dogs, four cats, and two chickens
who were rescued April 16 from a boarded-
up school bus in Brownsmead that owner
Vikki Kettles, 45, described as a no-kill
animal shelter. Kittles, who denied being
an animal collector, was freed from jail on
her own recognisance April 24.
Print Friendly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *