COURT CALENDAR

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 1993:

Editor’s note: The people grouped under the heading “Animal Collectors,”
below, call themselves animal rescuers. The others, purportedly, sought to make
money. In each case, however, regardless of alleged motive, the pathology and cir
cumstances of the perpetrators seems to be the same. As humane investigator Lewis R.
Plumb of the Promotion of Animal Welfare Society in Paradise, California wrote about
a case he and his wife prosecuted, “When two people are living in a mobile home with
hundreds of dogs, with feces all over the floors and even on the bed, when in one small
container a mother poodle nurses two dead puppies who have been left in the cage,
when three dead puppies are in the freezer next to a frozen turkey and some ice cream,
then you get the idea that it just maybe is not so much criminality as insanity. How
should these people be humanely dealt with? As it is now, each felony cruelty count
under California law carries a maximum penalty of one year is prison, a maximum fine

of $20,000, and restitituion of all costs of impoundment.” Because such people usually
are penniless to begin with, the financial penalties are no deterrent.
“The real disgrace,” Plumb continued, “is that this is the third time these same
people have been caught in the same situation. There is no requirement for these people
to register as animal cruelty offenders,” as sex offenders are registered in many states,
“so that proper watch can periodically be made to prevent recurrence.”
Perhaps it’s time to quit drawing artificial distinctions between such cases based
on what the people say they are doing, which appears to have more to do with what they
think is socially acceptable than with what they are actually doing, and focus upon pre
vention, using a system of intervention similar to those evolving in the child protection
and spouse abuse areas. This may require founding a branch of animal law based on
family law rather than criminal law. Since child and spouse abuse prevention authorities
are already in strong agreement that animal abuse is often a component of a family situa
tion requiring intervention, such a shift in the legal treatment of certain cruelty cases
may be easier to achieve than simply strengthening general cruelty statutes, which in any
event have proved ineffective against most collectors.
Worth noting is that a 1981 study of 50 animal collectors by psychologists Dooley
Worth and Alan Beck discovered that while most become socially isolated and mistrustful
of authority, they usually don’t start out that way. They typically begin collecting fairly
early in life, motivated by normal compassion combined with an abnormally obsessive
fear of death, but problems don’t begin until the time and expense devoted to animal care
causes loss of human social interactions and anxiety over running into legal trouble
brings further withdrawal, rather than an appeal for help.
Animal Collectors
Ann Morris, 67, of Eatonton,
Georgia, was held in jail September 15 and
charged with seven counts of cruelty, while
her mother, Anna Laura Tuggle, 86, was sent
to a psychiatric hospital for evaluation, after
Putnam County Sheriff Gene Resseau led a
raid on their property that found more than 300
dogs and cats in filthy conditions, along with
the remains of numerous animals who appar-
ently either starved or died of disease. “I knew
what was going on out there,” Resseau told
Macon Telegraph reporter Larry Tillman Jr.
“We had been up there several times.”
Resseau hesitated to remove the animals,
however, partly because Morris and Tuggle
responded to overtures from the county social
service agency by hiring a lawyer, and partly
because the county has no animal shelter.
Virtually all of the animals seized September
15 were euthanized after a veterinary examina-
ion. Tuggle, suffering from malnutrition,
was eventually committed to a nursing home;
Morris is barred from the premises.
A requirement in Ohio law that
prosecutors must prove “recklessness” to
win negligent cruelty convictions is inhibiting
action against both animal collectors and ken-
nel operators. Kennel owner Eileen Myers
recently won reversal of two cruelty convic-
tions because the judge failed to instruct the
jury that it must find recklessness to convict.
Meyers has now sued the Medina County
SPCA for prosecuting her, while the SPCA is
appealing the reversal to the state Supreme
Court. Meanwhile, alleged animal collector
Norma Stevenson, 46, of West Salem was
acquited August 24 when Wayne County
municipal judge William D. Evans ruled that
even though 50 dogs removed from her prop-
erty March 6, “were not taken care of and not
in good health,” recklessness had not been
proven. Stevenson reclaimed 36 dogs from the
Wayne County Humane Society the next day,
leaving 17 behind after her barn burned
August 27. The fate of the 36 dogs is
unknown. Having already spent $20,000 to
feed and house Stevenson’s dogs, the WCHS
billed her $3,060 for boarding those still in
custody. Stevenson contested the bill and
sued, asking to get those dogs back.
Stephenson meanwhile was convicted by a
jury September 21 on two counts of aggravat-
ed menacing and one of obstructing official
business, for waving a gun at WCHS director
LuAnn Bonewitz during the March 6 raids.
Humane officials also won a round on August
24, as Summit County judge James Murphy
ruled that the Humane Society of Greater
Akron acted properly in taking 20 animals
from Carl Moskoff on April 21, and ordered
him to pay restitution of $1,680. Seventeen of
the 20 animals were euthanized due to illness
or injury; two more died later. The case isn’t
over, as Moskoff has sued the humane society.
Frances Palermo, 62, of East
Meadow, N.Y., drew three years on probation
Sept. 2for keeping 200 cats in unsanitary con-
ditions, and was given 60 days to dispose of
all but three of the cats found in her apartment
in an August 1992 raid. The Nassau League
for Animal Protection/ SPCA had asked that
Palermo be given six months to place the cats,
since she will not allow any of them to be euth-
anized.
Kennel raids
Pleading guilty September 8 to
two of 60 cruelty counts filed against her on
July 28, Elizabeth M. Schultz, 54, of Enfield,
Connecticut, drew two years on probation
while the remaining counts were dropped.
Police found 45 dogs at Schultz’s home in
Enfield, plus six dead dogs in the refrigerator,
and 13 more live dogs, three dead dogs, and
two cats at another home Schultz owned in
nearby Windsor Locks. According to Enfield
dog warden Fred Provencher, the dogs had
been fed, but were confined in cages atop
four-to-five inch layers of feces. Schultz is
still advertising rat terriers for sale in at least
one leading dog magazine.
The Maine Animal Welfare
Division on August 25 declined to cite sled
dog breeder/racer Ted Richards, 58, of
Palmyra, after failing to find a dead dog that
was reportedly on his property. “The place is
in absolutely deplorable condition,” reported
investigator Wendell Storey, “but his 27 dogs
are not mistreated. They are healthy, lovable,
loving dogs. Quite honestly, I think the guy is
starving himself to feed the dogs.” Richards
has previously been in trouble with authorities
in Corinna, Cornville, and Skowhegan for
keeping dogs in unsanitary conditions.
Don and Charlotte Spiegel, of
Butte County, California, initially denied
that they were breeding 279 miniature poodles
seized from a filth-filled trailer on July
28––although their records showed they had
produced 47 litters in six months––but they
dropped an appeal of a court order releasing
the poodles for adoption after all the adoptable
dogs were neutered. The first set of cruelty
charges was dismissed August 26 on technical
grounds. On September 14, the county district
attorney recharged the Spiegels with 32 felony
cruelty counts, 247 cruelty misdemeanors,
and one count of illegally operating a kennel.
James Koh, 59, of Salem, New
Hampshire, was charged with cruelty on
August 31 after police removed 16 German
shepherds from cages that rescuers suspect
hadn’t been cleaned in at least a year. “I’ve
never seen animals in this much excrement,”
said veterinarian Jim Rausch. Koh owns the
Walk Hill Market in Boston.
Cruelty to livestock
The Alberta SPCA won convic-
tions against three farmers during the summer
for starving and neglecting animals. Dwayne
Berreth of Olds was barred from keeping cattle
for three years after pleading guilty to starving
380 cows, six of whom had to be euthanized.
It was Berreth’s second conviction for starving
his herd in less than two years. Earle and
Irwin Barkley of Balzac were each fined
$1,500 for starving their dairy cattle and fail-
ing to remove manure from their barn., while
Frances Giles of LaGlace was barred from
keeping horses for the next 18 months.
Dealers & theft
The USDA on September 3
charged animal dealer Jerry Vance, 46, of
Europa, Mississippi, with failing to keep
accurate records of the sources and destinations
of dogs and cats sold to laboratories. The
charges came a week after the CBS news pro-
gram Eye to Eye with Connie Chung focused
on accusations that Vance sells stolen pets.
According to In Defense of Animals, which
has monitored the case, Vance sells animals to
Texas A&M and the Cedars Sinai Medical
Center in Los Anglees. Three other dealers
who formerly supplied Cedars Sinai have been
convicted of pet theft. A third client,
Mississippi State University, dropped Vance,
and asked people whose pet might be in their
laboratories to inquire at 601-984-1100. The
USDA has not charged Jeff Hodges, 30, of
Vaiden, also targeted by Eye to Eye, who is
both a laboratory animal supplier and animal
control officer for the town of Winona.
David Seidelman, animal control
officer for Ionia County, Michigan, since
1967, was fired August 19 and arrested for
willful neglect of duty and failure to uphold the
law. In July Seidelman told Kim Snyder of
Grand Rapids that her Laborador retriever and
a beagle puppy had been shot for harrassing
livestock, after they vanished from their pen.
Incredulous, Snyder complained to the county
commissioners. Seidelman then retrieved the
Lab from R&R Research Breeders in Howard
City, which sells animals to laboratories . The
beagle puppy’s fate is still unknown.
Wisconsin animal dealer Erving
Stebane, 72, was acquitted of cruelty on
August 6 for having killed and butchered a dog
at request of two undercover operatives of Last
Chance for Animals, as LCA founder Chris
DeRose clandestinely videotaped the action.
The court ruled that Stebane had been wrong-
fully entrapped, ordering the return of the 143
dogs who were seized from him in July, when
the charges were filed. The dogs were placed
in shelters throughout the state. After the LCA
video ran on TV, Stebane reportedly had trou-
ble finding truck drivers to go get the dogs, at
least six of whom meanwhile vanished in shel-
ter break-ins.
The Progressive Animal Welfare
Society reports that it has been able to locate
only 19 of 104 people listed as sources of the
roughly 1,000 dogs Dave Knight of Eatonville,
Washington, has sold to the University of
Washington during the past two years––and
one source who was found refused to say
where he got the 81 dogs he sold to Knight.
Maynard Lauterborn, 33, and
Kenneth Zaleski, 31, were charged with
grand larceny August 30 in Dix Hills, New
York, for allegedly stealing a Lhasa Apso and
holding her for $200 ransom.
The USDA has fined animal deal-
ers Michael and Kathy McCall o f
Washington, Kansas, $7,500 for numerous
violations of the Animal Welfare Act.
Exotic Pets
New York City Friends of the
Ferret applied September 17 for a federal
injunction to stop enforcement of the city
ban on ferrets, which are legal everywhere
else in New York state. About 10,000 fer-
rets live in New York City illegally.
A Petland store clerk in St.
Clairsville, Ohio, grabbed a contraband-
prairie dog and ran into West Virginia on
Sept. 17 to keep him from being seized by
state agricultural inspectors.
Wildlife crimes
Police in northern Delhi state,
India , on September 4 arrested an alleged
go-between for poachers and smugglers and
seized the bones of 20 tigers, 43 panther
skins, and the skins of 163 other animals.
The remains were en route to China for use
in making traditional medicines.
In the first court test of a
Taiwanese law against smuggling rhinocer-
ous parts, adopted in 1985 but not previous-
ly enforced, three men and one woman on
August 28 drew jail terms ranging from 14
months to three and a half years. The four
were caught receiving 3,080 pounds of rhino
and deer horns, in cartons marked “glass-
ware,” in December 1992. The shipment
was relayed through New Zealand.
The Maine Department of
Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service are examining the
remains of a wolf-like animal that a bear
hunter shot in early September near
Greenville. If the animal turns out to have
been a wolf rather than a wolf hybrid, the
hunter may be charged with illegally killing
an endangered species.
Primarily Primates
Originally set for September 13,
Texas assistant attorney general John
Vinson’s motion to remove Primarily
Primates founder Wallace Swett from the
sanctuary has been postponed to October 5
due to delays in obtaining Swett’s deposi-
tions, Vinson told ANIMAL PEOPLE a t
deadline. Vinson intervened after Swett
“fired” longtime Primarily Primates board
members Melissa Karron and Kay Trevino
last summer, who had confronted him over
ongoing alleged mismanagment. (See “Civil
war within rescue groups,” September 1993.)
Activism
The Washington state Supreme
Court will hear a cross-appeal this month of a
1992 state Superior Court verdict that the
University of Washington must give the
Progressive Animal Welfare Society essential
data about a pending grant application by
researcher Gene Sackett, who applied to raise
infant monkeys in total isolation for up to one
year to encourage self-mutilation. Institutions
usually release details of projects only after
funding is secured. Argues PAWS animal
issues director Mitchell Fox, “By then it’s too
late for the public to be involved in any discus-
sion about the appropriateness of the experi-
ment and its use of animals.” The case began
in 1990. In 1991, before it got to court, the
National Institutes of Health rejected Sackett’s
application, but both sides fought on to clarify
the public’s right of access to information.
Local activists have pledged a
prompt court test of an ordinance against
picketing in residential neighborhoods, adopt-
ed September 14 in Montgomery County,
Maryland, in response to protests outside the
homes of biomedical researchers. The ordi-
nance is opposed by the American Civil
Liberties Union and the National Association
for the Advancement of Colored People, as
well as animal rights groups.
The February 25 conviction of
Illinois anti-hunting activist Steve Hindi for
allegedly disrupting last year’s DuPage County
Forest Preserve deer cull was overturned
September 14 because the judge failed to
advise Hindi that he could have a jury trial.
Three witnesses avere that Hindi was not the
protester whom police chased out of the area,
and was not within the preserve at the time.
Crimes against humans
Drifters Mark Kohut and Charles
Rourk were convicted September 7 in West
Palm Beach, Florida, of kidnapping, robbing,
and trying to murder an Afro-American tourist,
Christopher Wilson, on New Year’s Day 1993
by burning him alive. In May 1991, Animal
Control in Joliet, Illinois, seized four starving
pit bull terriers from Rourk, whom neighbors
accused of breaking puppies’ necks with his
hands and feeding live mice to pet piranhas.
Charged with beating to death
four-year-old Derrick Robie on August 2 in
Savona, New York, Eric Smith, 13, was
known around the neighborhood where both
boys lived for having systematically strangled
a neighbor’s cat with a laundry hose clamp
four years earlier.
Donna Hauck, 23, was arrested
September 4 in Brooklyn, N.Y., for allegedly
using a pit bull terrier as a weapon while steal-
ing beer from a corner store. Hauck, her hus-
band Joseph Meyers, 24, and his brother
Michael, 19, were also charged with endan-
gering the welfare of a child and resisting
arrest. Police found them living in “squalid
conditions” in an unfinished basement.
Darren Thurston, 23, was ordered
to pay restitution of $73,725 and given a sus-
pended prison term on September 3 for his part
in a break-in at a University of Alberta labora-
tory kennel on June 1, 1992, and in an arson
attack against the Billingsate Fish Company on
December 14, 1991. Thurston pleaded guilty
on August 19 to reduced charges of breaking
and entering and arson, after spending 14
months in the Edmonton jail. The North
American Animal Liberation Front Supporters
Group, operating from an Edmonton post
office box, announced the sentencing with a
flyer that identified a key witness in the case by
her complete name, town of residence, and
date of birth.
Beth Morgan, 30, of Fife Lake,
Michigan, was arraigned August 30 for
allegedly refusing to surrender a fawn to state
wardens on July 19. The fawn was orphaned by
a roadkill and taken to Morgan, who has an
80-acre farm, by members of a local wildlife
group. Although Morgan is reputedly an expe-
rienced wildlife rehabilitator, she does not
have a state rehabilitation permit. The fawn
was subsequently taken to a licensed rehabilita-
tor, and will eventually be released.
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