From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1996:
Fellow tenants of the Townhouse Motel
in Billings, Montana, complained on August 27 to
animal control officer Mary Locke that eighty-year
resident Robert Dorton had two cat-sized rats in his
room, whom he kissed and called his brothers.
Dorton refused to admit Locke when she knocked
on his door, then shot at police and firefighters who
tried to chainsaw the door down. They returned fire
with pepper spray, tear gas, and finally a water
cannon. The siege ended––without injuries to anyone––when
Dorton was tricked into capture and
taken to a hospital for psychiatric evaluation.
Kansas City Chiefs running back Todd
McNair was on October 11 convicted of 17 counts
of cruelty to 22 pit bull terriers found chained on his
partially flooded property in Gloucester County,
New Jersey. McNair is to pay nearly $5,000 in fines
plus restitution of up to $15,000 to Gloucester
County Animal Control, and forfeits the dogs.
Poultry producer Douglas Gassman, of
Louisville, Kentucky, is awaiting sentencing after
pleading guilty in August to allowing chickens to
starve at farms in both Kentucky and North Carolina
during early 1995, in a case jointly investigated and
exposed by PETA and The Fund for Animals. “The
plea is significant,” said Fund spokesperson Tanya
Tuell, “as farm animals are rarely provided protection
against cruelty and neglect.”
Executive director Henry Brzezinski
and investigator Steve Stephenson of the Humane
Society of the Midlands in Columbia, South
Carolina, credit increased animal awareness at both
the legislative and prosecutorial levels for two
recent precedent-setting convictions and sentences.
James Kenneth Ball Jr., 24, drew a year in jail on
December 21, 1995, for stabbing a puppy to death.
Perhaps aware of that sentence, Kenyatta Goodson,
21, on October 11 pleaded guilty to severe neglect
of two pit bulls, accepting a 60-day jail term.
Randall Dyer, of Michigan City,
M i s s i s s i p p i, on September 23 drew a six-month
suspended jail sentence and a fine of $250 for leaving
four telephone messages for In Defense of
Animals mid-South regional coordinator Doll
Stanley-Branscum on July 8, the last of which said,
“I will destroy you. And, that is a death threat.” At
request of the Benton County Sheriff’s Department,
who assisted, Stanley-Branscum had taken possession
of several dogs who were allegedly seriously
neglected on Dyer’s property.
Danny Crane, 17, and Ryan Walters,
18, of East Bernard, Texas, were arrested in
Richmond, Texas, on September 26 for allegedly
shoplifting snuff, while still on probation for joining
with two East Bernard High School baseball
teammates in beating a cat to death last April.