Court Calendar

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 2004:

Humane work

New York State Supreme Court Justice Bruce Allen on May 28
upheld the constitutionality of the state anti-cruelty law under
which barber Darrel Nelson, 56, was convicted in December 2003 for
amputating a three-month-old Rottweiler’s tail in October 2002.
Nelson used a rubber band to stop the blood supply to the tail, then
cut the tail off with a sharp instrument. Nelson was convicted only
days before the New York Court of Appeals ruled 6-0 against a case
brought by Manhattan lawyer Jon H. Hammer that sought to overturn the
tail-docking requirements in the breed standards of the American
Kennel Club and American Brittany Club. Hammer argued that the
anti-cruelty law language under which Nelson was convicted should
apply to the breed standards. The court held that Hammer had no
standing to sue, and that the statute applies only to deeds, not to
recommendations for procedures not actually performed by the AKC and

Former SPCA/Los Angeles controller, vice president, and
chief financial offier Kenneth Brookwell, 63, on May 5
plea-bargained a two-year prison term for embezzling $940,000 from
SPCA/LA between 1997 and 2002. Brookwell has paid restitution of
$165,000 to SPCA/LA, is to pay more than $321,000 in further
restitution, and is to pay $138,000 to the California Franchise Tax
Board for not reporting more than $730,000 in embezzled income on his
tax returns.

Summit County (Ohio) Common Pleas Court Judge Brenda Burnham
Unruh on May 3 dismissed by summary judgement a petition from
Citizens for Humane Animal Practices that sought to have declared
unconstitutional the 2002 Akron ordinance authorizing impoundment and
killing of feral cats. Pre-ordinance, the Akron pound handled fewer
than 100 cats per year. In the second half of 2002, 969 cats were
killed, and 1,520 were killed in 2003. Complaints about enforcement
of the ordinance led to the firing of dog warden Glenn James, who
had held the job for 18 years; a review of Summit County Animal
Shelter record-keeping by County Executive James McCarthy’s staff,
who “found numerous instances of record tampering on the euthanasia
logs that track usage of the controlled drug sodium pentabarbital,”
according to Akron Beacon-Journal staff writer Lisa A. Abraham; and
a shelter review by the National Animal Control Association.

A jury in Frederick County, Maryland, on June 15 overturned
the felony cruelty conviction of Terry D. Love, 42, of East New
Market, for allegedly beating his female springer spaniel in a
November 2003 drunken rage. Love was the first person convicted
under the 2002 Maryland felony cruelty law. The jury held that the
law improperly required an assessment of the mental state of the dog,
who survived without serious injury, was seized by Frederick County
Animal Control, and was adopted into a new home. Love drew a
21-month prison term for drunk driving in connection with the same

Rodeo & hog/dog

Rodeo producer Mike Latting of St. Anne, Illinois, and
stock contractor Juaquin Santos of Lowell, Indiana, pleaded guilty
to misdemeanor cruelty on June 15 in Morris, Illinois, for
electrically shocking bulls during the Big Bucks Rodeo in September
2003. They were fined $300 each and put on probation for six months.
The charges were brought as result of an investigation by SHARK
investigators Mike Kobliska, Steve Hindi, and Hindi’s daughter Eva
Hindi, 13, who took some of the incriminating video footage.
Latting is the principal at Donovan High School in Morris.

The Pearl River County Grand Jury in Poplarville,
Mississippi on June 11 indicted local “hog/dog rodeo” promoter
Frankie Wheat, 44, for felony animal cruelty and charging admission
to an illegal event. The indictment followed a series of arrests for
“hog/dogging” in Alabama and the passage of legislation against it in
Louisiana (see “Spring 2004 state legislation,” page 12.)

Ketamine in Russia

The Kuzminsky Regional Court of Justice in Moscow, Russia,
on May 18 acquitted veterinarian Konstantin Sadovedov of illegally
possessing the anesthetic ketamine, which he was using to immobilize
a cat during surgery. Ketamine, the most widely used veterinary
anesthetic, was banned in Russia in 1998 after becoming notorious
through illegal use as a “date rape” drug. Veterinarians were
allowed to continue to possess very small amounts, and the amounts
they were allowed were increased in May 2003 to more than the amount
Sadovedov had. Nineteen other veterinarians were later charged with
possessing larger amounts as part of a fall 2003 sting, and have yet
to be tried. The ketamine ban was lifted in January 2004 for
licensed veterinary users, but the licensing procedure has not been
established, and veterinarians who use ketamine continue to be
prosecuted, according to the Moscow animal rights group VITA.


A three-judge Court of Session panel in Edinburgh, Scotland,
on May 27 rejected the second attempt of the Country-side Alliance,
the Masters of Foxhounds Association, and local hunting clubs to
overturn the 2002 Scots ban on fox hunting.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
on June 7 reaffirmed two previous rulings by the same court that the
Makah tribe of Neah Bay, Washing-ton, may not resume hunting grey
whales without doing an environmental impact analysis and without
winning an exemption for the hunt from the Marine Mammal Protection
Act. Immediately after gray whales were dropped from the U.S.
endangered species list in 1995, the Makah claimed an 1855 treaty
guaranteed them the right to kill whales, and did kill one grey
whale in June 1999.

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