On April 29, 2011 Donna Miller's piece "Animals in the News" appeared in the
Cleveland Plain Dealer. Finally, we were able to read the verdict re the Solon, Ohio
couple convicted of hoarding and leaving their 39 companion animals locked up
in their house without air conditioning or open windows for two weeks. City workers
wearing respirators removed 25 dogs, eight cats, three birds, a rabbit, and two guinea
pigs from their home on August 13, 2010. None of the animals had been outside for this
long period. Imagine if you will this couple enjoying themselves on vacation while
their poor animals suffered being cooped up in a what was probably a very hot house.
Did they have water or food? The article didn't say. I think not.
Obviously, the suffering was immense, but I'm not quite sure why all 39 were euthanized
with the exception of a parakeet. There was nothing said about their condition and all
were put down with the permission of this hoarding couple, one of them a podiatrist.
Now the sentence: Found guilty on April 6th of cruelty to animals, they were sentenced
to 14 days in jail with permission to leave for work. (What kind of jail term is that?)
They were also sentenced to three years of probation, ordered to get psychological
evaluations and allow random home inspections and barred from having children and
animals in their home.
Solon Municipal Judge Harry Jacob dismissed two counts of child endangering and 36
counts of cruelty after the couple pleaded no contest to the three counts.
Was justice served? What do you think? Not in my book. Of course, they will have to
live with the knowledge that they let down 38 animals who were in their care. Not only
let them down, but caused their deaths.
Then I went to search the internet to see how Spartacus, the pit bull was doing. I only
remembered that he had been seriously burned, and I wanted to hear good news about
his condition. Sadly, I didn't find any updates on this Care2 story but I found two other
cases even perhaps more cruel.
There was an action alert on a pitbull named Phoenix who was burned in 2009 on almost
100% of her body. The police had two suspects - twin 17 year- old brothers, Travis and
Jermain Johnson. Not surprisingly, their parents maintained that the boys had nothing
to do with this heinous crime. However, on November 13, State's Attorney Patricia C.
Jessamy announced that the Baltimore City Grand Jury indicted both brothers in a five
count indictment charging animal abuse and cruelty.
Kinship Circle asked all persons knowledgeable about the case to write the Honorable
David W. Young, Baltimore City State's Attorney Office as well as to the Mayor re this
I have copied here a small portion of a sample letter from them which is worth reading
because it describes so well the depravity of these two boys:
"I have followed the case of Phoenix, a one-year old pit bull terrier soaked in gasoline
and set afire on May 27, 2009......I thank the state's attorney office and court for its
serious deliberation in this heinous crime. Phoenix was euthanized in caring hands
after her kidneys failed. Swollen and charred, her immune system simply couldn't handle
burns covering 95% of her body.....This case is as much about the twins as it is about
Phoenix. These youths are so desensitized to suffering, they ignored the cries of a living
creature enveloped in flames."
I did not find any updates on this case. Maybe I didn't look hard enough, but I did e-mail
the prosecuting attorney re this case. If anyone already knows the outcome - a comment
on this post would be most appreciated.
Anybody who loves animals were keeping track of Patrick, the pit bull in New Jersey who
was thrown down an apartment garbage chute. Found by the janitor and looking more like
a bag of bones than a dog, he nevertheless took him to a place of rescue. And we are all so glad
he did because Patrick, named because he was found around the feast of St. Patrick, rallied
and is on the mend. A kind of story we all appreciate and if you haven't checked the internet
about him yet, there is an adorable huge picture of him starring right out into anyone's eyes
who is lucky enough to see this sweet picture. These are the kind of outcomes we all hope for.
Around this same time I also heard about London, a Boxer who was found in her owners'
Florida yard while they watched her turn into skin and bones because they did not feed her.
Sadly though, despite a valiant try made for her life as many people rallied around her, she
died on May 12, 2011. I wish that I could put her pictures here for all to see, but it really is so
easy to check her out on the internet and even Facebook I understand and I hope you do. You
will be crestfallen to see how anyone could treat another living being so cruelly. I hope the
people who brought her to this state will be prosecuted. Will London get the justice she
deserves? I only hope and pray she does.
There are very many cases of companion animal cruelty and I have read many of them over
the years. You may have as well. The three cases described above are all about the dogs
who were so terribly mistreated by human beings. But this case involves Tiger Lily, a sweet
little innocent kitten, whose story I have written about before and one I can never forget.
What was done to her could only be done by someone who is cruel and despicable. This
young woman put tiny Tiger Lily into an oven and turned it on. She even remarked as she
hurried out of her former friend's apartment that she didn't want to hear the kitten's screams.
She did this dastardly deed to show spite to her former friend. If you want to know more about
Tiger Lily and would happened in court, her account is also on the internet.