Cases of Interest

Co-owners of Man's Best Friend Insist on Trial

WARNING: Please be advised that some readers might find the facts of the following case to be particularly disturbing.


Working with local animal control, MSPCA Officer Christine Allenberg and MSPCA Sgt. Roy Sutton investigated a case involving the neglect of two Bichon Frise dogs. As the case unfolded, MSPCA officers learned that one dog had tied, and the surviving dog was in very poor condition and covered with excrement. 

Subsequent veterinary statements included the observations that the dog still living was "emaciated, dehydrated, filthy, and covered with fleas", and the conclusion that the death of one dog and condition of the other "could have been prevented by minimal routine care." A veterinarian examining the deceased dog reported starvation to be the probable cause of death.

During the investigation, the defendant co-defendant spouses claimed that both dogs became ill "about a day" before their condition was first noted by an outside party. They both denied any wrongdoing, and later sought to have their case heard by a jury after they were charged each with two counts of animal cruelty. 


After trial, each co-defendant was found guilty of one count of animal cruelty. One year of supervised probation was imposed on each defendant, with neither being allowed to own any animals during the probationary term. Each defendant also will have to complete 50 hours of community service in a setting that does not involve pets.