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2016 Year in Review

Selected Baseline Figures

  • New Complaints Investigated:  1,866
  • Rechecks:  3,275
  • Inspections:  81
  • Total Individual Court Appearances:  132
  • Warnings:   791
  • Education/Advisory:  551
  • Referred to Other Agencies/Resources:  193
  • No Action Warranted:  437
  • Animals Inspected:  52,351
  • Animals Surrendered:  355
  • Animals Seized:  6
  • Complaints Received From ACOs:  147
  • Complaints received from PDs:  24
  • Complaints Received From Veterinarians/Animal Hospitals:   54

 

New Court Cases

From January 1, 2016 – December 31, 2016 the Law Enforcement Department (LED) filed charges in 25 new cases.

  • Officer Christine Allenberg filed charges against Selena Newnam of Chicopee for beating her boxer puppy, causing severe trauma that required one of the pup’s legs be amputated. The jury trial scheduled for 11/29/16 has been pushed back until February 2017 (TBD).
  • Officer Nadya Moreno filed charges against Christopher Babeu of Cambridge, for allegedly burning his friend’s beagle mix, resulting in one of the dog’s ears requiring amputation, and failing to seek veterinary care for the dog while it was living with him. Arraignment was 7/12/16.
  • Officer Nadya Moreno filed charges against Hillary & Richard Marshall of Phillipston, for failing to seek vet care for their cane corso that suffered extensively after being quilled by a porcupine. Hillary was given 6 months pretrial probation (through 6/12/17) and ordered to perform community service or pay court fees. Compliance and election for Richard 1/23/17.
  • Officer Chelsea Weiand filed charges against Samantha Vanhauer of Carver, for failing to seek veterinary care for her horse, which was suffering from severe laminitis, a very painful condition. At the pretrial hearing 1/13/17 the case was CWOF with 1 year of probation during which time she may not own or work with horses.
  • Officer Christine Allenberg filed charges against Amy Egeland and Sean Stanton, proprietors of Balance Your Bully K9 Training in Worcester, for leaving a muzzle on a dog 24/7 for days and failing to seek vet care for the dog when the muzzle caused a severe infection. Compliance and election was 12/13/16.
  • Officer Chelsea Weiand filed charges against John Mahar of Fall River, for driving his cat to a Walmart parking lot and abandoning it there. He was arraigned on 7/28/16 and placed on 1 year of pretrial probation as of 12/23/16.
  • Officer Nadya Moreno filed charges against Damon Coston of Dorchester for failing to provide adequate sustenance or any veterinary care for his skinny, sick, and injured pit bull, causing ongoing suffering to the dog. Trial is scheduled for 3/12/17.
  • Officer Martha Parkhurst filed charges against Joseph Christakos of Lowell for allowing his Dogue de Bordeaux to starve and suffer by failing to provide adequate sustenance or any vet care ever for her obvious and ongoing illness. He pleaded guilty on 1/9/17 and was sentenced to 6 months in the house of corrections, suspended for 18 months (through 7/9/18). During that time, Mr. Christakos will be under supervised probation (towards which he must pay $50/month), must pay a $90 victim witness fee, perform 50 hours of community service, and not own any animals.
  • Officer Chelsea Weiand filed charges against Kristen Rossi of Hanson for failing to provide adequate sustenance, vet care, and a sanitary environment for 2 of her dogs. Officer Weiand executed 2 warrants to seize the dogs. One dog had to be euthanized, but the other was able to be adopted into a new home. Ms. Rossi failed to appear at her pretrial hearing 10/18/16, and a warrant was issued. She remains at large. Law Enforcement has previously charged this same woman, and the case was CWOF in March 2016. She had to surrender the 5 horses involved in the case, but the court allowed her to keep all of her other animals and placed no restrictions on her obtaining new ones.
  • Officer Christine Allenberg filed charges against Russell Corby of Springfield for perpetually failing to seek veterinary care for numerous kittens with upper respiratory infections and severe flea infestations, several of which died as a result of his neglect. Pretrial hearing scheduled for 1/26/17.
  • Officer Chelsea Weiand filed charges against Kevin Kennedy of Middleboro for leaving his German shepherd tethered in the yard for days with no attention. The dog became tangled, severely injuring his leg, and causing the dog to gnaw off his own toes in an attempt to escape. The dog was seized by Officer Weiand, underwent surgery at AAMC, and is recovering remarkably in his loving new home. A status hearing is scheduled for 1/12/17.
  • Officer Chelsea Weiand filed charges against Kimberly Enos of Dighton for failing to provide adequate sustenance, shelter, and sanitary environments for multiple horses and other livestock and fowl. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for 1/25/17.
  • Officer Nadya Moreno filed charges against sisters Maureen Guido and Sheila Black of Upton who were hoarding many cats in their very unsanitary home. A pretrial hearing was held 1/9/17. They plead guilty to sufficient facts and the case was CWOF for 2 years.
  • Officer Nadya Moreno filed charges against Ziheng He of Boston University for viciously beating his roommate’s schnauzer puppy. Arraignment was scheduled for 11/15/16.
  • Officer Christine Allenberg applied for a show cause hearing against a Belchertown man for failing to provide medication for his cat’s hyperthyroidism and for failing to seek vet care for an open wound on its leg. At the magistrate’s hearing 11/16/16, the clerk decided that although there was enough evidence to go forward with criminal prosecution, because “Mookie’s” owner had no record and would lose his job, he preferred to have him make a $500 donation to the animal control and adoption center where he had adopted the cat, pay $40 in court costs, only keep his 2 dogs and not get any more animals. The case will remain open for 1 year.
  • Officer Chelsea Weiand applied for a show cause hearing against Shaun Lyons of Wellesley for beating his aunt’s Chihuahua while staying at her home in Fall River. At the magistrate’s hearing 12/15/16 the complaint issued, and arraignment is scheduled for 1/27/17.
  • Officer Martha Parkhurst filed charges against Weiran Zhao of Boston for beating his Maltese into critical condition (the dog was humanely euthanized at AAMC) after it nipped his hand. Arraignment was 12/8/16 and a pretrial hearing is scheduled for 2/13/17.
  • Officer Christine Allenberg applied for a show cause hearing against a Springfield man for causing severe traumatic injuries to his cat “Oreo”, who had to be euthanized as a result. At the magistrate’s hearing 12/9/16, the case was left open for 1 year, during which time the accused may not obtain any more pets.
  • Officer Nadya Moreno filed charges against Maryellen Teague of Acton, for failing to provide adequate sustenance or shelter to her 4 horses. Arraignment was 12/12/16 and a pretrial hearing is scheduled for 1/30/17.
  • Officer Chelsea Weiand filed charges against David Saccone of Whitman for failing to provide adequate sustenance for his Australian shepherd and failing to provide veterinary care as slow starvation caused multiple additional medical issues for the dog. The arraignment scheduled for 12/23/16 was pushed back to 2/15/17.
  • Officer Chelsea Weiand filed charges against Venilda Batista of Fall River for failing to provide veterinary care for her Pomeranian that had been bitten in the leg by a rat. The bite became infected and caused the dog so much distress that it chewed off its entire lower leg. The dog was eventually humanely euthanized. Arraignment was 1/4/17 and a pretrial hearing is scheduled for 2/2/17.
  • Officer Christine Allenberg filed charges against Jessica Torres of Springfield, for failing to provide vet care for her spaniel mix dog, who suffered for months with a proptosed and badly infected eye. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for 2/28/17.
  • Officer Martha Parkhurst filed 7 charges against Troy McNiff of Ayer for failing to provide proper food, water, shelter and a sanitary environment for numerous swine and cattle, and for failing to provide veterinary care for several ill animals. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for 2/2/17.
  • Officer Christine Allenberg filed 3 charges against Gerald Castine of Athol for failing to provide proper shelter and a sanitary environment for his horses. He failed to show for his arraignment 12/30/16 and a warrant was issued.
  • Officer Christine Allenberg filed 5 charges against Loretta Clifford of Phillipston for failing to provide adequate shelter and regular care for her horses. Arraignment is scheduled for 1/17/17.

 

Adjudicated Cases

  • Kinsella (suffocated dog to death – charges in this case were filed by Brookline PD) was found guilty of animal cruelty and received three years’ probation with special conditions:
  1. Continue mental health treatment, sign/do not rescind releases, release Dr. Winsmann’s evaluation to probation department, verification of compliance with mental health treatment to be provided to probation.  Take medication as prescribed, comply with current injectable medication treatment as recommended by provider, provide updated prescription medication list to probation
  2. Remain alcohol/ drug free with testing as requested by probation department, may use medical marijuana only if prescribed by psychiatrist
  3. Comply with DMH recommendations.
  4. Have no custody, control, possession of any dog, cat, or other domestic animal.  May not reside or stay in home with domestic animals except for in home of parent under parental supervision.  May be guest in home with animals if under parental supervision.  No employment or volunteer work with animals.

Defense Attorney Melissa Mitchell (CPCS) requested a CWOF, which the judge rejected.  The defense agreed with most of the probationary terms.  Mr. Kinsella’s parents were present for the plea and acknowledged by the judge.

  • Martin (failure to provide care for his elderly, dying pit bull). At the pretrial hearing 1/27/16, the defendant pleaded the case out. The judge gave him a CWOF for 9 months. The ADA requested guilty probation, but the judge would not entertain the request that the defendant not own any animals for the probationary period because she felt the defendant ‘just made a mistake’.
  • Finney (8 cats in unsanitary “rescue group” home) CWOF for 6 months with no restrictions. MSPCA LED granted random inspection rights.
  • Dupre (emaciated pregnant mare) was CWOF for 1 year, with administrative probation. Ms. Dupre is not allowed to possess any animals during that time, and must perform 20 hours of community service.
  • Nieves/Hadley (allowed juvenile to repeatedly beat pit bull puppy and failed to seek vet care for it) was CWOF for 18 months with administrative probation after 9 months. The couple is not allowed to possess any animals during that time.
  • Singthongyang (beat Chihuahua to death) was CWOF for 1 year. Mr. Singthongyang may not possess animals during this time, and must remain drug and alcohol free, and continue counseling with the VA hospital.
  • Marchegiani (repeatedly beat his girlfriend’s cat) pleaded guilty to sufficient facts at trial on 2/17/16. The case was CWOF for 18 months with supervised administrative probation. Mr. Marchegiani was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation and counseling.
  • Richardson (failed to provide proper food, water, shelter, and a sanitary environment for her 3 horses) jury trial resulted in a mistrial in April when one of the state’s witnesses confused this case with another and testified with the wrong evidence. The trial was rescheduled to 10/4/16 at which time Ms. Richardson admitted to sufficient facts on 5 counts of animal cruelty. The case was CWOF through 10/3/19 with probation. The court allowed her to keep her mule, chickens, rabbits, pigs, and 1 horse.
  • After 5½ long years of work and dedicated pursuit by the MSPCA LED and Norfolk County ADA Tracey Cusick, Gerard Bates (stabbed his husky-shepherd mix to death) of Brookline was found guilty of animal cruelty by a jury on 4/28/16. Mr. Bates was sentenced to 2 years in the house of correction, with credit for time served (about 6 months). Many thanks to ADA Cusick, Jennifer Puleo Bishop, Angell’s Dr. Pam Mouser, and the jury and judge that finally provided justice in this case!
  • Rios (ear cropping & tail docking of puppies) decided to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of ear cropping and was fined $250.
  • Monteiro (dog with multiple medical issues and no vet care) admitted to sufficient facts and her case was CWOF with 6 months’ probation during which she cannot own any pets. She was also ordered to pay a $50 fee.
  • The 17yo Fitchburg male charged with physically abusing and burning a cat that his mother was pet sitting was found not guilty at his bench trial on 6/10/16.
  • Stevenson (no vet care for cat with badly fractured leg) charges were dismissed.
  • Robson of Just Pups (pup suffering from canine parvovirus received no vet care) admitted to sufficient facts at trial and the case was CWOF for 1 year (until 9/27/17). For that year, she has lost her pet shop license and may not engage in any animal sales of any kind. She was ordered to pay a victim witness fee of $90. Probation fees were waived.
  • Cerci Sarmento & Guinta of Brockton, charged for allowing their pit bull to suffer by failing to seek medical care for her numerous ailments, including an ulcerated eye, were found not guilty at their bench trial on 9/28/16.
  • Hoaglund’s case (suffocated Hayes’ dog to death) went to a jury trial 10/17/16. The case was CWOF for 2 years with probation. The court ordered that Hoaglund may not obtain any new animals or work with animals, but may keep her current pets.
  • On 10/4 Caldwell (starving and keeping 2 beagles in unsanitary conditions) was ordered to serve 6 months pre-trial probation and pay restitution.
  • McHendry & Richard (>100 domestic and wild animals living in squalor) both plead guilty in the Hampden County Superior Court and Judge Ferrara ordered the following:
  1. Ronald Richard – 5 years of probation, after 3 years he can come in to ask for it to be terminated if all conditions have been met. The following conditions were imposed:
  • Cannot work in a caregiver capacity, paid or unpaid, for any animals, domestic or otherwise.
  • Shall have no temporary or permanent custody, possession, guardianship, control or other responsibility for an animals, domestic or otherwise.
  • Shall keep his residential and business address current with the probation department to allow for the inspection of premises for the presence of animals by the probation department and/or MSPCA.
  • Shall pay all necessary fees.
  1. Kathleen McHendry – 5 years of probation, after 3 years she can come in to ask for it to be terminated if all conditions have been met. The judge ordered the SAME conditions as above but added the following:
  • Shall engage in mental health evaluation and treatment as directed by the probation department.

 

Updates on Cases Initiated in Previous Years

  • Harding & Daphnis (five sick cats with no vet care). Daphnis remains in default. Harding’s pretrial probation ended 12/16/16.
  • Knight (diabetic toy poodle not provided treatment) case postponed until further notice due to the defense attorney’s severe illness.
  • Marchegiani (repeatedly beat his girlfriend’s cat) trial set for 2/17/16.
  • 11yo West Springfield male (chronic physical abuse of pit bull puppy) In limine motion 2/19/16.
  • Ledan (starving and severely matted dog uncared for in flooded and unsanitary basement) failed to appear for her arraignment 1/22/16 and a warrant was issued.

 

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