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2018 Year in Review

Yearly Report:  2018 (with 2017 figures)

 

Selected Baseline Figures

  • New Complaints Investigated:  1,541 (1,725)
  • Rechecks:  2,822 (3,184)
  • Inspections:  36 (36)
  • Total Individual Court Appearances:  203 (201)

 

  • Warnings:   604 (910)
  • Education/Advisory:  605 (623)
  • Referred to Other Agencies/Resources:  170 (155)
  • No Action Warranted:  424 (449)
  • Animals Inspected:  23,970 (28,751)
  • Animals Surrendered:  309 (418)
  • Animals Seized:  1 and assisted Northampton PD with 200+ fighting cocks & hens (26)
  • Citations:  48 (37)

 

  • Complaints Received From ACOs:  157 (128)
  • Complaints received from PDs: 11 (19)
  • Complaints Received From Veterinarians/Animal Hospitals:  71 (57)

 

Search Warrant(s)

  • Officer Nadya Moreno applied for, received, and executed a search warrant in December to seize the remains of a cat that was brought DOA to AAMC and whose owner admitted to hurting it. Charges to be filed 1/10/19.

 

New Court Cases

From January 1, 2018 – December 31, 2018 the Law Enforcement Department (LED) filed charges in 25 new cases. (34)

  • Officer Chelsea Weiand filed and signed charges against Carlton Hendricks III of Mashpee for failing to provide adequate sustenance to his pit bull, and for failing to seek veterinary care as starvation led to further ailments. Motion to dismiss 6/25.
  • Officer Nadya Moreno filed for a magistrate’s hearing in the case of a Brockton woman who failed to get veterinary care for her pit bull suffering from a necrotic penis. The complaint issued against Krystal Goodman of Brockton. Possible plea 10/5.
  • Officer Nadya Moreno filed for a magistrate’s hearing in the case of an Upton man who moved out and abandoned his pet snake in its tank. At the magistrate’s hearing 3/8, the case was held for a year during which time the man may not possess any animals or get into any further legal trouble.
  • Officer Chelsea Weiand filed and signed charges against Denise & Leon Klang of Seekonk, who hoarded cats in unsanitary conditions and then moved out and abandoned them. Several of the cats died. At their pretrial hearing 2/12, both Mr. & Mrs. Klang pleaded guilty to sufficient facts and both cases were CWOF for 1 year with 6 MSPCA visit checks allowed. Mental health evaluations were ordered. Mr. Klang was permitted to keep 2 cats. Mrs. Klang was ordered to not own any pets or live with anyone that owns pets. Restitution court date 3/29.
  • Officer Christine Allenberg filed and signed charges again against Russell Corby, who was on probation, for failing to provide veterinary care to several cats who were in poor condition. The case was CWOF for 1 year at his pretrial and probation violation hearings 6/20. He was allowed to keep 2 cats, but is forbidden from feeding outside cats and must submit to unannounced inspections by both probation and TJO (Springfield ACOs). He must also pay $5,000 in restitution to TJO.
  • Officer Chelsea Weiand filed and signed charges against Robert Pina of Buzzards Bay, who abandoned his Rottweiler after failing to provide proper vet care for the dog who had a massive oral tumor and several other painful ailments. Jury trial 3/17/19.
  • Officer Chelsea Weiand had a magistrate’s hearing 4/13 for a Bridgewater woman who kept a number of animals in an unsanitary and unsafe environment. The court held the case open until 10/12/18.
  • Officer Nadya Moreno filed and signed charges against Jarred Rafferty of Hopkinton who, over an extended amount of time, failed to provide his two horses with proper amounts of food and water as well as failed to tend to the medical conditions of one of the horses. On 10/23 he was placed on 18 months of pretrial probation and given 30 days to relinquish ownership of or sell his current horses and was ordered to stay away from them afterward. He was also forbidden to possess or work with any horses or livestock for the duration of his probation.
  • Officer Allenberg filed and signed charges against Luis Zayas who cruelly beat his Shih Tzu, causing the dog to suffer and eventually resulted in such severe injuries that the dog perished as a result despite intensive care Pretrial hearing 2/1/19.
  • Officer Chelsea Weiand requested a clerk’s hearing in the case of a Swansea man keeping livestock in unsanitary conditions. Hearing to re-evaluate 6/21/18.
  • Officer Christine Allenberg filed and signed charges against Mark Batchelor of Athol locking multiple birds and farm animals into containers/shelters, moving away, and allowing them to die. Jury trial 2/20/19.
  • Officer Chelsea Weiand filed and signed charges against Krystal Haley of Middleboro for taking her cat out of the family home and abandoning it somewhere outside away from the home. Arraignment is 8/6 and Ms. Haley is currently forbidden from acquiring any new animals.
  • Officer Christine Allenberg applied for a show cause hearing against the owner of a horse that starved to death in its stall. Complaints issued against both the horse owner, Jose Fernandez, and Nuestra Raices stable owner Hilda Roque after the show cause hearing 6/28. Pretrial hearing 2/28/19.
  • Officer Nadya Moreno filed and signed charges against Linda Cofran and James Cofran of Stoughton for allowing their extremely sick Lab mix to suffer for 7 months with no vet care for multiple ailments including a large open wound. Compliance and election 12/5.
  • Officer Nadya Moreno requested a clerk’s hearing in the case of a couple that failed to provide necessary sustenance, veterinary care, and a sanitary environment for their horses and goats. Officer Moreno later canceled the hearing request as significant steps were taken by the couple to improve their animals’ care.
  • Officer Martha Parkhurst filed charges against Delvon James of Haverhill for putting his badly injured cat into a rubber tote and dumping it in the woods behind a nursing home rather than seeking veterinary care. Disposition 2/20/19.
  • Officer Nadya Moreno filed and signed charges against Joel St. Jean of New Hampshire for beating his girlfriend’s dachshund, causing severe injuries including head trauma and fractured ribs. Arraignment 11/19.
  • Officer Melanie Harvey filed and signed charges against Connie Bartlett of Marlboro for failing to provide adequate sustenance or veterinary care for her toy poodle suffering from emaciation, rotted teeth, and a ruptured eye. Arraignment 2/8/19.
  • Officer Chelsea Weiand filed and signed charges in multiple courts against Andrew Sebastiano of Norfolk for starving, failing to provide veterinary care, and allowing his horses around the state to suffer unnecessarily. Pretrial hearing in Attleboro on 2 counts 1/16/19. Arraignment in Plymouth on 1 count 1/17/19, and arraignment in Plymouth on 3 counts 1/18/19.
  • Officer Martha Parkhurst filed and signed charges against Joss Rosario-Morales of Haverhill, for her participation in putting Delvon James’ badly injured cat into a rubber tote and dumping it in the woods behind a nursing home rather than seeking veterinary care (see above). Arraignment 2/7/19.

Adjudicated Cases

  • The case against Gerald Castine of Athol (failure to provide proper shelter and a sanitary environment for his horses) was postponed from 1/12 to 1/26 and was then CWOF for 1 year with probation, during which time he may not acquire any new animals and must submit to random inspections by MSPCA Law Enforcement.
  • At his jury trial 1/29 Damon Coston of Dorchester (failure to provide adequate sustenance or any veterinary care for his skinny, sick, and injured pit bull) plead guilty to sufficient facts, for which he received 3 years of probation during which time he may not own or possess any animals, and must attend anger management classes.
  • On 2/1 the case against the Saugus juvenile (made videos both of himself physically tormenting his grandmother’s dogs and of him ordering his 7 year old brother to torment them) was CWOF with probation until 11/17/18 (the youth’s 18th birthday). He must continue with weekly counseling, continue with counseling at school, attend school daily, anger management classes, BARC program, no abuse of family members including pets, no unsupervised contact with animals. The MSPCA and the prosecution had asked for a finding of delinquent with the above provisions, however Judge McMannis decided to CWOF the case.
  • Rossi (failure to provide adequate sustenance, vet care, and a sanitary environment for 2 dogs) cleared the warrant issued when she failed to show for her pretrial hearing 10/18/16. A probation violation hearing was held 2/18 when she was found to have new horses on her property. At her jury trial 2/26 she admitted guilt to animal cruelty and also admitted to violating her probation. Ms. Rossi was ordered to either pay 3 fines ($500, $125, $90) or perform 62 hours of community service. Ms. Rossi made known her plan to move out of state immediately.
  • The Crapps (failed to provide adequate sustenance and care for their emaciated and sick pit bull) trial scheduled for 3/14 was canceled without notice to the MSPCA and the case CWOF for 6 months with no restrictions.
  • Gomez (severely matted and urine scalded shih tzu, allowed to suffer from open wounds, embedded nails, and hind leg paralysis with no vet care) pleaded guilty at trial on 3/5 and was sentenced to 1 year of probation and restricted from owning or having contact with any animals during that time.
  • He (viciously beat his roommate’s schnauzer puppy) pleaded guilty to animal cruelty and was sentenced to 1 year in the house of corrections, suspended until 3/3/20.
  • In July 2017 Officer Christine Allenberg applied for a show cause hearing in the case of a man who gutted his roommate’s cat. A hearing date was finally set for 3/7/18. At the hearing, the case was put on hold for 1 year during which time the man is prohibited from having any contact with animals.
  • At the pretrial hearing for Caldwell (starved her bulldog and failed to provide veterinary care for its severe mange) the case was CWOF until 10/25/18.
  • At the 5/16 disposition hearing for Alberts (20 cats, 3 dogs [1 deceased], 1 goat, and 2 horses living in deplorable conditions), Ms. Alberts agreed to sign over custody of all her seized animals to the MSPCA, finally allowing them release from over a year of legal limbo and the chance for rehoming and a better life. The case was CWOF for 1 year.
  • Moquin (chickens and horse in unsanitary conditions) arraignment 5/4. The court will hold the case open for one year, during which time the defendant must make repairs, allow inspections, and follow the recommendations of the MSPCA. If she fails to do so, the clerk will issue the complaint.
  • On 5/9 the Cordero case (starved her 2 pit bulls, kept them constantly confined in small unsanitary crates, and failed to provide veterinary care for the one covered in open sores) was CWOF for 1 year, during which time the defendant may not own or possess any animals. Probation will do rechecks on the home to ensure compliance.
  • At the Arena (failed to provide adequate sustenance or vet care for one of his pit bulls, and abandoned the other) discovery and compliance 6/28 the case was CWOF through 12/27/19. Restitution hearing 8/27.
  • Motta (beat his girlfriend’s 2 French bulldog puppies, resulting in the death of one) was dismissed on the Valor Act at the status hearing 7/2.
  • At her pretrial hearing 9/26, Ms. Batista (Pomeranian chewed its leg off after no vet care for a rat bite) was placed on pretrial probation for 2 years, during which time she may not own any pets or other animals. She must also undergo a mental health evaluation, submit to rechecks by the MSPCA, and check in with probation monthly.
  • Davis and Gomez (allowed 2 Neapolitan mastiffs to become emaciated, and failed to seek vet care for their multiple ailments) Gomez was found not guilty.
  • Torres (threw a ferret to the floor, killing it) jury trial 10/18 was dismissed, as the primary witness has gone into hiding and cannot be located.
  • At the Balance Your Bully K9 Training (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) trials on 11/2, Amy Egeland plead to sufficient facts and the case was CWOF with administrative probation for 24 months and $500 in court costs. Sean Stanton was found not guilty at bench trial.

 

Citation and Oustide Cases

  • Officer Christine Allenberg attended a hearing for an unpaid citation she had issued in June. The court fined the dog owner $450 which he appealed before a judge on 9/28. Officer Allenberg issued an additional $500 citation 11/1, as the man had made no efforts to improve his dog’s shelter by the November deadline set by the court. He plans to fight those fines as well.
  • Officer Harvey appeared in July at a hearing requesting we reveal the identity of a complainant in a potential harassment case, and was able to assist the attorneys while successfully preserving the anonymity of our source.
  • In August, a woman appealed the citations issued to her by Officer Chelsea Weiand. That case will be held open for 1 year with inspectional rights granted to the MSPCA.
  • A second respondent initially appealed the citations issued by Officer Chelsea Weiand, but decided at the last minute to pay them instead.
  • Officer Weiand attended the 11/6 arraignment in an animal cruelty case she investigated where the local police decided to press charges themselves.

 

Updates on Cases Initiated in Previous Years

  • Babeu (beagle burned by pet sitter and not given vet care) compliance and election 10/16/18 (2016).
  • Bullard (emaciated and sick bloodhound) remains in limbo after no further dates followed a motion to suppress. (2011).
  • Donatelli (failure to provide proper food & drink to his dog) remains at large (2008).
  • Drummond (starved her dog to death) remains at large (2009).
  • Harding & Daphnis (five sick cats with no vet care). Harding’s pretrial probation ended 12/16/16. Daphnis remains at large (2014).
  • Hester (threw a cat against a wall) remains at large (2009).
  • Lamothe (beat and kicked a cat) remains at large (2013)
  • Ledan (starving and severely matted dog uncared for in flooded and unsanitary basement), at large since failing to show for her arraignment 1/22/16, was located in December and a pretrial hearing scheduled for 2/11/19 (2015).
  • Lescarbeau (failed to provide a sanitary environment and necessary vet care for a pit bull) compliance & election 2/14.
  • McLaughlin (abandoned a cat) remains at large (2000)
  • McNiff (failure to provide proper food, water, shelter and a sanitary environment for numerous swine and cattle, and for failure to provide veterinary care for several ill animals). Disposition 1/23/19 (2016).
  • Medeiros (failed to provide vet care for his Shih Tzu’s severe skin disease and instead dumped the dog in the parking lot of the Seekonk Speedway) motion to suppress 8/31 (2017)
  • Ortiz (failed to provide veterinary care for her dog) remains at large (1999)
  • Ouellette (a couple starved their Yorkie and husky mix dogs) was postponed indefinitely after the death of one of the defendants (2010).
  • Ozolos (starved a dog) remains at large (2002).
  • Rosas (abandoned his cocker spaniel in his condo. The dog was severely matted and living in filth) was a no-show at his arraignment 1/31/17 and a warrant was issued. He remains at large (2017).
  • Teague (failed to provide adequate sustenance or shelter for her 4 horses) fired her lawyer and failed to show up for the pretrial hearing 10/16/17. A warrant was issued and she remains at large (2016).
  • The Vasquez (cockfighting and keeping the birds in poor conditions) trial scheduled for 11/19 was changed to a status hearing on 1/23/19 (2017).
  • Whitney (abandoned 15 cats) remains at large (2014).

 

Summary of Cases

  • LE currently has 38 open cases (3 are against 1 respondent).
  • 13 cases were CWOF, given pretrial probation, or otherwise left open including 1 case against a juvenile.
  • 4 cases were dismissed/the complaint(s) failed to issue/the DA’s office refused to prosecute, including 1 case dismissed with the Valor Act, leading to major news coverage and a push for reform of the Act’s use.
  • LE requested the cancellation of 2 magistrate’s hearings because the respondents began to cooperate and significantly improved the conditions for their animals.
  • 7 respondents were found guilty or pleaded guilty to sufficient facts
  • 2 respondents were found not guilty at trial
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