|Stephens v. Target Corp.
|482 F.Supp.2d 1234 (2007)
Lamp owners sued the lamp’s manufacturer and seller under Washington Products Liability Act, alleging that lamp caused a fire that injured their dog. The District Court held that Plaintiffs could not recover damages for emotional harm arising from injury to their dog. The appropriate measure of damages for personal property is market value, but if it has none, then the value to the owner is the proper measure. Plaintiffs' recovery was limited to the actual or intrinsic value of the dog.
|Stephens v. State
|Stephans v. State, 3 So. 458 (Miss. 1887) (Arnold J. plurality).
The Mississippi Cruelty to Animal statute was applied to the Defendant who killed several hogs that were eating his crops. The lower court refused to instruct the Jury that they should find him not guilty, if they believed that he killed the hogs while depredating on his crop and to protect it, and not out of a spirit of cruelty to the animals. The Supreme Court of Mississippi found it to be an error by the court to refuse to give such instructions because if the defendant was not actuated by a spirit of cruelty, or a disposition to inflict unnecessary pain and suffering, he was not guilty under the statute.
|Stephens v. State
|247 Ga. App. 719 (2001)
Defendant was accused and convicted of 17 counts of cruelty to animals for harboring fighting dogs in deplorable conditions. Defendant challenged the sufficiency of the evidence and the probation terms. The appellate court found, in light of the evidence, any rational trier of fact could have found the elements of cruelty to animals beyond a reasonable doubt. Further, defendant failed to overcome the presumption that the probation the trial court imposed was correct.
|Stephens v. City of Spokane
|Slip Copy, 2007 WL 3146390 (E.D.Wash.)
Before the court here is defendant's motion for summary judgment and plaintiff's motion to certify a class. Plaintiffs claim is based on Spokane's "barking dog" ordinance" for which they were each issued an infraction by animal control officers. Plaintiffs contend the ordinance is void for vagueness. The court disagreed, finding that the ordinance has incorporated the reasonableness standard and is presumptively constitutional. In the ordinance, the citizen of average intellect need not guess at the prohibition of allowing an animal to unreasonably disturb persons by “habitually barking, howling, yelping, whining, or making other oral noises.”
|Stennette v. Miller
|316 Ga.App. 425, 729 S.E.2d 559 (Ga.App., 2012)
Plaintiff Stennette was providing in-home nursing care while she was bitten multiple times by Defendant Miller's dog. Stennette appeals from the trial court's grant of summary judgment to Miller in Stennette's personal injury action. This Court affirmed that decision because Stennette failed to provide adequate evidence showing triable issues on whether the dog had a vicious propensity and whether Miller knew of that propensity. However, the Court reversed the grant of summary judgment as to Miller on Stennette's claim that Miller negligently performed a voluntarily-undertaken duty to keep the dog away from her when she was at the house, because the evidence created genuine issues of material fact as to this claim.
|Steiner v. U.S.
|229 F.2d 745 (9th Cir. 1956)
Defendants were charged with knowingly and willfully, with intent to defraud the United States, smuggling and clandestinely introducing into the United States merchandise, namely, psittacine birds, which should have been invoiced; by fraudulently and knowingly importing merchandise and by knowingly receiving, concealing and facilitating the transportation and concealment of such merchandise after importation, knowing the same to have been imported into the United States contrary to law. Appellants contend that the birds mentioned in count 1 were not merchandise, within the meaning of 18 U.S.C.A. § 545. The court found there was no merit in this contention. Further, this importation subjected defendants to the felony provision of the Lacey Act and defendants were properly sentenced under the felony conspiracy portion of the Act.
|Steagald v. Eason
|797 S.E.2d 838 (2017)
In this case, Gary and Lori Steagald sued the Eason family, alleging that the Easons failed to keep their dog properly restrained and were therefore liable under OCGA § 51-2-7. Lori Steagald suffered injuries after the Easons dog attacked her while she was visiting the Easons home. The Easons filed a motion for summary judgment on the basis that they had no reason to know that the dog was vicious or dangerous and therefore were not liable under the statute. Both the trial court and Court of Appeals affirmed the motion for summary judgment. On appeal, the Supreme Court of Georgia reversed the lower court’s decision. Ultimately, the Supreme Court of Georgia found that the Eason family was liable under the statute because they did have reason to believe that the dog could potentially be vicious or dangerous. The Court focused on the fact that the dog had previously “growled and snapped” at the Easons while being fed. The Court held that although the dog had never bit anyone prior to Lori Steagald, it was reasonable to assume that the dog could potentially bite and injure someone given the fact that it had a history of snapping and growling. As a result, the Court reversed the Easons motion for summary judgment and determined that the question of whether or not the Easons are liable under the statute is a question for the jury.
|Stauber v. Shalala
|895 F.Supp. 1178 (W.D.Wis.,1995)
Court found that milk consumers failed to prove that milk gained from rBST-treated cows contains higher levels of antibiotics, tastes different, or differs in any noticeable way from "ordinary" milk. That consumers might demand mandatory labeling was not enough to require labeling; rather, the FDA was required to ensure that products are not misbranded and consumer demand could not require the FDA to forgo this duty.
|State v. Ziemann
|705 N.W.2d 59 (Neb.App.,2005)
The petitioner-defendant challenged her criminal conviction for cruelly neglecting several horses she owned by asserting that her Fourth Amendment rights were violated. However, the court of appeals side stepped the petitioners claim that she had a legitimate expectation of privacy in a farmstead, that she did not own or reside on, because she leased the grass on the farmstead for a dollar by invoking the “open fields” doctrine. The court held that even if such a lease might implicate the petitioners Fourth Amendment rights in some circumstances, the petitioner here was only leasing a open field, which she cannot have a legitimate expectation of privacy in.
|State v. Wright
|393 P.3d 1192 (Or.App.,2017)
|Defendant was convicted of four counts of aggravated animal abuse in the first degree after he drowned all six cats that lived with him in a water-filled trash can. On appeal, defendant challenged the exclusion of evidence that he had an intellectual disability and that he had a character for gentleness toward animals. Defendant asserts such evidence would have shown he did not act with the requisite malicious intent that the state was was required to prove. It would have been relevant in demonstrating his mental state when committing the offenses, according to defendant. The appellate court found that the lower court did not err with regard to excluding defendant's reference to an intellectual disability. The testimony at trial describing his "intellectual disability" was more of a general reference and not relevant to his mental state. On the issue of character evidence of defendant's gentleness toward animals, the appellate assumed the lower court erred because the state conceded it was harmless error in its brief. In agreeing with the state that the error was harmless, the court found any further evidence would have been cumulative because other testimony spoke to defendant's gentle character toward animals. The matter was remanded for resentencing due to errors in sentencing.
|State v. Woods
|2001 WL 224519 (Ohio App. 10 Dist.)
|Defendant was indicted on three counts of aggravated murder, one count of attempted aggravated murder, one count of aggravated burglary, one count of aggravated robbery, and one count of kidnapping in an incident following a dogfight. Following a jury trial, d efendant was found guilty of aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery and kidnapping. The court reversed and remanded the case to the trial court.
|State v. Wood
|2007 WL 1892483 (N.C. App.)
Plaintiff entered an oral agreement for defendant to board and train her horse, Talladega. The horse died within two months from starvation, and the Harnett County Animal Control found three other horses under defendant's care that were underfed, and seized them. The jury trial resulted in a conviction of two counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty from which the defendant appeals. However, this court affirms the jury's conviction, stating that the assignment of error is without merit and would not have affected the jury's conviction.
|State v. Witham
|876 A.2d 40 (Maine 2005)
A man ran over his girlfriend's cat after having a fight with his girlfriend. The trial court found the man guilty of aggravated cruelty to animals. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the trial court, holding the aggravated cruelty to animals statute was not unconstitutionally vague.
|State v. Wilson
|--- P.3d ----, 2019 WL 4955178 (Wash. Ct. App. Oct. 8, 2019)
|Defendant Robert Wilson appeals his conviction of first degree animal cruelty, which arose from an incident at an archery club when Wilson shot a large dog in the hindquarters (70lb. "Dozer") with an arrow after that dog attacked Wilson’s small dog ("Little Bit"). (Dozer recovered from his injuries.) Wilson argues that his action was lawful under RCW 16.08.020, which states that it is lawful for a person to kill a dog seen chasing, biting, or injuring a domestic animal on real property that person owns, leases, or controls. The trial court declined to give defendant's proposed jury instruction based on this statutory language, finding that it only applied to stock animals and not when a dog was injuring another dog. The court did, however, permit the common law defense that allows owners to take "reasonably necessary action" in defense of their animals, which the State must then disprove beyond a reasonable doubt. On appeal, this court noted that no Washington court has interpreted RCW 16.08.020 in a published case. Under common law cases that allow a person to kill an animal to defend his or her property, the court found those cases require the killing be "reasonably necessary." While the parties dispute whether the statute requires that the actions be "reasonably necessary," the appellate court first found Wilson was still not entitled to a dismissal of charges because he could not establish that the location where he shot the arrow at Dozer was land that he "owned, leased, or had control over" per the statute. As to the Wilson's next argument that the trial court erred in not giving his proposed instruction for RCW 16.08.020, the appellate court agreed. While the trial court found that the statute only applied to stock animals, the appellate court noted that the law does not define the term "domestic animal." Using the plain dictionary meaning for "domestic" - "belonging to or incumbent on the family" - and for "domestic animal," this court stated that "Little Bit certainly belonged to Wilson's family" and a dog fits the meaning of "domestic animal." Finally, the court found that the "reasonably necessary" requirement from the common law cases on shooting domestic animals cannot be grafted onto the statutory requirements of RCW 16.08.020. Thus, the trial court's refusal to give defendant's proposed instruction based on RCW 16.08.020 cannot be grounded in the reasonably necessary common law requirement. The trial court's refusal to give the proposed instruction was not harmless. As such, the appellate court reversed Wilson's conviction and remanded the action for further proceedings.
|State v. Wilson
|464 So.2d 667 (Fla.App. 2 Dist.,1985)
In this Florida case, the state appeals a county court order that granted appellee's motion to dismiss two counts of an information and which also declared a state statute to be unconstitutional. Defendant-appellee was arrested for having approximately seventy-seven poodles in cages in the back of a van without food, water and sufficient air. In her motion to dismiss, defendant-appellee alleged that the phrases “sufficient quantity of good and wholesome food and water” and “[k]eeps any animals in any enclosure without wholesome exercise and change of air” as contained in sections 828.13(2)(a) and (b) were void for vagueness. In reversing the lower court, this court held that the prohibitions against depriving an animal of sufficient food, water, air and exercise, when measured by common understanding and practice, are not unconstitutionally vague.
|State v. West
|Slip Copy, 2007 WL 2963990 (Table) (Iowa App.)
In this Iowa case, the defendant, West, shot his neighbor's dogs after the dogs were seen running the perimeter of his deer-pen, agitating 15 of his deer in the process. Defendant was subsequently convicted of two counts of animal abuse charges and fifth degree criminal mischief. On appeal, West argued that the section 351.27 (a provision that allows a person to kill a dog caught in the act of worrying livestock) provides an absolute defense to the charges of animal abuse and that he had the right under the facts and this statute to summarily kill Piatak's dogs because they were worrying and chasing his deer. He also contended that the statute has no additional “reasonableness” requirement, and the trial court was incorrect to graft the “reasonably acting” standard from the animal abuse law. The appellate court agreed, finding that section 351.27 provides an absolute defense to a charge of animal abuse under section 717B.2.
|State v. Weeks
|1992 Ohio App. LEXIS 1090
|Defendant was convicted of violating Ohio's animal fighting statute, and appealed. He challenged the conviction, arguing that the statute was unconstitutionally vague and overbroad. The court upheld the conviction. The court ruled that although a portion of the statute was overly vague and broad, that portion was severable from the remainder. The court also held that defendant did not demonstrate that the statute was unconstitutional as applied to him.
|State v. Weekly
|65 N.E.2d 856 (1946)
The court affirmed a conviction for stealing a dog by holding that it was a "thing of value" despite the traditional common law rule to the contrary and even though it was not taxable property.
|State v. Warren
|439 P.3d 357 (Mt. 2019)
|Cathie Iris Warren was convicted of three felony counts of aggravated animal cruelty, five felony counts of aggravated cruelty, and a misdemeanor cruelty to animals count. Warren appealed contending that the district court erred by denying Warren’s motion to suppress evidence obtained in a warrantless search of her commercial kennel property, denying Warren’s Baston challenge, and in imposing costs to be reimbursed by Warren under Montana law. Cathie Iris Warren operated a kennel on her residential property in Libby, Montana. Warren obtained her initial license to operate her business in 2013. In 2016 it was discovered that Warren was operating her kennel despite the fact that her business license had expired in October of 2015. In order to obtain a new license, Warren needed to have an inspection of her property. Warren ended up having three separate inspections of her property. After each inspection, Warren had failed to meet the requirements. The members of the Health Department who were involved in the inspections became concerned that the animals were not being adequately cared for and were not of good health. Warren could not provide appropriate vaccination records for all of her animals. A search warrant was executed on Warren’s property on August 2, 2016. Warren’s animals were seized the same day. Warren moved to suppress the evidence that was obtained arguing that a warrant was required for each inspection that had been conducted on her property. The court concluded that there was no search because Warren did not have an expectation of privacy in her commercial kennel operation that society would consider objectively reasonable. The trial court convicted Warren and found that Warren owed statutorily-imposed costs, including veterinary care, food and supplies, excess hours worked by county employees, and travel costs as well as the shelter’s lost revenue. Warren appealed her conviction and sentence. The Supreme Court of Montana found that Warren treated parts of her home as part of her kennel, therefore, those areas of her home that were searched were considered commercial property which is subject to a less significant expectation of privacy. The Court concluded that the administrative inspection fell within the applicable warrant exception, was reasonable, and did not require a search warrant. Warren also challenged the State’s peremptory challenge of a minority juror (Baston Challenge). The Court concluded that the District Court reached the right conclusion on the Baston challenge but for the wrong reason. Warren’s third challenge was whether the District Court erred in calculating the statutory costs owed by Warren. The Court found that the costs approved by the District Court were reasonably supported by the evidence. The Court ultimately affirmed the judgment of the District Court.
|State v. Walker
|841 N.E.2d 376 (Ohio 2005)
A dog owner was placed on probation which limited him from having any animals on his property for five years. While on probation, bears on the owner's property were confiscated after getting loose. The trial court ordered the dog owner to pay restitution for the upkeep of the confiscated bears, but the Court of Appeals reversed holding the trial court did not the authority to require the dog owner to pay restitution for the upkeep of the bears because the forfeiture of animals penalty did not apply to conviction for failure to confine or restrain a dog.
|State v. Vander Houwen
|177 P.3d 93 (Wash., 2008)
The owner of severely damaged orchards was convicted for shooting some of the responsible animals after repeated requests for state remedies were unsuccessful. The damage to defendant's orchard (with estimated losses of over $200,000 for future cherry production) occurred in 1998 and 1999, when herds of elk repeatedly came through inadequate fencing constructed by the State. The Supreme Court held that when a property owner charged with unlawful hunting or waste of wildlife presents sufficient evidence that he exercised his constitutional right to protect his property from destructive game, the burden shifts to the State to disprove this justification. In this case, the defendant was denied jury instructions regarding his constitutional right to reasonably protect his property.
|State v. Troyer (Unpublished)
|1997 WL 760954(Ohio App. 9 Dist.,1997) (unpublished)
|Defendant was convicted of killing a non-game bird (owl) while defending his collection of exotic and native birds. The court finds that defendant rightfully engaged in conduct to defend his property against depredation by owls. The court carefully notes the owl is an abundant species in Ohio, and that the burden on the property owner would be greater if the species at issue were endangered or threatened, like an eagle.
|State v. Taylor
|322 S.W.3d 722 (Tex.App.-Texarkana,2010)
Defendant was charged with a violation of Section 822.005(a)(2) of the Texas Health and Safety Code - the dog attack statute. The trial court dismissed the indictment stating that Section 822.005(a)(2) was unconstitutional because it fails to set forth any required culpable mental state. The Court of Appeals, however, found that the statute was constitutional because it does set forth a culpable mental state. "[B]oth the plain language of Sections 822.005(a)(2) and 822.042 impose upon the owner of a dangerous dog the duty to restrain or secure his or her animal."
|State v. Taffet (unpublished)
|Not Reported in A.2d, 2010 WL 771954 (N.J.Super.A.D.)
The State of New Jersey, through the Borough of Haddonfield, appeals from the final judgment of the Law Division, which reversed the finding of the municipal court that defendant's dog is a potentially dangerous dog pursuant to N.J.S.A. 4:19-23(a) as well as the imposition of certain measures to mitigate any future attacks. Defendant, a resident of Haddonfield, owns, breeds, and shows four Rhodesian Ridgebacks kept at his home in a residential neighborhood. The Superior Court concluded that the Law Division's did not properly defer to the trial court's credibility determinations and were not supported by sufficient credible evidence. The court found that the dog's dual attacks causing bodily injury to two individuals were undisputed, and along with evidence of more recent intimidating activity in the neighborhood, the municipal court could have reasonably concluded that the dog posed a more serious threat to cause bodily injury to another.
|State v. Spreitz
|945 P.2d 1260 (1997)
The court held that admission of photographs of the victim was harmless because based on the overwhelming evidence against defendant, the jury would have found him guilty without the photographs.
|State v. Spade
|695 S.E.2d 879 (W.Va., 2010)
In 2006, appellant was charged with one count of animal cruelty after 149 dogs were seized from her rescue shelter. The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia held that, since the appellant (1) entered into a valid plea agreement which "specifically and unequivocally reserved a restitution hearing" and (2) "attempted on numerous occasions to challenge the amounts she was required by the magistrate court to post in separate bonds," that the final order of the Circuit Court of Berkeley County should be reversed. Accordingly, the court found that the plaintiff was entitled to a restitution hearing to determine the actual reasonable costs incurred in providing care, medical treatment, and provisions to the animals seized.
|State v. Smith
|685 A.2d 73 (N.J.Super.L. 1996)
This case involves the construction of a Hoboken, New Jersey dangerous dog ordinance in light of the state Vicious and Potentially Dangerous Dog Act. The owner's dog that was the subject of this case was ordered by the municipal court to be destroyed after it bit a person on the hand. In applying the relevant preemption test, the court found that the Act preempted any city ordinance purporting to cover same subject. As noted by the court, it was the procedural conflict that caused the most concern. Thus, because the procedural/jurisdictional defect in the ordinance was not cured, the municipal court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case.
|State v. Smith
|223 P.3d 1262 (Wash.App. Div. 2, 2009)
In this Washington case, defendant Smith appealed his conviction for first degree animal cruelty following the death of his llama. Smith claims he received ineffective assistance of counsel when his attorney failed to (1) discover information before trial that may have explained the llama's death and (2) seek a lesser included instruction on second degree animal cruelty. This court agreed. It found that defense counsel's "all or nothing strategy" was not a legitimate trial tactic and constituted deficient performance where counsel presented evidence to call into question the State's theory on starvation, but not evidence related to the entire crime. The court found that the jury was "left in an arduous position: to either convict Smith of first degree animal cruelty or to let him go free despite evidence of some culpable behavior." The case was reversed and remanded.
|State v. Smith
|54 A.3d 638 (Conn.App.)
A defendant was charged and convicted of one count of permitting a dog to roam at large. Upon appeal, the defendant argued the statute he was convicted under was unconstitutionally vague and that he was convicted under insufficient evidence. Defendant contended that simply having his dog off-leash did not mean that it was roaming at large and not under his control where the dog responded to verbal commands. The court rejected both of defendant's arguments, finding that the plain language of the statute clearly prohibits an owner allowing a dog to move freely on another's property unrestrained and not under the owner's direct influence.
|State v. Silver
|391 P.3d 962 (2017)
In this case, the defendant was found guilty on multiple counts of animal abuse after failing to provide minimally adequate care for his herd of alpacas. The defendant was charged with a felony count (Count 1) and a misdemeanor count (Count 6) of first-degree animal abuse. On appeal, the defendant argued that the trial court erred by not merging the multiple guilty verdicts into a single conviction. The state agreed that the trial court did err in its decision not to merge the verdicts; however, the state argued that the mistake should not require resentencing. The defendant argued that the court should follow its previous decisions and order a remand for resentencing. Ultimately, the court remanded the case for resentencing under ORS 138.222(5)(b). The state argued that language of ORS 138.222(5)(b) should be interpreted not to include merger errors. The court disagreed with this argument and relied on its decision in previous cases that interpreted the language of the statute more broadly. Additionally, the court held that if the state’s disapproval of the ORS 138.222(5)(b) is something that should be dealt with by the legislature and not the court.
|State v. Siliski
|Slip Copy, 2006 WL 1931814 (Tenn.Crim.App.)
In this Tennessee case, the defendant, Jennifer Siliski, was convicted of nine counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty. Williamson County Animal Control took custody of over two hundred animals forfeited by the defendant as a result of her criminal charges and convictions. Third parties claiming ownership of some of the animals appeared before the trial court and asked for the return of their animals. This appeal arises from third parties claiming that they were denied due process by the manner in which the trial court conducted the hearing regarding ownership of the animals and that the trial court erred in denying their property claims. The appellate court concluded that the trial court did not have jurisdiction in the criminal case to dispose of the claims, and reversed the judgment.
|State v. Siliski
|238 S.W.3d 338 (Tenn.Crim.App., 2007)
The defendant operated a dog breeding business, “Hollybelle's Maltese,” in which she bred purebred Maltese dogs in her Franklin home, advertised the resulting puppies on an Internet website, and shipped the puppies to buyers located around the country. She was convicted by a Williamson County Circuit Court jury of eleven counts of animal cruelty. The main issue on appeal concerned the imposition of sentence, which included both consecutive terms of probation and a permanently prohibition from engaging in any commercial activity involving animals. The appellate court affirmed the defendant's convictions but concluded that the trial court erred by ordering consecutive periods of probation in conjunction with concurrent sentences. However, the court found that the trial court's permanent prohibition against her buying, selling, breeding, or engaging in any commercial activity involving animals was authorized by the animal cruelty statute. As the court stated, "Given this proof and the court's findings, we cannot conclude that the trial court erred in ordering that the defendant be permanently barred from engaging in commercial activity with respect to dogs."
|State v. Shook (Unpublished)
|2002 WL 31894726
Defendant Shook (a non-tribal member) shot and killed a whitetail buck on private property within the exterior boundaries of the Flathead Indian Reservation. Under Wildlife and Parks Commission hunting regulations, big game hunting privileges on Indian Reservations are limited to tribal members only, thereby closing the hunting season to non-tribal members. On appeal, Shook contended that the regulation was a violation of equal protection because it discriminated based on race. The court disagreed, finding the classification was political rather than racial because it was established through treaty with the federal government and recognized the unique federal obligation toward Indians. Thus, the court found the regulation was an "entirely rational" means to preserve wildlife populations for hunting by Indians.
|State v. Shook
|2003 WL 347575
This is the Montana Supreme Court's denial of appellant Shook's petition for rehearing in State v. Shook, 313 Mont. 347 (2002).
|State v. Sego
|2006 WL 3734664 (Del.Com.Pl. 2006) (unpublished)
Fifteen horses were seized by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) because the animals were in poor condition. The SPCA sent bills to the owners for feeding, upkeep, and veterinary care, but the owners did not pay the bills. After 30 days of nonpayment, the SPCA became the owners of the horses, and the prior owners were not entitled to get the horses back.
|State v. Scott
|2001 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 561
|The appellant pled guilty to one count of animal fighting, one count of cruelty to animals, and one count of keeping unvaccinated dogs, and asked for probation. The trial court denied the appellants request for probation and sentenced him to incarceration. The appellant challenged the trial court's ruling, and the appellate court affirmed the trial court's decision to deny probation, stating that the heinous nature of the crimes warranted incarceration.
|State v. Schuler (Unpublished)
|1997 WL 76337 (Unpub. Minn. 1997)
This Minnesota lawsuit arose from the enforcement of a Little Canada ordinance prohibiting the keeping of more than three adult dogs in any residential dwelling within the city's residentially zoned districts. In reviewing a challenge to the law, the court first noted that a city's police power allows it both to regulate the keeping of animals, and to define nuisances and provide for their abatement. Further, municipal ordinances are presumptively constitutional and the burden rests on the party challenging it. Here, Schuler failed to offer evidence that regulating the number of dogs per household was unrelated to controlling the problems of dog noise and odor as they affect the health and general welfare of the community.
|State v. Schuler
|--- N.E.3d ----, 2019 WL 1894482 (Ohio Ct. App., 2019)
|Appellant is appealing an animal cruelty conviction. A deputy dog warden received a report from a deputy sheriff who observed a pit bull on appellant's property who was unable to walk and in poor condition while responding to a noise complaint. Appellant released the dog to the deputy and the dog was later euthanized. While the deputy was on appellant's property she observed two other dogs that were extremely thin which prompted the deputy to return to the appellant's house the next day, but the appellant was in the hospital. The deputy later returned to the appellant's home a few days later and the appellant's ex-wife allowed the deputy to perform an animal welfare check on the property. Two Australian cattle dogs were very muddy and in an outdoor kennel with no food or water. Numerous chickens, rabbits, mice, snakes, and raccoons were also observed inside and outside the house all living in cramped, filthy conditions. The deputy went to the hospital and the appellant signed a waiver releasing the raccoons and snakes to the wildlife officer, but the appellant refused to release the other animals to the deputy. As a consequence a search warrant was obtained. "Two raccoons, 3 black rat snakes, 8 dogs, 7 chickens, 3 roosters, 17 rabbits, 5 rats, 200 mice, and 2 guinea pigs were removed from the property." Appellant was charged by complaints with five counts of cruelty to animals and two counts of cruelty to companion animals. An additional complaint was filed charging appellant with one count of cruelty to a companion animal (the euthanized pit bull). The appellant raised 3 errors on appeal. The first error is that the court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction to convict him of animal cruelty. The Court found that the complaint charging the appellant with animal cruelty in counts B, C, and D were not valid because it did not set forth the underlying facts of the offense, did not provide any of the statutory language, and failed to specify which of the 5 subsections the appellant allegedly violated. Therefore, the Court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction to convict the appellant and the animal cruelty conviction regarding the three counts for the rabbits was vacated. The second error appellant raised was that his conviction for cruelty to companion animals for the two Australian cattle dogs was not supported by sufficient evidence. The Court overruled appellant's second error because it found that the state had presented sufficient evidence to show that the appellant negligently failed to provide adequate food and water for the Australian cattle dogs. The third error the appellant raised was that the Court erred by ordering him to pay $831 in restitution. The Court also overruled appellant's third error since the appellant stipulated to paying the restitution. The judgment of the trial court was affirmed in all other respects.
|State v. Saurman
|413 N.E.2d 1197 (Ohio, 1980)
The court reaffirmed the tenet that it is a proper exercise of state police power to adopt measures to protect wild animals as a resource for all citizens. In doing so, the court held that it was a proper exercise of police power for the legislature of Ohio to enact a wild animal "shining" prohibition. Appellants challenged the law as unconstitutional because it ostensibly outlawed otherwise innocent conduct, as an individual can shine for wild animals without the purpose of hunting those animals. The court disagreed, finding that the statute's purpose was to counteract the problems related to enforcement, since it was difficult to ascertain which individuals shining from vehicles also carried hunting implements.
|State v. Roche
|State v. Roche. 37 Mo App 480 (1889)
The defendants were convicted and sentenced upon an information under section 1609, Revised Statutes of 1879, charging them with unlawfully, wilfully and cruelly overdriving a horse, and thereupon prosecute this appeal. The court held that the evidence that a horse was overdriven does not warrant a conviction under Revised Statutes, 1879, section 1609, in the absence of proof, that the overdriving was wilful and not accidental. Thus, the court reversed the lower court.
|State v. Reyes
|Slip Copy (unpublished) 2016 WL 3090904 (Tenn. Crim. App. May 24, 2016)
|Defendant, Jose Reyes, was convicted of one count of rape of a child and sentenced to thirty-two years at 100%. On appeal, defendant argued that the evidence was insufficient to sustain the verdict and that the trial court erred in denying his motion in limine to prevent the Child Advocacy Center facility dog from being present with the victim as he was testifying. The appellate court reviewed prior relevant cases including Dye, Chenault, and Tohom, and stated that “we cannot conclude that the trial court abused its discretion in permitting the use of the facility dog, Murch, during the trial.” The attempt to assign error to the procedure was determined to be “without merit.” Other defense arguments on appeal having been similarly rejected, the appellate court affirmed the judgment of the trial court.
|State v. Reber
|171 P.3d 406 (Utah 2007)
In this Utah case, the State sought review of the court of appeals' decision vacating the convictions of defendants. Reber was convicted of aiding or assisting in the wanton destruction of protected wildlife in violation of state law for killing a mule deer without a license or permit. On appeal, defendant contended that the state had no jurisdiction because he was an Indian hunting in Indian country. However, the court held that the State has jurisdiction over these defendants because the State has jurisdiction over crimes committed in Indian country when a non-Indian commits a victimless crime. Defendants are not Indians, as that term has been defined by federal law, and the crimes in these cases were victimless.
|State v. Pless
|646 S.E.2d 202 (Ga. 2007)
In this Georgia case, the defendant was convicted by a jury in the trial court of two counts of failure to keep an animal under restraint and one count of allowing an animal to become a public nuisance. Defendant appealed, challenging the sufficiency of the evidence. The appellate court found that the evidence showed that in the months prior to the July 14 and August 1 incidents, Pless's dogs were repeatedly found loose in neighbors' yards and garages. Accordingly, evidence supported the conviction on the charge of allowing an animal to become a public nuisance under § 3-4-7(5). ("Public nuisance" is defined, among other things, as any animal which "[i]s found repeatedly at large."). On certiorari review, the Georgia Supreme Court concluded the issue was not properly before the Court of Appeals and there was no authority for the court to address it sua sponte.
|State v. Pinard
|300 P.3d 177 (Or.App.,2013), review denied, 353 Or. 788, 304 P.3d 467 (2013)
In this Oregon case, Defendant shot his neighbor's dog with a razor-bladed hunting arrow. The neighbor euthanized the dog after determining that the dog would not survive the trip to the veterinarian. Defendant was convicted of one count of aggravated first-degree animal abuse under ORS 167.322 (Count 1) and two counts of first-degree animal abuse under ORS 167.320 (Counts 3 and 4). On appeal, Defendant contends that he was entitled to acquittal on Counts 1 and 4 because there was no evidence that the dog would have survived the wound. The court here disagreed, finding "ample evidence" from which a trier of fact could have found that the arrow fatally wounded the dog. As to Defendant's other issues the the merging of the various counts, the accepted one argument that Counts 3 and 4 should have merged, and reversed and remanded for entry of a single conviction for first-degree animal abuse.
|State v. Pierce
|State v. Pierce, 7 Ala. 728 (1845)
The Defendant was charge with cruelty to animals for the killing of a certain spotted bull, belonging some person to the jurors unknow. The lower court found the Defendant guilty. The Defendant then appealed to the Supreme Court seeking review of whether the defense of provocation could be used. The Court determined the answer to be yes. Thus the Court reversed and remanded the case.
|State v. Peterson
|174 Wash. App. 828, 301 P.3d 1060 review denied, 178 Wash. 2d 1021, 312 P.3d 650 (2013)
In this case, defendant appeals six counts of first degree animal cruelty charges. On appeal, the defendant argued that (1) the statute she was convicted under, RCW 16.52.205(6), was unconstitutionally vague; that (2) starvation and dehydration were alternative means of committing first degree animal cruelty and that (3) there was no substantial evidence supporting the horses suffered from dehydration. The defendant also argued that the Snohomish Superior court had no authority to order her to reimburse the county for caring for her horses. The appeals court, however, held that RCW 16.52.205(6) was not unconstitutionally vague; that starvation and dehydration were alternative means to commit first degree animal cruelty, but there was substantial evidence to support the horses suffered from dehydration; and that the superior court had authority to order the defendant to pay restitution to the county.
|State v. Peck
|93 A.3d 256 (Me. 2014)
|Defendant appealed a judgment entered in the District Court after a bench trial found she committed the civil violation of cruelty to animals. Defendant contended that the court abused its discretion in quashing a subpoena that would have compelled one of her witnesses to testify; that the cruelty-to-animals statute is unconstitutionally vague; and that the record contains insufficient evidence to sustain a finding of cruelty to animals and to support the court's restitution order. The Supreme Judicial Court of Maine, however, disagreed and affirmed the lower court's judgment.
|State v. Peabody
|343 Ga. App. 362, 807 S.E.2d 107 (2017)
|This Georgia case involves a former police lieutenant who was indicted on two counts of aggravated cruelty to animals after he left his K-9 named Inka locked in his police vehicle while he attended to tasks inside his home. The dog died after being left inside the vehicle, which had all doors and windows closed with no A/C or ventilation running. The state appeals the trial court's grant of defendant's motion to quash the indictment. Specifically, the state argues that OCGA § 17-7-52 (a law that requires at least a 20-day notice prior to presentment of a proposed indictment to a grand jury when a peace officer is charged with a crime that occurred in the performance of his or her duties) is inapplicable. The state did not send defendant a copy of the proposed indictment before it presented the case to the grand jury. The state contends defendant "stepped aside" from his police-related duties and was therefore not afforded the protections of OCGA § 17-7-52. This court disagreed with that assessment. Since Peabody was responsible for the care and housing of Inka as her K-9 handler, leaving her unattended, albeit in an illegal manner, was still in performance of his police duties. As such, Peabody was entitled to the procedural protections of the statute according to the appellate court. The trial court's motion to quash his indictment was affirmed.
|State v. Overholt
|193 P.3d 1100 (Wash. App. Div. 3,2008)
Defendant was convicted of several counts of second degree unlawful hunting of big game after a game agent (“agent”) followed vehicle tracks to Defendant’s home upon finding fresh cow elk gut piles, and Defendant showed the agent two cow elk carcasses hanging in Defendant’s shed. On appeal, the Court of Appeals of Washington, Division 3 found that because the agent was in fresh pursuit of criminal activity and did not enter Defendant’s property with the intent to obtain consent to search in order to evade a search warrant, the agent was not obligated to issue Ferrier warnings, and that suppressing the seized carcasses from evidence would not have altered the outcome of the case in light of the substantial evidence obtained prior to seizing the carcasses.
|State v. Nix
|334 P.3d 437 (2014), vacated, 356 Or. 768, 345 P.3d 416 (2015)
|In this criminal case, defendant was found guilty of 20 counts of second-degree animal neglect. Oregon's “anti-merger” statute provides that, when the same conduct or criminal episode violates only one statute, but involves more than one “victim,” there are “as many separately punishable offenses as there are victims.” The issue in this case is whether defendant is guilty of 20 separately punishable offenses, which turns on the question whether animals are “victims” for the purposes of the anti-merger statute. The trial court concluded that, because only people can be victims within the meaning of that statute, defendant had committed only one punishable offense. The court merged the 20 counts into a single conviction for second-degree animal neglect. On appeal, the Court of Appeals concluded that animals can be victims within the meaning of the anti-merger statute and, accordingly, reversed and remanded for entry of a judgment of conviction on each of the 20 counts and for resentencing. The Supreme Court agreed with the Court of Appeals and affirmed. Thus, in Oregon, for the purposes of the anti-merger statute, an animal, rather than the public or an animal owner, is a “victim” of crime of second-degree animal neglect.