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Lab crew indicted on animal cruelty charges

By RENEE ELDER  -  Associated Press  -  Posted: Thursday, Jul. 07, 2011

RALEIGH, N.C. Four former workers at a North Carolina testing lab have been indicted on felony animal cruelty charges, following an animal rights group’s undercover investigation that captured video images of animals being hit, kicked and thrown, officials said Wednesday.

Gates County District Attorney Frank Parrish said Christine Clement and Tracy Small were indicted on two counts each of cruelty to animals, while Jessica Detty and Mary Ramsey were each indicted on five counts of the same charge. Parrish said the grand jury handed down the indictments Tuesday.

In North Carolina, the sentence for a person with no previous criminal record could range from as little as three months of community service to 14 months in prison.

The charges follow the September 2010 release of a videotape provided by an undercover worker for the group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Detty said Wednesday that she was not aware of the indictment, nor had she heard from the other three defendants in the case. She told The Associated Press that she wouldn’t mistreat animals.

"Wow. I don’t see myself as a type of person to ever do something like that and I would not ever," said Detty, who said she was a receptionist at the lab for a year and a half. "If I were to go to court, I would surely have a lawyer to defend me that I was not in the wrong," Detty said.

Messages left for the other three workers were not immediately returned Wednesday.

PETA lab investigator Kathy Guillermo called it a groundbreaking case for animal rights.

She said it is the first case she is aware of in which research lab workers have been charged with animal cruelty.

"There are unspeakable things happening to animals in labs every day, but when you also strike them, kick them or withhold health care, it’s animal cruelty,’ Guillermo said.

The video shot by a PETA member working at the lab shows workers throwing a cat, pulling a dog’s teeth with inadequate pain medication and trying to pull a cat’s claws off by jerking it from a wire cage.

Professional Laboratory and Research Services Inc. was closed in late 2010 after the USDA received PETA’s report and began to investigate the operation.

Guillermo said the lab was not affiliated with any specific company but would carry out testing for manufacturers of pet products, such as flea and tick medications.

More than 200 dogs and 50 cats were confiscated from the lab by the USDA following the investigation.

The lab’s owner, Helen Sonenshine, of Virginia, did not return a call from a reporter Wednesday.

Connie Detty, the mother of Jessica Detty, said her daughter was an animal lover who often brought rabbits home from the lab to keep them from being euthanized.

Gates County is on the North Carolina-Virginia line, about 114 miles northeast of Raleigh.

Associated Press writer Emery Dalesio contributed to this report.

Source:  Charlotte Observer

July 9, 2011 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ASPCA ASSISTS IN LARGEST DOG FIGHTING CRACKDOWN IN U.S. HISTORY

Help Us End the Cruelty

On Wednesday, July 8, the ASPCA began assisting federal and state agencies in what is believed to be the largest crackdown on dog fighting in U.S. history. The raid spans eight states so far—Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Nebraska and Mississippi. Arrests have been made in all eight states.

Nearly 400 rescued dogs were safely transported to a secure facility under the direction of the Humane Society of Missouri’s (HSMO) Animal Cruelty Task Force, where they will be cared for until final disposition is determined by the U.S. District Court.

Help End Cruelty

“The ASPCA is determined to protect the nation’s pets from dog fighting and other forms of brutality,” says ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres. “Animal cruelty cannot be tolerated, and we are proud to lend our support to federal and local agencies to ensure that these abusers are brought to justice.”

At the request of HSMO, the ASPCA is lending the services of its special forensic cruelty investigation team—including disaster animal rescuers, field service investigators and Dr. Melinda Merck, the nation’s premier forensic veterinarian—to collect evidence for the prosecution of the criminal case. The ASPCA’s Mobile Animal Crime Scene Investigation Unit, outfitted with medical equipment tailored specifically for animal patients, is also on hand.

The ASPCA will also eventually assist in behavior evaluations of the dogs.

Dog fighting is banned throughout the United States and is a felony in all 50 states.  If convicted of animal fighting charges, those arrested each face up to five years in prison.

Your support makes it possible for the ASPCA to rescue animals from this horrendous life. Your generosity allows our experts to collect the evidence needed to build cases against and prosecute animal cruelty offenders.

Source:  ASPCA.org

Posted:  Just One More Pet

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July 12, 2009 Posted by | animal abuse, Animal Rescues, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pet Adoption, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization, Success Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments