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18-year old charged in Florida cat mutilations

updated 6:34 p.m. PT, Sun., June 14, 2009

MIAMI – A teenager faces charges in a gruesome string of cat mutilations and killingsCat Collage that have horrified his neighbors and shaken animal lovers in two South Florida communities.

Tyler Hayes Weinman, 18, was charged Sunday with 19 counts each of animal cruelty and improperly disposing of an animal body and four counts of burglary related to the deaths.

In the past month, residents in the Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay neighborhoods have reported finding the bodies of more than two dozen cats. Police said some were likely killed by dogs. Some were missing fur — neighbors said some had been skinned — and appeared to have been cut with a sharp, straight instrument, police said.

“I hope it’s not true,” 77-year-old Robert Ehrman said about the teen, who lives across the street from her in Cutler Bay. He called his mother a “lovely person,” but said he didn’t know the teen well. “It’s like a death in the family, I’m sure.”

Cat Killer Weinman was taken into custody at a party and was being questioned at Miami-Dade police headquarters. Four of the confirmed cat killings were reported on the street where Weinman lived.

His attorney, David W. Macey, said in an e-mail that Weinman is innocent of the charges.

“Tyler welcomes his day in court, so that he will be completely vindicated,” Macey said.

According to online jail records, Weinman was being held on $154,500 bond. Jail officials said a court date was set for July.

Received hundred of tips
The curtains at the small, beige house in the Cutler Bay neighborhood listed on Weinman’s arrest affidavit were drawn shut and there were no cars in the driveway. Knocks at the red front door went unanswered. A welcome mat dotted with pictures of paw prints playfully encouraged visitors to “wipe your paws,” and a yellow and black crime watch sticker was displayed in the home’s front window.

A similar crime watch sticker was displayed in the window at another address for Weinman in nearby Palmetto Bay, along with a red and black warning that told rescue crews a cat lived in the house, in case of a fire. Lights were on inside, but no one answered the door.

Messages left at phone numbers for his parents were also not immediately returned.

“It’s shocking to think that someone who lives right here and is our neighbor could do something like this,” said Thomas Shad, whose black cat, Miss Kitty, was killed.

Shad, whose house is near Weinman’s, said he had suspected a local resident might be behind the killings, which investigators started to examine in May. Police said they investigated more than 30 cat deaths and received hundreds of tips from concerned citizens.

“This is so important to our community,” Miami-Dade Police Department Maj. Julie Miller said of the arrest. “So many lives have been affected — children, adults, citizens who didn’t even have animals affected.”

Arrested twice as a juvenile
Miller said more arrests might be coming, but she declined to name other suspects. Police said they have been watching the house where Weinman stays with his mother, and neighbors said he was taken to the police station for an interview on his prom night a few weeks ago.

Weinman was still wearing a tuxedo when officers whisked him away that night, they said, and he missed the dance.

“If they do get the wrong guy and it’s not him, they’ve ruined his life as it is right now,” said 19-year-old Kyle Hantzis, who lives next door.

Hantzis, who said his father dates Weinman’s mother, called the teenager quiet and well-spoken. Authorities said Weinman was spending his summer doing odd jobs, and his Facebook page says he graduated from Miami Palmetto Senior High this spring.

Police said Weinman was twice arrested as a juvenile, though they said they could not provide details.

Hantzis said he had a hard time picturing the teen as a serial cat killer. “I don’t think, the way he acts and his demeanor, I don’t think he could physically do it,” he said. Weinman is listed on the jail record as 5 feet, 7 inches tall and 140 pounds.

For the Shads, his arrest brought a sense of relief to their quiet suburban neighborhood that they haven’t felt since Miss Kitty’s body was found in the grassy yard of an abandoned house.

“I felt that I could rest,” said Mary Lou Shad, who said she cried while she watched the televised police news conference on Sunday. “I was at peace with what was happening.”

In order for the police to make an arrest and release a photo of the 18-year-old in this case they have to be pretty sure that they have the right person.  It is important that if found guilty that Tyler Hayes Weinman and his accomplices are punished to the full extent of the law.  Animals are God’s creatures too and do not deserve to be tortured.  Also children and young people who victimize animals often go on to to do the same to children, spouses, the elderly and anyone else who in their mind wrongs them. Sociopaths often begin by abusing animals.

Posted:  Just One More Pet

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June 16, 2009 Posted by | animal abuse, animals, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

285 Dogs Are Out and Never Looking Back

This is why we always encourage you guys to report, report, report animal cruelty! Thanks to the complaints of folks looking to purchase dogs, a puppy mill was busted today in White County, Tennessee, where the ASPCA seized 285 dogs this morning from miserable conditions.  From Their Press Release:

“The dogs are small breeds under 20 pounds and include Boston and Jack Russell terriers, Pomeranians, shih Tzus, Chihuahuas, poodles, miniature pinschers and schnauzers. According to Dr. Melinda Merck, the ASPCA’s Senior Director of Veterinary Forensics, the dogs are suffering from a general lack of husbandry, such as little to no food or water, lack of proper ventilation in enclosed areas, and feces encrusted pens. Conditions such as matting, sores, mange, poor teeth, abscesses, and a host of other medical conditions are prevalent.”

We’re thrilled that the dogs are now getting the TLC and medical care they deserved all along. Special shoutout to the White County Sheriff’s Department of Tennessee, who requested our assistance and gave us the authority to investigate. So that’s great for the dogs, but what about the puppy mill? The ASPCA is evaluating the dogs found at the site and collecting evidence for the prosecution of the criminal case. 

 

Puppy Mill

Puppy Mill
Puppy Mill
Puppy Mill
Puppy Mill
The ASPCA’s best and brightest are currently on the ground in White County, TN, managing operations of a puppy mill raid that began Wednesday morning, February 11. Our forensic cruelty investigation team, led by Dr. Melinda Merck, ASPCA Senior Director of Veterinary Forensics, is evaluating dogs and collecting evidence for the future criminal prosecution of the puppy mill’s owners. Members of the ASPCA Disaster Response team and several of our legislative professionals are also assisting at the site. More than 285 small-breed dogs—including Boston and Jack Russell terriers, Pomeranians, shih tzus, Chihuahuas, poodles, miniature pinschers and schnauzers—were recovered from multiple buildings on the raided property. According to Dr. Merck, the dogs are suffering from a general lack of basic care, such as little to no food or water, feces-encrusted pens and lack of proper ventilation in enclosed areas. Conditions such as matting, sores, mange, poor teeth and abscesses are widespread.  Dogs in critical condition were examined immediately on the scene and in the Mobile Animal CSI Unit, and those needing emergency care were transferred to local veterinarians who have volunteered their services.

Puppy Mill

Local officials became concerned about this particular puppy mill last September after a visitor to the property—someone who had intended to purchase a dog—alerted the White County Humane Society to the poor conditions of the animals. The White County Sheriff’s Department began a formal investigation, ultimately enlisting the ASPCA’s support for this week’s raid. Other parties assisting in the rescue include American Humane Association, Nashville Humane Association, several local veterinarians and PetSmart Charities, which provided the majority of sheltering supplies and an emergency relief vehicle.
Back in June, the ASPCA assisted in the raid of a puppy mill in Lyles, TN—the state’s largest raid to date. Thankfully, the Tennessee General Assembly is taking action to address the state’s puppy mill problem—last week, a consumer protection bill addressing large-scale commercial breeders was introduced in the Senate; introduction of a House companion bill is expected soon. How can you help to ensure a safe future for dogs like these? When you donate today, you will help us in all of our life-saving efforts, including ones like the puppy mill raid in Tennessee. To learn more about the White County raid, please visit our blog to see pictures of the puppies we rescued.   
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Fight Back Animal Cruelty
Before your report cruelty, be sure to gather as much information as you can to help the authorities investigate. If you have evidence—photos, videos, etc.—even better!

February 14, 2009 Posted by | Animal Rights And Awareness, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, Success Stories, Uncategorized, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments