Here’s an update on Alice. Special thanks to Kara Blackburn for providing us with some additional information.
We came to discover that Alice is actually owned by the elderly man’s (the one “housing” Alice) daughter. She showed Scott Bennett from Southern Comfort Animal Rescue the purchase papers, which indicated that she had paid $500 for Alice. We were told that Alice had been bred “a couple times” but from the way her breasts sag, it certainly appears that she’s been bred more than twice. So, it can be presumed that one reason the owners don’t want to get rid of her is because they could use her for breeding again.
The police officer that went to determine whether Alice was living under acceptable conditions allowed Scott (Southern Comfort Animal Rescue) to provide an acceptable baseline. If the owners complied, they would be able to keep her. Scott indicated that Alice needed more adequate shelter, specifically a kennel appropriate for a dog; she needed daily distributions of water and food as well as a complete medical examination.
The owners did in fact move Alice into a larger chain link kennel with an igloo style doghouse. They are using a small bedpan style bucket for her water, although it isn’t nearly large enough to hold enough water for a pit bull for multiple days, so we can’t determine whether she’s being adequately hydrated. Plus, for several days in a row Alice’s dog dish was overturned in the same position, leading us to believe that she either has not been fed or that the owners are continuing to throw her food on the ground. Amazingly, a local police officer said that he was okay with Alice being thrown food, indicating that it is actually the way he feeds his dog (great). New video of Alice here
The owner did take Alice to a veterinarian, but it appears that the examination was only a standard “healthy dog” vetting. This meant that the vet ran no tests to determine whether Alice has any medical problems, including internal parasites, heartworms, or other issues.
When Scott told the police and the magistrate judge that Alice needed further examination, they informed Scott that the case was dead, stressing that, “The dog is healthy. We looked at her and we can tell.” Again, it strains credulity that these officials can tell that a dog is healthy just by looking at it; any good vet will counter that a full battery of tests must be run before making such a statement with certainty.
The magistrate Judge Matheson, said that he would not approve animal cruelty charges, because the way the dog was treated was “in the past,” and that her situation had changed. I feel that it is also important to bear in mind that when Scott asked about previous years’ rabies certificates, Judge Matheson said that there was no law that says people have to get their dogs vaccinated. Again, we find it necessary to give Judge Matheson a bit of a refresher in the Rules and Regulations for the State of Georgia regarding rabies vaccinations. Here is the law for your state…try applying it:
Rabies Control Law-O.C.G.A-31- 19
Georgia law requires that all owned dogs and cats be vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian using approved vaccines in accordance with the national Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control.
Clearly this judge will continue to turn a blind eye to the law he is supposed to apply based on the facts presented. He continues to make up the law as he goes stating that the animal cruelty that Alice endured is “in the past.” Not surprisingly Judge Matheson continues to make up the law as he goes. There is no statute of limitations for animal cruelty and considering this was brought to your attention last month I am sure animal cruelty qualifies.
I’ll leave you on a final note that is continuously ringing in the back of my mind. First, Alice’s owner has indicated that she has FOUR other dogs. I think most us are concerned about what conditions those animals are in currently. Second, I’m interested in knowing what she is using them for because after we have seen the condition that Alice was subjected to, I’m afraid there may be a darker, and perhaps illegal, purpose for them. Certainly it isn’t for a loving companion animal.
“A nation can be judged by the way they treat their animals” ~ Ghandi