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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: dogs

Charges filed in Hillyard animal cruelty

A Spokane woman who had 50 dogs and cats packed into a squalid bungalow in Hillyard has been charged with animal cruelty.

Laneva Marsha Erskine, 57, faces nine misdemeanor charges stemming from a February raid at her home at 3622 E. Crown Ave. in which workers wore hazardous material suits and respirators to combat the heavy stench.

Read the rest of my story here.

Past coverage:

Feb. 8: Animals seized from squalid Hillyard home

Man gets 6 months in horrific dog cruelty

A Post Falls man who beat his dog with a hammer as his neighbor watched in horror has been sentenced to six months in jail.

 Calvin Franklin Palmer, 53, who served 33 years in prison in Arizona for murder, apologized at his sentencing Friday and said the death of his Akita-pit bull even “traumatized him,” according to court records.

“I was the only one who treated her nicely,” Palmer said.

He told police he killed the dog after she attacked a cat and he feared she would attack him.

“I'm sorry that someone saw me do that,” he said in court Friday, according to a transcript. Palmer was booked into the Kootenai County Jail that day to begin his sentence.

Palmer's neighbors in the 300 block of North Columbia Street in Post Falls called police Dec. 10 and reported the horrific attack.

Tammi Nichols, 40, said her 18-year-old daughter, Carmen Murphy, told her she'd seen Palmer beating the dog with the hammer.

Nichols said she told Palmer “You just traumatized my child,” but Palmer “looked at her with a blank look on his face, then swung the hammer at the dog four more times, striking it in the head,” according to court documents.

Post Falls police arrived to find the dog dead in a trash can, badly beaten with its throat slit.

Palmer initially lied to police and said he didn't own a dog, according to court documents. When they asked him about dog food at the home, he said he fed it to his cats because he can't afford cat food.

Palmer has been out of prison for about three years after being convicted of robbery and murder in Arizona, according to court records. He works at the Sweetgrass Cafe in Worley, Idaho, according to testimony at his sentencing.

His public defender, Megan Marshall, called for him to serve no jail time for the animal cruelty conviction, saying he'll lose his trailer if he can't work. She said his murder conviction “is following him for the rest of his life,” according to court records.

Judge Penny Friedlander instead sentenced him to 180 days in jail but allowed for work release. Friedlander said it was “stunning to the court how anyone could do an act like that to an animal.”

Police: Woman had meth in body cavity

Police said a Coeur d'Alene woman was arrested with methamphetamine inside her vaginal cavity this morning, but they later said the woman only said meth was located there, and none was found.

 Detectives with the North Idaho Violent Crimes Task Force located Christine R. Davis-Jasinki, 35, at the Coeur d'Alene Casino and searched her home at 114 Borah Ave. in Coeur d'Alene about 5:30 a.m. today, where they found a surveillence system and other drugs.

Davis-Jasinki was booked into jail for drug charges for meth and drug paraphernalia found in the home. A SWAT team used an armored vehicle to approach the home.

Police used the extreme measures because of “information about several weapons inside the residence as well as four pit bull dogs,” according to a news release by Coeur d'Alene police Sgt. Christie Wood.

A SWAT member used a dog snare to control  “a large, vicious pit bull,” but the other dogs were cooperative and none were injured, Wood said. The dogs were seized by animal control officers.

Police found what they described as a sophisticated video surveillance inside the home that monitored the street and included audio capabilities and a view of the home's entrance. They also found a large amount of suspected stolen property, including jewelry and power tools. Police are working to identify the owners.

Arrested at the home were Coeur d'Alene residents Chase A. Nutting, 21, on a failure to appear warrant for attempted robbery, and a warrant out of Kitsap County, Wash., and Stevan E. Hemming, 25, on a warrant for violating his probation and parole for aggravated assaulted.

Davis-Jasinki has been booked into the Kootenai County Jail 30 times since 1996, said Major Ben Wolfinger.

Related coverage:

July 21, 2011: Woman with $26,000 in bra pleads guilty

March 25, 2011: Pa. cavity search produces 50 bags of heroin

Sept. 17, 2010: Police get search warrant for man's rectum
  

Utah dog shoots hunter in buttocks

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah bird hunter was shot in the buttocks after his dog stepped on a shotgun laid across the bow of a boat.

Box Elder County Sheriff's Deputy Kevin Potter says the 46-year-old Brigham City man was duck hunting with a friend when he climbed out of the boat to move decoys.

Potter says the man left his 12-gauge shotgun in the boat and the dog stepped on it, causing it to fire. It wasn't clear whether the safety on the gun was on at the time.

Potter says the man was hit from about 10 feet away with 27 pellets of birdshot. He says the man wasn't seriously injured, in part because he was wearing waders. The man was treated at a nearby hospital.

Pit bull owners face cruelty charges

A dog owner is facing animal cruelty charges after bringing his emaciated, starving pit bull to the vet.

The Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service filed a charging request against Randy Jensen for first-degree animal cruelty and second-degree animal cruelty. Charging requests were also filed for his sister, Talina Jensen, also faces of first-degree animal cruelty and confinement in an unsafe manner.

Randy Jensen took the dog, Jackson, in for veterinary care Sept. 9 after he lost about 20 pounds and stopped eating, according to a SCRAPS news release. However, Jensen did not have the money for the recommended exam but did not want to euthanize the dog. He brought Jackson to his sister Talina Jensen for care, but Jackson continued to suffer “substantial and unjustifiable pain,” the news release said.

On Sept. 26, SCRAPS animal protection officers rushed Jackson in for veterinary care after they began an investigation. Tests showed Jackson’s intestines had burst and he was septic, the news release said.

Jackson was euthanized.

“Jackson suffered for several weeks and the charges reflect the serious nature of the crimes committed against him,” said Nicole Montano, lead animal protection officer. “SCRAPS takes the issue of animal cruelty and neglect very seriously and this was an extreme case of cruelty and neglect.”

SCRAPs urges anyone who sees an animal being mistreated to call (509) 477-2532

K-9 nabs ‘jingling’ burglary suspect

A burglar described only as a man who jingled as he ran away was captured by a Spokane County sheriff’s K-9 team and patrol deputies early today.

Sheriff's K-9 Jet found Brian James Blankenship, 44, hiding in a bush at a home on East Salmon after a homeowner said he'd surprised a burglary in his garage in the 100 block of West Falcon about 5:15 a.m., according to a news release by Sgt. Dave Reagan.

The only description offered by the homeowner was that the thief made a “jingling” noise as he ran, but deputies Mark Melville and Bob Bond were able to track him with the help of Jet.

Blankenship surrendered to police and was booked into jail on a felony residential burglary charge. He had a pocketful of coins that jingled as he moved, Reagan said.

Spokane K-9 nabs carjacking suspect

A carjacking suspect led police on a chase early Sunday morning, but his attempt to escape on foot was foiled by a Spokane Police Department search dog.

A man reported that he was parked outside the Holiday Gas Station at 9620 N. Division Street just before 3:30 a.m. while a friend was inside. He was approached by someone who pulled a gun on him and told him to get out of his silver Toyota Camry, according to a Police Department press release. Police responded and spotted the car 25 minutes later driving north on Division past the same gas station where the car was stolen.

There was a short chase until the man  jumped from the still moving car and ran, the press release said. Police officers, assisted by the Washington State Patrol, searched the area and found a handgun holster in an apartment complex courtyard just east of Ritter's Nursery.

The dog, Leo, and his handler, Officer Craig Hamilton, found the suspect inside the fenced nursery. Justin S. Brown, 29, was booked into jail on charges of first-degree robbery, second-degree burglary and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

The gun believed to be used in the carjacking was later recovered in the same area the holster was found.

Man accused of injuring police dog

A Spokane man was arrested on suspicion of injuring a police dog after during a domestic violence arrest call last weekend.

 Gerry R. Elerding, 39, is accused of violently fighting with Spokane police K-9 Leo as police responded to a report of an assault and no-contact order violation at an apartment in the 1300 block of South Adams Street about 4 a.m. on Saturday.

An officer forced the door open at the home and found Elerding's ex-girlfriend but could not locate the suspect, so he requested assistance from a police dog.

K-9 Leo entered the basement, and police heard him yelp “as if he had been hurt,” according to court documents.

Officers found Leo moving toward the basement stairs with his leg caught in his partially pulled off harness, documents say.

Police say the secured harness had never before come off “nor has Leo ever left a suspect during a fight or capture.” Leo has been involved in nearly 30 violent captures, according to police.

Elerding remains in jail on a state Department of Corrections probation hold, as well as $1,900 bail for charges of violating a no-contact order and harming a police dog.

He has previous convictions for drugs, eluding police and, just in June, violating a domestic violence no-contact order.
  

Camel leads to animal cruelty arrests

Reports of a camel on a property in eastern Spokane County led to the recent arrest of a mother and daughter duo already charged with animal cruelty.

The camel belonged to a neighbor, but animal control officers say Kelly J. Covey, 49, had two dogs in her camper - a violation of a court order. The restriction has been in place since a Jan. 29 raid at the property, 6204 N. Idaho Road, that led to charges against Covey, her mother, Carol McMullen, 70, and Mullen's son, James W. McMullen.

In addition to the camel, SCRAPS investigators found cows and llamas at 6204 N. Idaho Road that also violated court orders.

Carol McMullen has previous convictions for animal cruelty; she was arrested again last week for violating her release conditions. Covey was booked into jail Friday.

The family faces several felony animal cruelty charges after 123 farm animals and pets were seized in January.

Officers found 78 dead animals on the property, located between State Line and Newman Lake.

Woof on a Roof: Odd dog rescue in NY

BAY SHORE, N.Y. (AP) — Long Island firefighters went home with a great story to tell: They rescued a dog from the roof of a two-story house.

The Bay Shore Fire Department was called to help Rosie on Monday.

The department said in a statement that the homeowner was pet sitting and “had no idea how the dog got onto the roof.”

It's estimated the medium-sized mutt was there about two hours.

Employing the time-honored cat-in-a-tree approach, the firefighters used a ladder to bring the canine aerialist back to earth.

Tips sought on owners of killer dogs

Authorities are asking for help identifying the owners of dogs that are believed to be attacking farm animals in southern Stevens County.

The dogs pictured are thought to be responsible for the deaths of animals in the areas of Bittrich Antler, Scotts Valley Road and Casberg Burroughs Road as well as the 6800 to 7200 block of Highway 291. 

Photos from a camera set up at the location of a previous attack recorded images of the dogs when they returned.

Anyone with information is asked to call (509) 684-2555 or 1-800-572-0947.

Ohio man charged after barking at K-9

MASON, Ohio (AP) — Police say an Ohio man has been charged with a misdemeanor for barking at a police dog.

A police report says 25-year-old Ryan James Stephens was charged with teasing a police dog in the Cincinnati suburb of Mason.

Officer Bradley Walker wrote that he heard the K9 dog barking uncontrollably inside his patrol car while he was investigating a car crash at a pub early Sunday morning. Walker says Stephens was making barking noises and hissing at the animal.

Walker reported that Stephens said “the dog started it” when asked why he was harassing the animal. The officer said Stephens appeared highly intoxicated.

There was no answer to calls to Stephens' home in Mason. He is to appear April 21 in municipal court.

Police: Dog abuser beat boy, too

A Spokane Valley man already accused of abusing his dog has been charged with felony assault against a child.

Jeffrey S. Brown, 40, is accused of beating his 4-year-old stepson at the home they shared with Brown's wife and the couple's 18-month old son at 14819 E. Fourth Ave.

Brown remains in Spokane County Jail on $50,000 bond after appearing before Superior Court Judge Greg Sypolt today on one count of second-degree assault of a child. That's in addition to $10,000 bond already imposed for a first-degree animal cruelty charge

According to court documents, the victim's mother noticed unusual bruising on the boy Dec. 27 and took him to a hospital, then fled Spokane with her children “in cooperation with Child Protective Services.”

Brown was arrested in February after animal protection officers found his 1-year-old brown dog, Gizmoto, with a broken femur sustained during months of abuse.

Brown released ownership of the dog to SCRAPS, and the organization paid for the dog to be examined. SCRAPS director Nancy Hill said Wednesday that the veterinarian took the dog in but said she wasn't sure if it had been adopted yet.

In an interview with a sheriff's detective, Brown initially denied hurting the boy but then said he'd been too forceful on several occasions and needed counseling to control his temper.

Man jailed after abused dog seized

A Spokane Valley man is in jail after animal control officers say they found his dog whimpering in pain from months of abuse.

Jeffrey S. Brown, 40, faces a first-degree animal cruelty charge after neighbors called the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service and said Brown beat and kicked the dog at his home at 14819 E. 4th Ave.

Brown told investigators that he’d adopted the 1-year-old brown dog, Gizmoto, last June and said he’d recently taken it to a veterinarian, but the vet told police he hadn’t seen Brown.

Brown released ownership of the dog to SCRAPS on Jan. 13, and the organization paid for the dog to be examined. The dog had a broken femur that was about three or four weeks old but had been re-injured. The vet said the dog was in severe pain and likely would require surgery, according to court documents.

Brown’s wife, Jennifer Brown, told police she’d left the dog with her husband after Child Protective Services took their four-year-old son because of abuse.

Brown remains in jail on $10,000 bond after appearing before Superior Court Judge Linda Tompkins on Friday.

Teen accused of killing 2 dogs w/ ax

A Chattaroy teenager killed his family’s dogs after threatening his mother and grandmother with a knife on Monday, sheriff’s officials say.

Michael R. Shartle, 19, remains in jail on $20,000 bond after appearing in Spokane County Superior Court on Wednesday.

He was arrested Tuesday after deputies found evidence of brutal slayings in his family’s barn, where the teen reportedly told his mother on Monday that he’d killed their two dogs.

Read the rest of my story here.

Dog poisoning, beating reported in Athol

An Athol woman’s dog died of suspected poisoning Tuesday after suffering a beating from an unknown man who threatened repeatedly to kill her beloved pets.

Police believe they know who did it, but can’t prove it. And even if they could, animal cruelty is a misdemeanor in Idaho, one of only four states where that’s still the case.

Two of Kathleen Callahan’s three dogs were playing in her fenced front yard Friday when a man in a red pickup truck screeched to a halt in her driveway, jumped out, leaned over the fence and began punching the dogs, she said.

Read of Alison Boggs’ storry here.

Dog poisonings in the Spokane area in February remain unsolved. Read about them here.

Strychnine may have killed Spokane dogs

Washington State University veterinarians say a meatball found on a Spokane woman’s property contained strychnine - the same poison thought to have killed dogs in North Idaho last spring.

The Spokane woman’s dog died near Regal Street and the Palouse Highway last week after eating another meatball.

Two other dogs, Snoopy and Abby (pictured above, left and right), have died after eating similar meatballs found in the Moran Prairie neighborhood on Spokane’s South Hill.

One attack took place in the 3300 block of East 55th Avenue, killing two dogs owned by 21-year-old David Cheney and his family.

Then on Monday, a homeowner near 36th Avenue and Grand Boulevard found a suspicious meatball similar to those found Friday.

Test results for the additional meatballs are expected today or Thursday, said Nancy Hill, director of the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service.

Meanwhile, dog owners are urged to inspect their yards and keep their pets indoors, and the Humane Society of the United States is offering a $2,500 reward to catch the person responsible for poisoning dogs in Spokane.

Similar poisonings reported in North Idaho last March was never solved. Lisa Kauffman, Idaho state director for the Humane Society of the United States, said officials believe the incident may have stemmed from a family incident but were never able to prove it.

Past coverage:

Dog poisonings leave trail of questions, anguish

Sandpoint dogs poisoned by strychnine

Is someone targeting Spokane dogs?

Abby collapsed near the back steps, convulsing before her owner took her inside, where she died.

Her companion, Snoopy, died shortly after, both victims of what animal control officials suspect is a targeted assault using poisoned meatballs to kill Spokane’s best friends.

The attack on Abby and Snoopy took place in the 3300 block of East 55th Street. Another dog living near Regal Street and the Palouse Highway died Friday.

Then on Monday, a homeowner near 36th Street and Grand Boulevard found a suspicious meatball similar to those found Friday. Officials suspect a connection but haven’t determined one.The meat will be sent to Washington State University for testing.

Meanwhile, dog owners are urged to inspect their yards and keep their pets indoors, and the Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information that leads to an arrest. In each case, officials said, the targeted properties have dog houses, signs or other indications that dogs live there.

“It looks to me as though somebody is just driving around and wherever they see evidence of a dog living there, they toss those meatballs out,” said Gail Mackie, executive director of SpokAnimal. “It doesn’t make a difference where you live, you’re not immune.”

The people responsible for the tainted meatballs face charges of first-degree animal cruelty.

Nancy Hill, director of the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service, described the substance as “a very fast-acting, horrible-death kind of poison.”

The meatballs “are very attractive, and they’re very lethal,” she said. “A dog can eat a meatball before you can even blink an eye.”

The woman who found the meat in her front yard on Monday “for some miraculous reason” had only let her dogs in the backyard that morning, Hill said.

“She was extremely upset knowing those were sitting in the area,” Hill said.

Abby (top right) and Snoopy (top left) lived with 21-year-old David Cheney and his family.

Cheney found the dogs early Friday after they ate what officials believe are the same type of meatballs found earlier that day near Regal Street and the Palouse Highway.

A SCRAPS investigator found several suspicious meatballs in Cheney’s neighbor’s yard.

“I spent Friday and Saturday burying both dogs,” Cheney said.

Both are buried in the backyard under large wooden crosses. Snoopy’s grave is below a tree he liked to lie under on sunny days.

The Cheneys brought the dogs with them from Florida when they moved to Spokane in 2002.

Cheney said he has no idea who would want to hurt them or why.

“The cops have better get ahold of him before I do,” Cheney said. “I’ll go to prison over it.”

3 dogs dead in suspected poisoning

Poisoned meatballs may have killed three dogs in the Moran Prairie neighborhood on Spokane’s South Hill today, and more suspicious meatballs were found in two other locations.

“All pet owners should closely inspect their yard and surrounding property when they arrive home tonight,” said Nancy Hill, director of the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service.

A woman told animal protection officers that she let her dogs out about 6 a.m. today on her property near Regal Street and the Palouse Highway and saw one eating something. She called the dog away, but about a half an hour later, the dog started having convulsions and died at a pet emergency clinic, according to SCRAPS.

Another woman living near 55th Avenue and Freya Street reported two dogs dead today, too, SCRAPS said.

An animal protection officer then found a suspicious meatball soaked in an unknown substance on the side of the road near a fenced yard in the 3300 block of East 55th Street, and another in the same vicinity but inside a fenced yard.

The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of persons responsible for the suspected poisonings.

Anyone with information is urged to cal SCRAPS emergency number, (509) 477-2533.

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