Man who killed dog in Auburn gets 2½ years in prison

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WORCESTER – A former Auburn man charged with assaulting his girlfriend and beating her dog to death because it was keeping him awake was sentenced to state prison Monday after pleading guilty to animal cruelty, assault and firearm charges.

Gregory Fargnoli, 27, formerly of 16 Hill St., Auburn, was arrested Nov. 17, 2015, after police were called to the Hill Street home in Auburn by a roommate, who said he found the dog, a 12-year-old Catahoula named Polka Dot, dead and that he was unable to awaken Mr. Fargnoli. Mr. Fargnoli’s girlfriend at the time, Tabitha L. Taylor, told investigators that when Mr. Fargnoli was finally awakened and asked what had happened, he said, “I silenced the dog.”

The woman told police she had gone to work and received a text from Mr. Fargnoli saying the dog had bitten him twice. The text also read, “I can’t take this. I should be sleep,” according to the woman. When she returned home that afternoon, she said, she found her boyfriend asleep and her dog dead.

A forensic necropsy by a doctor at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University determined that the dog died from blunt force trauma. A broom handle and a broken mop handle found near the dog’s body bore bite marks from the dog, which suffered at least 23 rib fractures, collapsed lungs, ten broken teeth, a brain bleed, internal bleeding and cuts and bruises from multiple blows, according to the report by Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore, research assistant professor at Tufts and president of the Boston-based Forensic Veterinary Investigations.

The report said there was also evidence “consistent with animal sexual assault” and “suggestive of forceful penetration of the dog’s vagina.”

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While police were at the home, Ms. Taylor told them Mr. Fargnoli had tried to strangle her during an argument weeks earlier. After learning that Mr. Fargnoli had a firearm in the home, police said they obtained a search warrant and recovered a 9mm handgun with the serial number defaced and ammunition.

Ms.Taylor, who is from Louisiana, said she met Mr. Fargnoli online in March of 2015 and later came to live with him in Massachusetts.

Thug caught stamping on pooch tells court ‘I love animals’

A DRUNKEN thug caught on CCTV kicking and stamping on his pet dog told a court he “loved animals”.


Richard Cheshire was half naked when he threw his pooch Pablo across the floor, kicked and stamped on his head, the court heard.

Security cameras filmed the attack in a tower block where the 34-year-old lived.

Cheshire, of Oldbury in Birmingham, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a dog.

As he left Birmingham crown court after being sentenced he shouted: “I want you to know, I love animals”.

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SICK: Cheshire stamped and kicked on the poor dog

Rafe Turner, prosecuting, said the RSPCA launched an investigation after being shown CCTV of the incident last September.During the 30-minute attack, Cheshire also spat and swore at the poor creature as it “cowered and whimpered”.

Mr Turner said: ”The dog keeps running away and not coming to heel, probably with good reason, while the defendant chases after it.”

He added that the bull terrier-type dog ran into the lift to try escape Cheshire while he continued his attack.

The court heard that Cheshire was “clearly intoxicated”.

His defence council, Sukhdip Randhawa, said Cheshire suffered from anxiety and depression and used alcohol to cope.

Cheshire animal abuseSWNSCOWER: The dog was backed into the lift

Cheshire animal abuseSWNSSAFE: The dog has since been taken by the RSPCA and will be rehomed


Trump Administration Strips Animal Rights Safeguards, Pets Now At Risk

On Friday, the Trump administration ordered the U.S. Department of Agriculture to remove inspection reports and other similar information regarding the treatment and welfare of thousands of animals from its website, The Washington Post reports.

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The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health inspection Service released a statement claiming the decision came after a “comprehensive review”. According to the statement posted to their site, “As a result of the comprehensive review, APHIS has implemented actions to remove certain personal information from documents it posts on APHIS’ website involving the Horse Protection Act and the Animal Welfare Act. Going forward, APHIS will remove from its website inspection reports, regulatory correspondence, research facility annual reports, and enforcement records that have not received final adjudication.  APHIS will also review and redact, as necessary, the lists of licensees and registrants under the AWA, as well as lists of designated qualified persons (DQPs) licensed by USDA-certified horse industry organizations.”

Essentially now violations against the Animal Welfare Act and the Horse Protection Act will only become accessible after submitting a Freedom of Information Act Request (FOIA) — which can take several years to get approved. The statement goes on to explain:

‘Those seeking information from APHIS regarding inspection reports, regulatory correspondence, and enforcement records should submit Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for that information.  Records will be released when authorized and in a manner consistent with the FOIA and Privacy Act.’

The records previously made available by the USDA were often accessed by animal rights activists in their efforts to monitor animal welfare at circuses, zoos, and scientific labs. Individuals looking to adopt pets could also use the site’s online database to find information about dog breeders before purchasing pets. Seven states require pet stores to source puppies through breeders with clean USDA inspection reports, but with the removal of the documents, where the puppies come from will likely no longer be traceable.

Since the news surfaced Friday evening, animal welfare organizations have spoken out to condemn the USDA’s removal of the information, as many believe it will only allow animal abuses to be swept under the rug.

Senior director of the Humane Society’s Stop Puppy Mills Campaign, John Goodwin, told The Washington Post:

‘The USDA action cloaks even the worst puppy mills in secrecy and allows abusers of Tennessee walking horses, zoo animals and lab animals to hide even the worst track records in animal welfare.’

It’s unclear at this point as to whether or not the information removed is a permanent or temporary change.

The senior vice president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Kathy Guillermo, said it’s “a shameful attempt to keep the public from knowing when and which laws and regulations have been violated. Many federally registered and licensed facilities have long histories of violations that have caused terrible suffering.”

Many have referenced the usefulness of the resource, saying it allowed organizations to track animal welfare in labs that otherwise lack transparency.

Woman arrested, 133 cats euthanized after recovery from meth lab

Sandy Chauvin (Source: LPSO)


A recent investigation into a meth lab resulted in an additional arrest aggravated animal cruelty, according to Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre.

Sandy Chauvin, 60, of Houma, was arrested this week as a result of an investigation which initially included the arrest of her sons, 35-year-old Nicholas and 43-year-old Christian Chauvin.

On Jan. 13, agents with the Lafourche Parish Drug Task Force arrived at Chauvin’s home with two active warrants for the arrest of Nicholas Chauvin for distribution of methamphetamine. He was taken into custody without incident. After obtaining a search warrant for the home, the Lafourche Parish Combined Meth Lab Response Team discovered tools and other items associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Christian Chauvin was also at the home, and both brothers were booked with operating a meth lab. Christian was released on Jan. 17 after posting $50,000 bond; Nicholas was released the following day after posting $85,000 bond.

While the Meth Lab Response Team was searching the home, team members discovered a large number of cats. Investigators said the living conditions were very poor, and a large amount of fecal matter was discovered throughout the home. Team members took photos of five cats that appeared to have serious health issues and injuries. Seven dead cats were also found at the home. Animal control deputies responded to the scene that day and began removing the animals. Deputies made several return trips over the next few days and recovered a total of 133 cats from the residence, all of which were taken to the Lafourche Parish Animal Shelter. According to officials at the animal shelter, all of the cats had to be euthanized due to their condition.

Following an investigation by the Lafourche Parish Drug Task Force, agents were able to obtain warrants for the arrest of Sandy Chauvin for five counts of aggravated cruelty to animals and operating a meth lab. Agents made contact with Sandy Chauvin on Feb. 1, and she was taken into custody.

She was booked into the Lafourche Parish Detention Center in Thibodaux and released the same day after posting $40,000 bond.

Calgary man gets 1 year in jail for beating, stabbing and burying tenants’ dog

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WARNING: This story contains graphic details that may be disturbing to readers

A Calgary man who pleaded guilty to beating and stabbing his tenants’ dog to death — in what defence argued was an atypical fit of rage over late rent and missing property — has been sentenced to a year in jail.

Robert Malcom Nicholson, 34, also heard Tuesday that he would face 18 months of probation and a five-year ban on keeping animals of his own.

The Crown had asked for a two-year sentence and a lifetime ban on keeping animals, telling the judge that Nicholson deliberately killed the dog to take revenge against his tenants.

The defence had argued Nicholson committed the violent act in a fit of rage that wasn’t in keeping with his normal character.

“This type of action is unacceptable in a society like ours,” provincial court Judge John Bascom said at Tuesday’s sentencing.

Court heard that Joe Hossay, his wife and three children lived with their border collie cross, Chevy, on the main floor of a home in the community of Renfrew that they rented from Nicholson, who lived in the basement suite.

After a three-month trip to visit his wife in the Philippines, Nicholson returned to the home in March 2015 and found some of his belongings missing. He also claimed Hossay had been late paying rent.

Nicholson then broke into the Hossays’ home and chased Chevy into the backyard, where he struck the animal with the blunt end of an axe.

The dog suffered a fractured skull but was still alive, court heard.

Nicholson then went back into the house and found a serrated knife, which he used to stab and saw at Chevy’s neck.

Robert Nicholson

Robert Nicholson hides his face as he leaves court after lawyers argued what his sentence should be for the fatal beating and stabbing of his neighbour’s dog, Chevy. (Meghan Grant/CBC)

He told the court he used the knife because he believed the dog was suffering from the axe blow and he wanted to put the animal out of its misery.

The Crown disputed that.

“No one tries to end a dog’s suffering by literally trying to cut [its] neck in half,” prosecutor Rosalind Greenwood said.

Chevy eventually bled to death in a slow process that a vet told the court would have taken at least 10 minutes, but likely “much longer.”

Nicholson buried the animal in the backyard.

He apologized at his sentencing hearing in November 2016, saying he had “great regret” over what he had done.

“I think about this every day and every night,” Nicholson said.

“I’m so terribly sorry.”

Heather Anderson, founder of an animal support group called the Daisy Foundation, said Nicholson’s sentence shows some progress in punishing people who abuse animals.

“The bottom line is that people are starting to realize that animals should be our equal and people that do these sorts of things should be prosecuted in the highest,” Anderson said.

Brevard pet hotel employee accused of animal cruelty… caught on video

VIERA, Fla. (WKMG) — Brevard County sheriff’s deputies arrested a man who they said was caught on video swinging a shih tzu by its leash and slamming it to the ground at a boarding facility, breaking the dog’s leg.

Brevard Sheriff Wayne Ivey said Joseph Pendergrass, who works at Barkingham Palace on U.S. 1 in Rockledge, was captured on video abusing the animal earlier this week.

Ivey said Pendergrass also appeared to kick the dog.

In a message posted on Facebook Ivey called the incident one of the most despicable acts of animal cruelty that he’s ever seen.

“Now, Mr. Pendergrass, I’ve told everyone before that if you hurt an animal in Brevard County, you’re going straight to jail,” Ivey said. “So the best thing for you to do is man up, do the right thing by turning yourself in, and face the consequences of your actions.”

Ivey said the owners of Barkingham Palace did not learn of the abuse until they checked surveillance video after noticing the dog’s injuries. The owners immediately called police, Ivey said.

Anyone with information about Pendergrass is asked to call Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS.

Malcolm X’s Daughter, Granddaughter Arrested for Animal Cruelty

Two women were arrested in Prince George’s County this week on animal cruelty and theft charges, and reports they are the daughter and granddaughter of black Muslim leader Malcolm X.

They were arrested on Wednesday in a Wal Mart parking lot in La Plata Maryland

This Jan. 26, 2017 booking photo shows Malikah Shabazz, left, the daughter of Malcolm X, and her daughter Bettih Shabazz, are charged with stealing a rental truck that was carrying seven pit bulls in what police say were inhumane conditions. Love said the truck contained seven dogs, some with injuries, housed in stacked crates. Animal Control transported the dogs to the Tri-County Animal Shelter, where they are now in stable condition. The truck was reported stolen earlier in the day to Vermont state police. Mother and daughter have been charged with seven counts of animal cruelty, vehicle theft and an additional charge of theft between $10,000 and $100,000. FlapShip

Malikah Shabazz told investigators that she owns the dogs, according to charging documents. Malikah Shabazz gave an address in Stark, New Hampshire, but Bettih Shabazz gave no fixed address. They’ve been released after posting $2,000 bond. No defense attorneys are listed in court records. On February 21, 1965, he was shot 15 times at close range at a speaking engagement in Manhattan’s Audubon Ballroom. He was only married once to his wife Betty and the couple had six children together. FlapShip

Man, woman arrested after 57 animals die in Brevard house fire

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – A man and woman have been arrested and charged with several counts of animal cruelty after 57 animals died in a house fire, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office said.

Deputies said Jacquelyn Traum, 67, and Daniel Brantley, 55, both of Merritt Island, inhumanely housed a large number of animals within a small space, WKMG-TV reported. The matter of confinement contributed to the death of 57 animals that were unable to escape a fire at the house at 473 Kennwood Ave. on Jan. 11.

When deputies arrived at the home on Jan. 11, Traum and Brantley were attempting to remove dogs from the home, but it quickly filled with smoke, halting any further rescue attempts. Fourteen dogs and one cat were rescued.

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Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Animal Service personnel discovered the condition of the house to be “deplorable and representative of animal hoarding” … resulting “in inhumane and unsanitary living conditions.”

Traum and Brantley are charged with four felony counts of animal cruelty (causing death, pain and suffering) and 74 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty (torment, deprive, mutilate, kill).

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Crawfordsvillle man charged with animal cruelty after cat burned alive

Mugshot of Noah Riley. (Provided Photo/Montgomery County Sheriff's Office)

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — A 19-year-old Crawfordsville man has been officially charged with animal cruelty after police say he admitted to tying up a cat and setting it on fire.

Montgomery County prosecutors charged Noah Riley with two counts of animal cruelty, one a felony.

Police responded to County Road 500 South in New Market, just south of Crawfordsville, on Jan. 11 for the report of a cat that had been hogtied, covered in gasoline, and set on fire with an M80 firework attached to it.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said Riley turned himself in to authorities the next day and admitted his role in the case. He told deputies he wanted to resolve the issue and cited social media as making him feel guilty.

According to court documents, Riley and his juvenile girlfriend had the mutual idea to hurt the animal because both said they don’t like cats. They had received the cat the same night as a gift from a friend after a church study group.

Documents state Riley told police he thought it would be funny to set the cat on fire. The girlfriend admitted to police at the time they took possession of the cat, it was their intentions to kill it.

The cat, who was recovering, died from its injuries five days later.