Case Snapshot
Case ID: 12987
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Thursday, Jan 10, 2008

County: Chelan

Charges: Misdemeanor
Disposition: Convicted

Defendant/Suspect: Patricia Schrumpf

Case Updates: 1 update(s) available

The humane society wants animal cruelty charges filed against His Glory Kennels of Leavenworth after animal control officers seized 36 Siberian huskies from the shop.

A veterinarian examined the dogs and said their conditions range from emaciated to starving. The animals had apparently been drinking water wherever they could find it, and they were all suffering from the effects of giardia, a water-borne illness.

Karen Headlee took KOMO 4 News on a tour of the kennels.

She took one of the adult huskies out of the kennel and examined him.

"He should weigh 65 to 70 pounds," she said. The dog weighed 36 pounds.

"He's basically nothing but bones under there. He doesn't have any muscle mass or fat. It's just basically hair," she said.

One week ago, the dogs were living outside Leavenworth. Animal control says pregnant females and pups were in a large ship-style container. Kennels of fiberboard and wire were built in at ground level. The breeding males were reportedly kept in an area of the house with a large kennel structure nearby.

Lisa Schmidt, a neighbor, says last September, another 11 dogs were rescued from the location by animal control officers. (Details surrounding that seizure is a part of a court proceeding scheduled for next month.)

Schmidt has eight dogs and many other rescued animals. She says she has been watching her neighbor's dogs for months.

"I could clearly see they weren't getting any water. Food - she would throw down. The stronger dogs got the food, the weaker ones went without," she said.

Schmidt called the humane society, but she was told they needed more evidence. Then last week, she called to say dogs were killing each other.

She apparently heard the sounds of a pup being bitten by an adult dog. She believes it was a fight over food.

The humane society says it can't confirm that, but said all of the dogs had to be given water and food independently because they would so hungry and thirsty that they would fight.

The dogs lived at a place called His Glory Kennels, whose Web site claims the animals were provide "loving care daily."

But the Humane Society says one pup, about six weeks old, has giardia, was malnourished and may lose an eye. They say the eye problem could have been treated easily if it had been examined earlier.

The owner has forfeited all 36 dogs. The humane society estimates it will cost $40 to 50 thousand to treat, feed and house the dogs before they are ready to be adopted.

The humane society says the prosecutor is expected to make a decision on charges soon.


Case Updates

A legal snafu led to an abrupt guilty plea from a Leavenworth woman to six counts of animal cruelty Wednesday.

Patricia Schrumpf appeared in Chelan County District Court in the morning for what was anticipated to be a three-day trial on charges that she starved Siberian huskies she was raising at her home near Leavenworth.

The Wenatchee Valley Humane Society seized 11 dogs from Schrumpf in September and another 36 in January. She was tried and convicted in May on six counts of second-degree animal cruelty stemming from the first raid.

At the start of the trial on the second round of charges Wednesday, Judge Nancy Harmon noted that the allegations levied by the prosecutor met the threshold for felony first-degree animal cruelty charges, not the misdemeanor charges filed.

A review of state statutes revealed Harmon was correct - Deputy Prosecutor Allen Blackmon mistakenly filed charges of second-degree animal cruelty instead of felony first-degree. The mistake slipped by in the first trial, which ended with Schrumpf being sentenced by Judge Alicia Nakata to three days in jail and ordered to pay $9,000 in fines and payment to the Humane Society for the cost of caring for the dogs seized.

A conference between Blackmon and Chelan County Prosecutor Gary Riesen resulted in Schrumpf being offered a choice: plead guilty to the misdemeanor charges in District Court or face dismissal of the case and a refiling of the charges as felonies in Superior Court.

Schrumpf entered an Alford plea, meaning she maintained her innocence but conceded the state had sufficient evidence to win a conviction against her.

Julie Anderson, Schrumpf's lawyer, called the prosecution's ultimatum to plead or face felony charges a "threat."

"She (Schrumpf) really didn't want to take that risk (of being convicted of felonies)," Anderson said.

Blackmon said he could have dropped the case in District Court and refiled it in Superior Court but because the mistake was his decided to offer Schrumpf a chance to plead to lesser charges.

Harmon sentenced Schrumpf to 45 days in jail - five days each for five dogs at issue and 30 days for one particular animal that a veterinarian said in an affidavit was "the poster child for starvation."

The Humane Society said the 4- to 5-year-old dog weighed 27.3 pounds when seized Jan. 11 and with proper feeding by Jan. 15 weighed 36.8 pounds.

As in the first trial, Schrumpf claimed in court Wednesday that she received the dogs in poor condition from breeders. She intended to raise and sell the animals.

Besides the 45 days in jail, Harmon fined Schrumpf $1,500 and ordered that she cannot own any animals for two years, saying that "anyone who cared" would have realized the dogs were starving.
Source: Wenatchee World Herald - July 10, 2008
Update posted on Jul 11, 2008 - 12:57AM 

References

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