Case Snapshot
Case ID: 13500
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: cat, dog (non pit-bull), chicken, captive exotic, reptile, rodent/small mammal (pet), marine animal (pet)
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Attorneys/Judges
Prosecutor(s): Wes Keat, Max Cardoza
Defense(s): Jonathan McCrone
Judge(s): W. Bruce Watson, Timothy Cissna


For more information about the Interactive Animal Cruelty Maps, see the map notes.



Friday, Jan 4, 2008

County: Humboldt

Charges: Felony CTA
Disposition: Alleged

Alleged: Scott Anthony Haynie

Case Updates: 6 update(s) available

An arrest warrant has been issued for a Cutten man facing four felony counts of animal cruelty in connection with the more than 100 animals found in and around his home in January, the Humboldt County District Attorney's Office said.

Assistant District Attorney Wes Keat said evidence indicates 34-year-old Scott Anthony Haynie's power was turned off because he reportedly hadn't paid a $2,000 electricity bill, contributing to the death of several animals.

Keat said there are "hints" that Haynie made arrangements to have a caretaker bring food, but "obviously not adequate arrangements for someone to take care of his animals while he was gone."

On Wednesday [March 26, 2008], all animals had been cleared from the animal shelter, where some had been for more than two months, Lt. Steve Knight said. A ferret rescue company from Medford, Ore., picked up the furry creatures, which are legal to own there, but illegal in California. A reptile rescue company from Vallejo picked up turtles and a lizard, Knight said. Others had been adopted by individuals, he said.

"It's nice the animals all have another chance," he said. "It was really a pleasure to see them go to good homes."

The case dates back to mid-January, when neighbors alerted authorities to dead chickens and iguanas outside the 8-foot by 60-foot mobile home on Avalon Drive. Responding members of the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office Animal Control Division found 35 dead animals and 85 live animals.

The deceased pets include a dog, a ferret, chickens, large snakes, lizards, fish and scorpions.

The remaining live animals were taken to the Humboldt County Animal Shelter in McKinleyville, but one animal -- a bearded dragon -- was euthanized by the veterinarian who examined the survivors. A box turtle found alive later died.

According to a supporting document filed for an arrest warrant, Haynie told law enforcement he and his family traveled to Woodland in early January to help his mother, who was badly injured by a drunken driver on New Year's Eve. Before leaving, Haynie said he arranged to have a family friend care for his animals.

The caretaker told officials Haynie asked her to feed his dog in his absence, but she never agreed to care for the remaining animals, according to the document. She said she when went to Haynie's house on Jan. 4, the electricity was out and the trailer was very cold.

The caretaker said she fell ill, contacted Haynie and told him she was sick and unable to continue feeding the dog, the document states. Haynie reportedly told her "not to worry about it," as he had planned to be home in a couple days.

The document states that when interviewed by an animal control officer in late January, Haynie reportedly accepted responsibility for the power being shut off to his home, which in turn killed the reptiles, but blamed the caretaker for the death of the dog and ferret.

The document cites a neighbor who is said to have verified that Haynie knew his PG&E had been shut off during his absence, and reportedly offered to run an extension cord to the home and outdoor iguana enclosure to provide electricity. Haynie reportedly declined his neighbor's offer and in a phone message, indicated he had someone taking care of his animals.

According to the document, Haynie reportedly said he didn't think to request help from animal control because he didn't think the agency would provide that type of service and he never intended to abandon the animals.

"I left someone in charge that I thought was going to take care of my stuff," he reportedly told officials. "I made a bad judgment call. I trusted someone who is not trustworthy."

Knight said he's pleased that charges have been filed, given the unusual nature of the case and amount of exotic animals. Though it's unfortunate, animal cruelty isn't too uncommon, he said. "What made this case more unusual was the types of animals located in the residence," Knight said.


Case Updates

Scott Haynie, a Cutten man who owned dozens of exotic pets that were found dead or malnourished at his property in January, accepted an agreement from the District Attorney's Office Thursday morning to plead guilty to two felony charges of animal cruelty.

Haynie faced four total charges for animal neglect, but two were dropped in the agreement.

Haynie admitted he neglected to care for his dog and several reptiles, causing their deaths. The dismissed charges related to ferrets and chickens that were also found dead in and around his Cutten trailer.

Ben McLaughlin, the deputy district attorney who prosecuted Haynie, said his office would not oppose probation, but the 34-year-old still faces up to one year in the Humboldt County jail.

"Could we have prevailed on the remaining two counts at trial? Probably," McLaughlin wrote in an e-mail. "In the end, however, the term of probation and the sentence would likely be the same."

According to court documents, Haynie kept a veritable menagerie of more than 100 exotic pets at his Avalon Drive property.

In interviews with officials, Haynie explained he had hired a house-sitter to care for the animals before he left for Yolo County to visit his family. However, Haynie said he was delayed there after his mother was badly injured by a drunken driver in a New Year's Eve traffic collision.
Source: Times-Standard - Nov 24, 2008
Update posted on Nov 24, 2008 - 5:03PM 
A man facing felony animal abuse charges and skipped out on his preliminary hearing is back in jail.

Scott Haynie, 34, appeared in court Thursday clad in an orange jumpsuit, after surrendering himself to the court. Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Timothy Cissna set a Nov. 20 court date for his preliminary hearing and a Nov. 17 date for an intervention hearing.

A $40,000 bench warrant was issued after he failed to appear in August for the court date. Haynie turned himself into authorities in late March, after a warrant for his arrest was issued.

Haynie is facing four felony counts of animal cruelty in connection to 35 dead animals found in and around his Cutten mobile home Jan. 17. More than 100 animals, including a dog, chickens, iguanas, ferrets, large snakes, fish and scorpions, were found at the home after a concerned neighbor called authorities. He is also facing a charge a misdemeanor registration violation.

Haynie was out of the county since early January to care for his mother, who was seriously injured in a car accident in Woodland, Calif., according to the arrest warrant declaration.

Evidence indicates Haynie's power was shut off in his absence because he hadn't paid a $2,000 electricity bill, which contributed to the animals' deaths, the declaration stated.

Haynie has told officials he'd arranged to have a family friend look after the animals, but she said Haynie asked her to feed the dog in his absence, not the remaining exotic animals.

Haynie's bail for the animal cruelty charges is $40,000 and $5,000 for the vehicle violation.
Source: The Eureka Reporter - Nov 7, 2008
Update posted on Nov 7, 2008 - 9:37AM 
A Cutten man accused of felony animal cruelty didn't show up to a Thursday preliminary hearing and now has a $40,000 bench warrant for his arrest.

Scott Haynie, 34, is facing four counts of animal cruelty in connection to 35 dead animals found in and around his Avalon Drive mobile home Jan. 17. More than 100 animals, including chickens, iguanas, ferrets, large snakes, fish and scorpions, were found at the Cutten home after a concerned neighbor called authorities to the 8-foot by 60-foot home.

Judge W. Bruce Watson raised Haynie's bail from $15,000 to $40,000 Thursday after Haynie failed to appear. Haynie previously posted the $15,000 bail for the animal cruelty charges.

If Haynie has police contact, his identification information will be entered into a database that will notify the agency that he's wanted, Humboldt County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Brenda Godsey said. "He knows that also, that he failed to appear and a warrant would be issued for his arrest," she said. "Hopefully, he will be inclined to turn himself in and resolve this before the police have to find him."

Haynie had been out of the county since early January to take care of his mother, who was involved in a serious car accident in Woodland, Calif., according to the arrest warrant declaration.

Evidence indicates Haynie's power was shut off in his absence because he hadn't paid his $2,000 electricity bill, which contributed the animals' deaths, the declaration stated.

Haynie has told officials he'd arranged to have a family friend look after the animals, but she said Haynie asked her to feed his dog in his absence, not the remaining exotic animals.
Source: Eureka Reporter - June 30, 2008
Update posted on Aug 23, 2008 - 9:26AM 
On Friday, a Humboldt County Superior Court judge denied to release a Cutten man accused of four felony counts of animal cruelty from custody on his own recognizance.

Scott Anthony Haynie, 34, pleaded not guilty to the charges Thursday, more than six months after more than 100 animals were found in and around his Avalon Drive mobile home. Of those, 35 animals died, including a dog, a ferret, lizards, snakes and chickens. His bail for the animal cruelty charges remains at $15,000 and his bail for a misdemeanor registration violation is $5,000.

Haynie had been out of the county since early January, as his mother in Woodland, Calif., was involved in a serious car accident, according to the arrest warrant declaration. Evidence indicates the man's power was shut off in his absence because he hadn't paid his $2,000 electricity bill, contributing to the death of the animals, the arrest warrant declaration said. Neighbors alerted authorities to dead animals and iguanas outside Haynie's 8-foot by 60-foot home in mid-January.

When he appeared in court Friday, Haynie wore an orange jail jumpsuit and at one point, interrupted the deputy district attorney who was making his case to keep Haynie in custody.

Deputy District Attorney Max Cardoza argued that Haynie failed to provide proper care for the animals, which resulted in the death of many. "The animals were essentially left to die a slow, long and miserable death," Cardoza said, after which Haynie interrupted to say he had a caretaker.

His attorney, Humboldt County Public Defender Jonathan McCrone, said Haynie didn't want to talk about the merits of the case, but wanted to go back to Woodland so he can finish caring for his mother, after which he'd come back to Humboldt County and deal with the court proceedings.

Judge Timothy Cissna denied letting Haynie go due to the seriousness of the felony charges and the large number of animals that died.
Source: Eueka Reporter - June 28, 2008
Update posted on Jun 28, 2008 - 6:41PM 
A Cutten man who is facing felony animal cruelty charges in connection with the death of 35 animals pleaded not guilty Thursday.

Scott Anthony Haynie, 34, was arraigned after the Humboldt County District Attorney's Office issued a warrant for his arrest in March. Haynie is also facing a misdemeanor charge of registration violation. His preliminary hearing is set for July 10.

Haynie is facing four felony counts of animal cruelty in connection with more than 100 animals found in and around his home in January. Of those, 35 died including a dog, a ferret, lizards and snakes.

In previous interviews with officials, Haynie told investigators he had arranged for a house-sitter before leaving town to visit relatives. Because a relative was involved in a car accident, his return had been delayed.

In a past interview with Assistant District Attorney Wes Keat, he said evidence indicates Haynie's power was turned off because he reportedly hadn't paid a $2,000 electricity bill, contributing to the death of several animals.
Source: Times-Standard - June 27, 2008
Update posted on Jun 27, 2008 - 10:21AM 
The Cutten man facing four felony counts of animal cruelty turned himself in Friday afternoon to the Woodland Police Department and was cited and released, police officials said.

Scott Anthony Haynie, 34, is scheduled to appear in Humboldt County Superior Court May 6, Woodland Police Lt. Charles Wilts said. Court personnel couldn't be reached late Friday afternoon for confirmation.

Wilts said Haynie, who gave a Woodland P.O. Box address, walked to the front counter of the police department and turned himself in at 12:05 p.m. He had a warrant out for his arrest.

"Although it was a felony warrant, it had a stipulation that he could be cited and released, and so he was," Wilts said.

Haynie is facing four felony counts of animal cruelty in connection with more than 100 animals found in and around his home in January. Of those, 35 died including a dog, a ferret, lizards and snakes.

Assistant District Attorney Wes Keat said Thursday that evidence indicates the man's power was turned off because he reportedly hadn't paid a $2,000 electricity bill, contributing to the death of several animals.

Keat said there are "hints" that Haynie made arrangements to have a caretaker bring food, but "obviously not adequate arrangements for someone to take care of his animals while he was gone."

Neighbors alerted authorities to dead chickens and iguanas outside Haynie's 8-foot by 60-foot mobile home on Avalon Drive in mid-January.

The live animals were taken to the Humboldt County Animal Shelter in McKinleyville. This week, the last of the animals had been released to new homes or rescue organizations.

According to a supporting document filed for the arrest warrant, Haynie told law enforcement he and his family traveled to Woodland in early January to help his mother, who was badly injured by a drunken driver on New Year's Eve. Before leaving, Haynie said he arranged to have a family friend care for his animals.

The caretaker reportedly told officials that Haynie asked her to feed his dog in his absence, but she never agreed to care for the remaining animals and later let Haynie know she was too ill to keep helping out, according to the document.
Source: Times-Standard - March 28, 2008
Update posted on Mar 29, 2008 - 10:21PM 

References

« CA State Animal Cruelty Map
« More cases in Humboldt County, CA

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