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|Prosecutor(s):|| Mike Clague|
|Judge(s):|| Debra Williams, Brad Newman, Kurt Krueger| CONVICTED: Was justice served?
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Sunday, Oct 5, 2008County: Silver Bow
Charges: Felony CTA
Case Images: 1 files available
Defendant/Suspect: Phillip A. Brode
Case Updates: 7 update(s) available
An out-of-state man was charged Monday with felony cruelty to animals after authorities say he was driving cross country with 100 malnourished dogs crammed into a filthy school bus.
Police arrested Phillip A. Brode, 60, Sunday evening in the parking lot of the Flying J truck stop in Rocker, west of Butte.
Investigators say Brode's bus broke down in Rocker, and someone contacted authorities after seeing all the dogs in the unclean conditions.
Brode was traveling from his former home in La Jara, Colo., to Alaska, according to Butte police.
A building at the Anselmo Mine complex, Excelsior and Caledonia, was converted into an emergency shelter - where kennels were erected - Monday morning to house some of the older dogs. The puppies are being kept at the county's Chelsea Bailey Animal Shelter, 600 Centennial Ave.
Volunteers from the Butte YMCA helped remove dogs from the bus and set up kennels Monday at the mineyard.
Phyllis Ruana, Butte-Silver Bow animal services director, said veterinarians examined the dogs, which range in age from a week to about eight years.
"They are all in rough shape," Ruana said.
Butte veterinarian Tori Lewis said all of the about 30 dogs she examined are malnourished and have intestinal and external parasites.
"Every dog has a poor body count," Lewis said.
Ruana said she isn't sure what the man was doing with all those dogs, but Brode allegedly told authorities he used them as "sled dogs." However, Ruana said she doesn't believe that story.
"These dogs are in very poor condition," she said.
Ruana said she has contacted a regional office of the Humane Society of the United States to help find shelters for the animals.
Though the dogs are in poor condition, Ruana believes they'll recover.
Brode appeared before Justice Debra Williams Monday afternoon where he was charged with felony cruelty to animals. He's accused of not providing the animals with sufficient food or water. Williams set his bond at $10,000 and remanded him to the custody of the jail.
|Nearly all the huskies seized in a Butte animal cruelty case have found new homes.|
About two dozen dogs remain at Camp Husky, which was set up in October 2008 to care for about 100 dogs seized when a Colorado man's bus broke down at a truck stop.
The number of dogs quickly rose to nearly 200 as puppies were born.
Animal Services director Phyllis Ruana said a large number of the puppies went to shelters in Missoula, Bozeman, Helena and Hamilton while volunteers and Camp Husky employees sought homes for the adult dogs.
Ruana said caring for the animals cost more than $150,000, with most of that cost paying for spaying and neutering the dogs. The effort has received about $26,000 in donations.
Phillip Brode pleaded guilty in December to aggravated cruelty to animals and was given a 14-month suspended sentence and fined $1,000.
|Source: KXMC - Feb 28, 2009|
Update posted on Mar 1, 2009 - 10:31PM
|A man who pleaded guilty to animal cruelty after he was stopped at the Flying J in Rocker in early October with a school bus and trailer crammed with nearly 100 malnourished dogs has left Butte.|
Phillip Brode left the Mining City Wednesday, taking with him six dogs from the pack that grew to include about 200 while he was battling charges of animal cruelty during the past two months.
It was the number of dogs that were found in his school bus and trailer that alerted authorities to the situation when the bus broke down at the Flying J. At the time, there were close to 100 dogs. A couple months later, around the time Brode changed his plea to guilty for aggravated cruelty to animals, several litters of puppies had been born and that number swelled to nearly 200.
Before he left, Brode spoke out about the incident, claiming he did nothing wrong and was on his way from Colorado to Alaska and planned to breed the dogs and find homes for some of the puppies along the way.
"There were never 100 dogs in that bus, there were 40 in that bus," Brode said Wednesday.
Brode, who said he had been a breeder for over 30 years, claimed he loved his dogs. He also criticized Butte Silver Bow Animal Services for spaying and neutering the animals, saying he intended to breed them.
Brode said he had 40 acres of land in Colorado where he cared for the dogs.
Brode headed back to Colorado Wednesday with six dogs from the pack. After his sentencing, Brode thumbed through pictures of the dogs to select the ones he would take with him.
Brode was sentenced at the time of his guilty plea to a 14-month suspended sentence.
Before leaving Wednesday, Brode encouraged people to adopt the rest of the dogs, saying they are nice dogs.
The adoption process starts with an application. Workers must review an applicant's information by calling any listed references. They also contact landlords to confirm housing rules allow for the type of dog the applicant prefers.
Donations are also being accepted to help care for the dogs at Camp Husky. About $2,500 has been raised so far.
Anyone wishing to help or donate to the dogs can call 533-5371.
|Source: CBS News - Dec 10, 2008|
Update posted on Dec 11, 2008 - 2:29AM
|A man charged with abusing more than 100 dogs changed his plea to guilty Thursday in Butte to aggravated cruelty to animals.|
Phillip Brode was given a 14-month suspended sentence and fined $1,000.
District Judge Kurt Krueger said he'll allow Brode to take six of the dogs with him to Colorado where he will be monitored for the duration of his sentence by the Humane Society and a sheriff's office.
About 100 dogs were seized after they were found crammed in a broken down school bus and trailer at the Flying J truck stop in Rocker in early October.
The dogs, which are huskies and husky mixes, now number about 200 as puppies continue to be born. Foster homes have been found for more than 40 of the dogs.
|Source: Missoulian - Dec 4, 2008|
Update posted on Dec 4, 2008 - 10:36PM
|More than 40 of the 100-plus dogs found malnourished and covered in feces in a broken-down school bus at a Rocker truck stop in early October have found foster homes in the Butte area.|
The dogs cannot be adopted because of an animal cruelty case pending against Phillip Brode.
Those interested in fostering a dog must full out an application with the Butte-Silver Bow Animal Services. Those who already have dogs must bring their current pets to meet the prospective foster dogs to make sure they'll get along.
Phyllis Ruana, director of animal services, says people who foster dogs will have the first chance to adopt them if that becomes an option.
Brode has pleaded not guilty to felony animal cruelty charges. Court records say Brode was on his way to Alaska with the dogs, which are huskies and husky mixes.
|Source: Fulton County News - Dec 3, 2008|
Update posted on Dec 3, 2008 - 6:43PM
|A man apprehended when authorities found about 100 dogs cramped in a school bus and trailer has pleaded not guilty to cruelty to animals pleaded in District Court.|
Phillip Brode, 60, claims he did not mistreat the 100 dogs he was taking from Colorado to Alaska in the bus on an October evening.
But court documents state Butte police found the dogs in poor condition, malnourished, covered in feces and crowded into small kennels.
Brode claimed he was transporting the dogs to Alaska to work as sled dogs.
Now the county is taking care of the dogs at a temporary shelter. But unless the legal system makes a swift decision to transfer ownership of these dogs the county's hands are tied.
Butte Silver Bow Animal Services Director Phyllis Ruana has 158 dogs on her hands. That's twice the amount she had five weeks ago.
Ruana wanted Judge Kurt Krueger to transfer ownership of some of the dogs from Brode to the county so that she can take action, stop them from reproducing and find them homes, but she left the court empty-handed.
"We can't do anything with them until the court tells us that they are in our possession. We can't spay and neuter. We can't foster them or anything until the court says otherwise, so we are mostly here to see if we can do anything to increase the number," she said.
Ruana said the bills are piling up. More than $20,000 in costs to care for the dogs has accumulated.
For the time being, donations are covering those costs, but the tap is running dry and soon the county will have to take over the financial burden.
Laurel deputy county attorney Mike Clague said he is exploring legal options to help speed up a decision.
In the meantime, there is an appeal for more donations, volunteers and a bigger shelter for the dogs.
Anyone wishing to help can contact Katie Donovan at 498-0714.
If convicted, Brode faces up to two years in the Department of Corrections and/or a maximum fine of up to $25,000.
|Source: Montana's News Standard - Nov 6, 2008|
Update posted on Nov 6, 2008 - 11:56PM
|A district judge has doubled the bail in the case of a 60-year-old man charged with felony animal cruelty.|
Phillip Brode was arrested on Oct. 5 after the bus he was driving broke down at the Rocker truck stop. Court records say investigators found 96 dogs and 33 puppies malnourished and covered in feces and dirt.
Brode was initially charged in Justice Court and jailed on $10,000 bail.
District Judge Brad Newman increased Brode's bail to $20,000 on Wednesday. Brode remained jailed.
Court records say Brode was driving to Alaska when his vehicle broke down in the Butte area.
The dogs are being housed in a Butte animal shelter or in temporary kennels.
|Source: KXMB - Oct 31, 2008|
Update posted on Nov 2, 2008 - 9:15PM
|The man facing a cruelty to animals charge in Butte claims he took good care of his dogs and the allegations against him are without merit.|
Phillip Brode, 60, who's accused of hording more than 100 malnourished dogs in a bus and trailer, told The Montana Standard in a phone interview from the Butte jail Thursday that he's always taken care of his dogs.
"Every one of them has a name," Brode said. "I've bottle-fed some of them myself when they were puppies." Brode was arrested Oct. 5 after the bus he was driving broke down at the Rocker truck stop lot and investigators discovered more than 100 malnourished dogs in filthy conditions, according to court documents.
Brode said his dogs had plenty of food and he regularly bathed them.
However, an affidavit released Wednesday in district court alleges all the dogs were malnourished, and some had broken teeth, scars, parasites and other problems. The dogs, mostly huskies and husky mixes, have since been kept in emergency kennels on county-owned property in Butte.
Brode was charged Wednesday in Butte district court with aggravated cruelty to animals, and remains jailed on $20,000.
Brode told The Standard he was on his way from Colorado to Alaska. He said he planned to give some of his dogs away to be used in the Iditarod, which is a 1,150-mile dog sled race.
"I wanted to race in the Iditarod, I'm 60 years old, and I want to do stuff before it's too late," he said.
Brode claims some of his dogs have lineage that goes back to dogs he owned 35 years ago. He kept the dogs on 40 acres he said he owned in La Jara, Colo., where he said he collected many of the dogs over the years. Brode said he wanted to build an animal shelter on his property, but claimed local authorities wouldn't allow it. That's why he claims he was moving the dogs to Alaska.
Brode says he's never mistreated his dogs and believes the county is trying to steal them from him.
|Source: Montana Standard - Oct 31, 2008|
Update posted on Nov 2, 2008 - 9:14PM
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