Case Snapshot
Case ID: 16312
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Abuse was retaliation against animal's bad behavior
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Prosecutor(s): Charles Wadams

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

Wednesday, Mar 3, 2010

County: Ada

Charges: Misdemeanor
Disposition: Convicted

» Rick McCusker
» Katherine Cagle
» Sarah Sowell

Case Updates: 1 update(s) available

Police are searching for a woman suspected in what some say is a horrible case of animal neglect in a Garden City mobile home park.

Garden City Police are looking for Katherine Cagle in connection with two dogs who were found chained in a backyard kennel last November with no food or water. Neighbors tried to help; feeding the dogs when they could … but it's wasn't enough. One dog died from starvation; the other, so malnourished "that her stomach was touching the bottom of her spine," said Garden City Prosecutor Charles Wadams.

"They got skinny enough where you could literally see (their) bones. It was just skin and bones," said Joe Bunn, the dog owners' neighbor. "I tried to take care of them sometimes, and another neighbor would help out. There were just so malnourished and just left there to die."

Investigators believe Sarah Sowell originally owned the dogs, but abandoned them to her boyfriend at the time, Rick McCusker, who reportedly refused to take care of them. Investigators say, eventually, Katherine Cagle moved in and also allegedly knew about the horrible conditions the animals were in. But, they say, she did nothing to help the animals.

Sowell turned herself in to the Ada County Jail last week. McCusker was arrested Saturday. Both have since bonded out. A warrant has been issued for Cagle's arrest.

All three are charged with two counts of misdemeanor Animal Cruelty. If convicted, they can face up to six months in jail and a fine of $5,000.

Case Updates

Prosecutors have closed the books on an incredible case of animal cruelty in Garden City.

They say Rick McKusker and Sarah Sowell chained their two dogs outside and left them, allowing one to starve to death.

They say roommate Katherine Cagle also knew about the neglect and did nothing to get help for the animals.

Neighbors also tried to help, but by the time authorities got involved one dog had already died.

The second dog was taken to a veterinarian, who didn't believe it would live.

The dog managed to pull through and was adopted by a worker at Hendrick's Veterinary Clinic.

They say she is doing well and is getting over the traumatic experience.

McKusker will spend 60 days in jail and must take an animal care class at Idaho Humane Society.
Source: KIVI - April 25, 2010
Update posted on Apr 26, 2010 - 12:24AM 


  • KLVI - March 3, 2010

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