Case Snapshot
Case ID: 17301
Classification: Beating
Animal: dog (pit-bull)
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Judge(s): Allan Hymer

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

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009

County: Alameda

Charges: Felony CTA
Disposition: Convicted

Defendant/Suspect: Charles Alex Black

Case Updates: 2 update(s) available

An Oakland man has been charged with two felony counts of animal abuse for beating his pit bull with a crowbar and an ax, police said.

Neighbors shot a three-minute video of Charles Alex Black beating the dog on the balcony of his apartment at 1227 E. 17th St. last Friday and turned it over to police, said Megan Webb, director of Oakland Animal Services. There was also a grainy video of him abusing the dog last June, Webb said.

On Tuesday, the Alameda County District Attorney's Office charged Black, 50, with two counts of animal abuse because of the separate two incidents, Webb said. Black was taken to Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, where he remains in lieu of $15,000 bail, according to the Alameda County inmate locator.

The dog, who has been named Blueberry, is living at the Oakland shelter and recovering in the "penthouse suite," a quiet, safe room, Webb said.

"He's actually doing really well. He had contusions and lacerations and intense fear of people, but he is recovering," she said of the 2-year-old, 70-pound dog.

"He's a gorgeous dog. He's just learning to trust people again," Webb said. "He's coming around, and once he meets someone he's very friendly toward them. He started to play ball just recently."

Police and Webb said neighbors were outraged about the beatings.

"From witness statements, this was a regular thing that occurred," Webb said. "The neighbors were very upset."

The video shows the dog cowering in extreme fear and attempting to flee into the house while Black beats him with the metal crowbar and ax, which were found bloodied at the apartment, Webb said.

"I had to watch (the video) multiple times so I could make sure that we were pulling all of the evidence," she said. "I wanted to make sure we weren't missing any of the areas where he was injured."

If convicted, Black will never be allowed to keep a dog again. Under the law, a conviction also would require him to undergo counseling.

Many animal shelter employees and friends of employees already have expressed interest in adopting Blueberry.

Case Updates

An Oakland man was sentenced Wednesday to four years in prison, with no chance of parole, after he was convicted of severely beating his dog with a crowbar and ax handle.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Allan Hymer sentenced Charles Black before a courtroom of animal welfare advocates, who praised the county's district attorney for pushing ahead with the case.

"This gives us a lot of hope that the county is taking animal abuse seriously," said Willow Liroff, president of Friends of Oakland Animal Services.

A jury convicted Black Jan. 12 on two counts of felony animal cruelty after neighbors videotaped him beating his pit bull, Blueberry, on two occasions. The tapes show Blueberry lying down, yelping and squealing after each strike, according to the district attorney's office.

Blueberry recovered from his bruises and lacerations and has been adopted by a new family.
Source: - Feb 10, 2011
Update posted on Feb 10, 2011 - 12:04PM 
After a two and a half week-long trial of Oakland resident Charles Black came to an end on January 12, when jurors found Black guilty of two felony counts of animal cruelty for beating his dog, Blueberry, on June 30, 2009, and again on February 19, 2010. Black was immediately remanded into custody to await sentencing.

The trial itself included a showing of a video tape of the beating taken by concerned neighbors. Attendees at the trial called the video "graphic" and "extremely difficult to watch." The courtroom crowd also included numerous Oakland Animal Services volunteers and supporters, many of whom attended for the duration of the trial and wore blue in support of Blueberry and against such abuse.

The District Attorney's office released a statement following the trial that the office was "pleased with the jury's verdict and believes it reflects the cruel, outrageous conduct of the defendant." The statement went on to acknowledge that the defendant would not have been brought to justice without the cooperation of Oakland Animal Services, Oakland Housing Authority, and the individuals who documented and reported the defendant's continuous abuse of Blueberry.

Blueberry was cared for at Oakland Animal Services and has now been adopted into a loving home " thank you to the help of Berkeley Humane Society!

OAS Director, Megan Webb, stated "I am very pleased for all of the support Oakland Animal Services has received from the other units of the Oakland Police Department, the District Attorney's office amd the citizens of Oakland to identify, investigate, charge and prosecute these cases of animal abuse. It is encouraging to see how seriously these cases are being taken and resulting in felony charges and convictions."
Source: - Jan 20, 2011
Update posted on Jan 27, 2011 - 11:49AM 


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