Case Snapshot
Case ID: 17640
Classification: Beating
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Tuesday, Mar 29, 2011

County: Wapello

Charges: Misdemeanor
Disposition: Alleged

Alleged: Noelle Stanbridge

Case Updates: 6 update(s) available

Ottumwa police said they have a shocking video that shows a local animal rights activist beating a dog with a club.

Investigators said what happened on the video is not only cruel but criminal.

"Fifteen times taking a club to an animal, nearly pulling its leg out of a socket, in my mind -- that's abuse," Ottumwa police Chief Jim Clark said.

Officers said 41-year-old Noelle Stanbridge faces one count of cruelty to animals.

"Unfortunately, with our state laws, if you beat your own dog and it does not suffer serious injuries, it's just a simple misdemeanor," Clark said. "It appeared that she was going beyond disciplining the animals and actually abusing them."

Detectives said a concerned resident videotaped the incident.

"It appears she was disciplining the dog for digging in the backyard," Clark said. "I think it's, frankly, pretty hypocritical of her to turn around and treat the animals like you see on this video."

Clark said Stanbridge identifies herself as an animal rights activist and is very critical of his department's policy on stray dogs.

"We put them down after seven days, which is very common around the state. And yet, you can see for yourself on the video how she treats her animals," Clark said.

Stanbridge refused to comment about the video or her arrest.

Officers accompanied by a licensed veterinarian served a search warrant at her home Tuesday afternoon and discovered 10 dogs inside.

Investigators said none of them showed obvious signs of injury and will be allowed to stay for now.

Stanbridge will appear in court Wednesday morning and if convicted, she could face a $500 fine.

The case is far from complete. Investigators expect more charges to be filed and a judge will decide whether the 10 dogs in her home should remain there.

Case Updates

The animal cruelty case against an Ottumwa woman continues to wind its way through the court system.

According to Iowa Courts Online, Noelle Stanbridge pleaded guilty last week to three counts selling an animal without a license.

Stanbridge was fined one hundred dollars and will pay court costs to settle the misdemeanor charges against her.

Stanbridge still faces a host of charges stemming from her arrest on animal cruelty charges.

As a result of the charges, 10 dogs were seized by Ottumwa Police from the stanbridge home and put up for adoption.

As of Thursday, the city was still looking for homes for two of those dogs.
Source: - Apr 28, 2011
Update posted on Apr 28, 2011 - 2:06PM 
KTVO spoke with Ottumwa Police Chief Jim Clark today about the Stanbridge decision.

"Well it is unfortunate we even needed to go to court on this, however we do have a job to do and we have to do it. In this particular case she did abuse these animals and we seized them and the court did find that she was abusing them and took them permanently away from her," said Chief Clark.

KTVO went to the Stanbridge home today for comment on this matter, no one answered the door.

Court documents obtained by KTVO can be viewed by clicking here.

The reason Stanbridge was allowed to keep her 7 cats is because Judge Gamon had no evidence that they were being abused.

Chief Clark informed KTVO today that the city is still pursuing a criminal case against Stanbridge, and that will go to court in the near future.

The Ottumwa Police Department is now adopting out the dogs, click here, for more information.
Source: - Apr 14, 2011
Update posted on Apr 14, 2011 - 8:46PM 
No decision was made Wednesday morning in the animal abuse case surrounding Noelle Stanbridge.

The city and Stanbridge's attorney were in court to decide whether or not she should get her animals back. Stanbridge, a self described animal activist, was arrested late last month after a neighbor recorded her striking one of the many dogs she said she saved.

The prosecution examined her neighbor who took the video, two officers at the time of the arrest, and the veterinarian who looked over the animals.

The judge in the case wants to go over all of the videos played as well as an hour long audio tape of stanbridge going into detail how she stopped her dogs from digging holes in her yard.

According to officers, Stanbridge said she trimmed the dogs nails until they bled, put peroxide on them, and wrapped them in bandages. She says its an "old trainer's trick"on stopping the dogs from digging.

Defense Attorney Mike Carpenter argues that this isn't about the best practices of taking care of animals. It's whether or not it is severe enough to break the Iowa Code of neglect. He said the videos only showed the beatings, not the context of how it all started. Carpenter went on to say that the seven cats Stanbridge owns had no injuries and should remain with her.

A decision on who will gain permanent control of the animals is expected Thursday. The city has received several calls from people wanting to adopt the abused dogs.
Source: - Apr 13, 2011
Update posted on Apr 14, 2011 - 8:39PM 
Ottumwa Police confirm that they seized 10 dogs and 7 cats from the house of Noelle Stanbridge late Friday afternoon.

Stanbridge was arrested after a concerned citizen turned in a video that officials say depicts her abusing a dog in the back yard of her Ottumwa home.

In addition to animal cruelty, Stanbridge, who claims she is an animal rights activist, is charged with seven counts of failure to license a dog, three counts of failure to vaccinate a dog and one count of operating as a dealer without a license.
Source: - Apr 1, 2011
Update posted on Apr 1, 2011 - 10:00PM 
During the afternoon of March 29, 2011, a search warrant was executed at the home of 41-year-old Noelle Stanbridge located at 327 Appanoose in Ottumwa, Iowa. Following the search warrant, Ms. Stanbridge was arrested and charged with one count of Cruelty To Animals in violation of Chapter 7-4 of the Ottumwa Municipal Code. Prior to the search warrant, police obtained a video showing Stanbridge striking a dog at least fifteen times with an unknown club. Stanbridge was transported to the Wapello County Jail where she posted bond and was released. Cruelty To Animals is a simple misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $500.00.

On March 30, 2011 at approximately 5:30 PM, police officers executed a second search warrant at 327 Appanoose in Ottumwa, Iowa. Police seized numerous documents and a computer from the residence. Following the search warrant, Noelle Stanbridge was taken into custody and charged with the following:

* Failure To License A Dog
* Seven (7) Counts
* Chapter 7-41 of the Ottumwa Municipal Code
* Failure To Vaccinate A Dog

Two (2) Counts
* Chapter 7-49 of the Ottumwa Municipal Code
* Operating As A Dealer Without A License or Permit

One (1) Count
* Chapter 162.7 of the Code of Iowa

Stanbridge was transported to the Wapello County Jail where she was released after posting bond.

The investigation is continuing.
Source: Ottuma Police Department
Update posted on Mar 31, 2011 - 8:58AM 
The video that Ottumwa police said showed an animal rights advocate beating her own dog sparked international outrage on Facebook.

Noelle Stanbridge, who police said is facing one misdemeanor count of cruelty to animals, defended her actions in the video on Facebook.

"All I was doing with her was reprimanding her. All I was doing was tapping her on her butt and feet for digging and for baring her teeth and growling at me," Stanbridge said in a Facebook post.

But instead of finding support in her explanation, Stanbridge only got online rage from other users, as seen in hundreds of angry comments made on her page.

"Noelle, the video doesn't lie! What you did to that poor dog was vicious!" Darcy Heston from Australia said in her Facebook comment.

"That dog was trying to escape you. You are a monster," Cindy Berman said in a post.

Animal rights groups are also condemning Stanbridge's actions and calling it abuse.

FULL VIDEO: Police Say Dog Beating Caught On Tape

Mick McAuliffe, of the Animal Rescue League Training and Behavior Manager, said, "To me, that (Stanbridge's behavior) is abuse."

"It's shocking. It's absolutely shocking to see something like this (video)," Tom Colvin, of the Animal Rescue League, said.

The Animal Rescue League, one of the state's leading animal welfare organizations, said it is calling for tougher laws on animal cruelty.

"I think we do need stiffer penalties in the state. If it's determined there is animal cruelty in situations like this or others, that they do face more fines and more punishment," Colvin said.

Officers said they learned that Stanbridge also purposely trimmed her dog's nails until they bled, hoping sheer pain would stop the animal from digging in the back yard.

Police said they went back to the suspect's home Wednesday evening to serve another search warrant, but no dogs were taken and no arrests were made.
Source: KCCI - March 30, 2010
Update posted on Mar 31, 2011 - 8:48AM 


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