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Prosecutor(s): Sam Lane, Thomas Werthman
Defense(s): Steven Tully, Mike Stankan
Judge(s): W. Timothy Finan

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

Saturday, Mar 26, 2011

County: Allegany

Charges: Misdemeanor
Disposition: Convicted

» Ricky Allen Adams
» Frederick Newton Lease - Dismissed

Case Updates: 3 update(s) available

Animal cruelty stories are always disturbing, but the duct-taping of a local dog's mouth and nose is especially cruel and mean.

Allegany County Animal Control officers and volunteers have been searching in the vicinity of Corriganville ever since the dog was first sighted over the weekend. Witnesses say the gray dog's mouth and nose are taped shut with silver duct tape.

"We've had animal control officers out several times," Dick DeVore, county Emergency Services Division chief, said. "The animal continues to elude us and is extremely frightened," he said. Animal control officers continue to patrol the area regularly. "I've heard of other forms of animal cruelty, but this is a new one," said DeVore.

The dog was spotted Tuesday morning on Proenty Road at about 8:30 a.m., Jodi Sweitzer of Queen City Animal Rescue said in an e-mail to the Times-News.

The frightened dog runs from officers and volunteers hoping to help the animal. Humane traps have been set in hopes of capturing the dog, DeVore said. The traps are cages baited with food, he said. Animal control officers have been out every day since the initial reports over the weekend in hopes of catching the dog and getting it to a veterinarian. As this was being written, the dog was still on the loose.

The dog is described as medium-sized, cream-colored, with some brown or gray coloring. The dog is possibly a type of terrier, DeVore said. Anyone who sees the dog should call 911, DeVore said, so an animal control officer can be dispatched to the area. The dog could also be described as a gray-tannish terrier, Sweitzer said.

A Google search showed that cases of animal cruelty involving dogs whose mouths are taped shut with duct tape have occurred several times in various parts of the country.

Our hope is that the dog is rescued soon and restored to good health. The other good outcome would be that police are able to determine who is responsible for this extreme animal cruelty and that those responsible are dragged into a courtroom.

Case Updates

A city man was convicted of animal cruelty in connection with the duct-taping of the muzzle of a 10-month old terrier in March.

Ricky Allen Adams, 24, was found guilty of animal cruelty and conspiracy to commit animal cruelty in a court trial Wednesday in Allegany County Circuit Court. A presentencing investigation was ordered by the court. Adams faces a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a fine of $1,000 on each count.

The charges stemmed from the March 27 duct-taping of the muzzle of the dog, who became known as Ducky. The canine was observed running in the Corriganville area, prompting a several-day search before the dog was located on the back porch of a residence in Lonaconing.

The dog was treated at the Western Maryland Animal Hospital and was subsequently adopted by an area family.

The conviction of Adams in the case follows the dismissal of charges against Frederick Newton Lease, 27, of Cumberland, in September in circuit court.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant State's Attorneys Samuel Lane and Thomas Werthman. Adams was represented by attorney Stephen Tully.
Source: - Nov 10, 2011
Update posted on Nov 10, 2011 - 8:49PM 
Two city men accused of duct-taping a dog that became a local celebrity appeared in court Tuesday, their first court appearance since they were recently indicted on animal cruelty charges.

Ricky Adams, 25, and Frederick Lease, 27, appeared in Allegany County Circuit Court before Judge W. Timothy Finan, who set a motions hearing date of July 19.

Adams is represented by Cumberland attorney Steven Tully and Lease is being represented by Mike Stankan of the Public Defender's Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant State's Attorney Sam Lane.

A motion has been filed by Tully to remove the trial from Allegany County due to pretrial publicity. A similar motion is expected to be filed by Stankan on behalf of his client.

The court is also expected to receive a motion to try the defendants in separate trials, while the state is expected to file its motion that the defendants be tried in one trial.

The charges stemmed for an incident in late March when the a blue-eyed terrier was observed running in the Corriganville area with its muzzle duct-taped. A search for the 10-month-old terrier continued for several days before the dog was located on the back porch of a Lonaconing residence.

The week-long search included scores of volunteers, area police and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Investigation by the Allegany County Bureau of Police led to the arrests of Adams and Lease.

After the dog was found, it was treated at the Western Maryland Animal Hospital by Dr. John T. Fox.

Numerous updates on Ducky's condition, as well as during the seven-day search, were filed on animal advocates' Facebook pages. Donations were accepted for the dog's vet expenses.

Adams and Lease were ordered to remain free on $3,500 bond that was set by district court before the case was moved to circuit court after both men were indicted by the grand jury.
Source: - Jun 7, 2011
Update posted on Jun 7, 2011 - 11:58PM 
A dog with its snout wrapped in duct tape, who had eluded rescue attempts by animal control officers and volunteers for a week, was found Sunday morning at a Lonaconing residence. Two men were arrested Sunday night and charged with a variety of animal cruelty offenses in connection with the incident.

Allegany County Bureau of Police Chief Bobby Dick said Ricky Allen Adams, 25, Cumberland, was arrested about 8:30 p.m. Sunday. Frederick Newton Lease, 27, Mount Savage, surrendered to authorities about 9:20 p.m. Neither, according to Dick, owned the dog.

Dick commended all who took part in the search for the terrier, but he especially applauded the efforts of numerous volunteers who not only searched for the dog but provided tips and other information that lead to the identification of the two suspects.

The dog, nicknamed Ducky by volunteers, was found Sunday morning sleeping on the back porch of a Lonaconing residence. The resident, Beth Warren, according to a post on the We Love Ducky Facebook page, contacted the county 911 center, which dispatched animal control officials to pick up the dog.

By Sunday afternoon, the dog was getting care and resting after a long journey, said county Emergency Services Chief Dick DeVore.

"Animal Control Officers picked him up. He is getting the appropriate care and is resting comfortably," DeVore said on Sunday. "He appears to be doing well considering his ordeal. He traveled a great distance since he was seen in Mount Savage yesterday."

Sightings were reported Saturday on U.S. Route 40 near the Garrett County border. Ducky was first spotted near Corriganville more than a week ago.

The dog is being treated at the Western Maryland Animal Hospital by Dr. John T. Fox, according to Elizabeth Care, a volunteer at Ark of Hope Rescue.

"Overall, Ducky is in good health and is being treated for parasites," said Romona Barthlow, a veterinary technician at the animal hospital. "Dr. Fox just checked on him and he seems to be doing well."

The dog was placed in quarantine after he bit an animal control officer.

"The bite did break the skin but it's not serious," DeVore said. "We are just following the normal process as part of the application of state law."

Ducky will remain in quarantine for 10 days at the animal hospital and then will be transferred to Ark of Hope, said Care.

"We will get him socialized and trusting people, then he will be put up for adoption," said Care.

DeVore said nothing is known about the dog's health history.

Updates on Ducky's condition will be provided on the Allegany County Animal Shelter Management Foundation Facebook page.

Anyone who wants to help with Ducky's vet expenses can do so by contacting Ark of Hope Rescue at 301-478-3300, by visiting the website or by mailing a check to the Allegany County Animal Shelter Management Foundation at P.O. Box 566, Cumberland MD 21501. Checks should have "Ducky Vet donation" written in the memo.

"Once again, citizens of Allegany County rose to the challenge. The number of volunteers that gave their time to search of Ducky is phenomenal,'' DeVore said. "It says a lot about the compassion of our community and I would like to personally thank everyone who helped in the search.''
Source: - Apr 3, 2011
Update posted on Apr 3, 2011 - 11:17PM 


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