Case Snapshot
Case ID: 17880
Classification: Poisoning
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Animal was offleash or loose
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Defense(s): David Hall
Judge(s): Bill Marshal

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

Friday, May 6, 2011

County: Douglas

Disposition: Convicted
Case Images: 4 files available

» Bernard Dougherty
» Mitzi Daugherty

Case Updates: 3 update(s) available

A Roseburg couple's dog is dead, and their neighbor has been charged with animal abuse.

Now, the Saddle Butte Mobile Manor community is coming together in outrage.

Debora Ballard and her husband got their dog Mocha when she was just a puppy. "She was an ornery little thing when she was born, and then she turned out to be a really good dog," said Ballard. "She was an excellent dog."

They say Mocha was a sweet, caring dog who was full of life. That is, until her life was taken from her.

Mocha started to get sick last Friday, and when she hadn't gotten better by Saturday, Ballard took her to Dr. Blair Bailey's vet clinic.

Doctor Bailey said that it was obvious what was hurting the dog: antifreeze poisoning.

Mocha's death was not an easy one. "It causes their kidneys to go into total kidney failure, kidney shut down, and they pass away in a horrible, horrible death," he said. "It's probably one of the most cruel forms of poison out there."

When Debora found out about the antifreeze, she was confused - until she got some shocking news from her husband: he had found the antifreeze in open containers in their neighbor's yard.

Debora was in disbelief. "What kind of crazy type of person would do such a heinous thing? It's inhumane."

Ballard took some pictures of the antifreeze, as well as what appears to be neighbor Bernard Dougherty's wife Mitzy cleaning up the containers.

Debora said that there were two milk jugs on the Dougherty's lawn with the lids cut off and filled with what looked like antifreeze. One of them appeared to have tuna fish inside of it.

Ballard said that she thinks it was deliberate. "It's sad," she said, "it's sad that any animal has to suffer for someone's ignorance. They're just ignorant people. They have no heart. They're just evil."

Debora and several of her neighbors are outraged, and they want the couple to pay.

Andrea Hughes, a nearby resident told KPIC News, "They need to be shown that what they did was very, very wrong. Jail time, fine, whatever it takes to get it in their head that what they was not OK, and this entire neighborhood is not OK with it."

KPIC News went to the Dougherty's home to get their side of the story. Several members of the community were there and told the couple how they felt.

The Doughertys said they haven't done anything wrong. Someone in the crowd asked Bernard, "Sir, do you feel like you owe someone an apology for the dog dying?"

He replied, "Absolutely not. Under no circumstances."

A Douglas County Animal Control officer cited Bernard Dougherty for Animal Abuse I. The charge alleges he caused the death of an animal in a cruel way. The charge carries a possible jail sentence and fine.

Daugherty said he's looking forward to sorting the matter out in court.

Whether or not he is guilty of animal cruelty, Mocha is still dead, and Debora is still mourning the loss of her beloved dog.

Case Updates

A Douglas County, Ore., couple convicted of killing their neighbor's dog with anti-freeze was sentenced Thursday afternoon to six months in jail.

Bernard and Mitzi Daugherty were found guilty of aggravated animal abuse last week.

During his testimony, Bernard admitted to trying to kill the dogs that were defecating in his yard.

Before sentencing Thursday, he apologized. "I am sorry that the dog died," he told the judge. "I felt under attack your honor. I could not feel emotion when we were being attacked."

Judge Bill Marshal could only impose 10 days in jail on the felony charge of animal abuse because of state guidelines, but he did give the Daugherty's six months behind bars for criminal mischief, which is a misdemeanor.

The judge noted the manner in which the dog died. "Fairly egregious," Marshal said. "This is not just a situation where somebody just shoots down a dog that they think is running on their land, but you poisoned a dog and you made that dog suffer."

The Daugherty's are banned from owning an animal for 15 years, and they must pay $599 restitution to Debra Ballard for vet bills.

Bernard and Mitzi will have to report to jail on Monday, but Judge Marshall did leave the option open to the sheriff to have them placed under house arrest instead of jail.
Source: - Feb 23, 2012
Update posted on Feb 24, 2012 - 6:53PM 
A former Roseburg couple, who was accused of poisoning their neighbor's dog, has been found guilty on several charges.

Bernard and Mitzi Daugherty took the stand in their own defense Friday morning.

During his testimony, Mr. Daugherty explained in detail how he put containers of anti-freeze next to his house and the confrontation that later ensued with the victim, Debra Ballard.

"Did you put the anti-freeze out? And I said, 'I most certainly did.' And she said, 'why?' And I said, 'to kill the dogs that were coming into our yard.' And she said, 'why?' And I said, 'to keep the dogs, and put a stop to the poop being in the yard.'"

Bernard said he used anti-freeze because it would cause death the quickest, although he later admitted it could take about three days.

After hearing closing arguments, Judge Bill Marshall came back with a verdict of guilty for aggravated animal abuse, criminal mischief, and disorderly conduct.

Afterward, Ballard said she was happy with the verdict.

"The death of our dog was something that was uncalled for, you know, like they said he could have put a fence in anything. We are just glad that it has gone the way it has," she said.

They will be sentenced on Thursday of next week.

KPIC tried to contact the Daughertys' attorney for comment but its calls were not returned before deadline.
Source: - Feb 17, 2012
Update posted on Feb 18, 2012 - 10:23PM 
The trial for Douglas County couple accused of killing their neighbor's dog with antifreeze got underway Thursday morning.

Bernard and Mitzi Daugherty are facing charges of aggravated animal abuse and criminal mischief.

The attorney representing Bernard says Daugherty put the antifreeze out after he and his wife became very ill from what they suspected was dog droppings in their yard.

Defense attorneys say that Mitzi wasn't involved in the case. "This was a decision he made on his own," said attorney David Hall. "She never agreed, she never helped, she never aided, she never procured. There is nothing that Mrs. Daugherty had to do with this case."

Hall says his client is innocent of aggravated animal abuse, because he never meant to intentionally kill or torture any dogs.

The owners of the dog took the stand and told of the events leading up the death of Mocha.

Debora Ballard became emotional while describing the last moments before her dog was put down. "I went in that Monday, and they brought her in to me and I sat with her, and told her how much I loved her," she said. "and I told her that I was sorry that I was going to have to put her down."

Doctor Blair Bailey testified about what happens to a dog that has ingested antifreeze.

A Douglas County Sheriff's deputy who responded to the original call told the court what Mitzi said after informing her about the neighbors pet. "One of her neighbor's dogs was very sick and appeared they had drank some antifreeze and was most likely, according to the vet, going to die," said Deputy Heath Howington. "She told me, "Well good, the antifreeze is doing it's job."

The DA finished calling their witnesses and the defense is expected to start their case on Friday.
Source: - Feb 16, 2012
Update posted on Feb 18, 2012 - 10:17PM 


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