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Friday, Mar 23, 2012County: Lee
Persons of Interest:
» Shawne Boardman
» Danny Gilliam
Case Updates: 1 update(s) available
A Fort Myers woman has been cited for failure to provide veterinary care to her injured dog in late March.
According to Lee County Domestic Animal Services, Shawne Boardman reported her 12-year-old West Highland Terrier, Bailey, went missing for several hours.
Boardman said that when the dog was returned to its home, its mouth was glued shut. She also claimed Bailey was limping and appeared to have been beaten. She did not seek veterinary care for the dog or report the incident to Animal Services.
"After I gave it a bath, got it into water she was fine," Boardman said. "There was something wrong, but not serious enough to take it to the vet."
Bailey died later that night.
"We felt the animal - based on state statute and local ordinance - the animal should have received veterinary care, prompt, immediate veterinary care. And again, maybe the outcome could have been different," said Donna Ward, Director of Lee County Domestic Animal Services.
Boardman's mother wrote a letter to the News-Press regarding the incident, which prompted an investigation by LCDAS and the Lee County Sheriff's Office.
No suspects or leads were found.
Bailey's body was exhumed from a shallow grave on April 10th. Her remains were sent to the University of Florida Veterinary Forensic Lab for testing.
No evidence of glue was found around the dog's mouth and there were no broken bones or signs of abuse.
A cause of death could not be determined, due to the time that had passed before the body was retrieved.
Criminal defense attorney Scott Moorey says he thinks that will make it hard for the fine to stick.
"So to go back and charge the victim with animal cruelty because she didn't give the proper care, I find that to be a stretch," he said.
But Animal Services says Boardman's comments are enough to warrant the ticket.
"This tragic incident should serve as an important lesson to pet owners about the importance of seeking immediate medical care whenever a pet is sick or injured. This pet could possibly have been saved or at least her suffering could have been avoided if her owners had taken her to a veterinarian," states Suzanne Vazzana, LCDAS Veterinarian.
Fines for failure to provide care can be up to $500. And now Boardman says she's wondering how to pay a fine she doesn't feel she deserves.
|A Fort Myers couple was found not guilty on charges of neglect after animal services claimed they didn't properly take care of their dog. In March, the dog came home badly beaten with its mouth glued shut and died soon after.|
All Danny Gilliam and his girlfriend Shawn Boardman have left of 12-year-old Bailey are memories.
"It hurt my feelings to lose her, she was a real constant companion," Gilliam said.
In March, he says, the terrier came home bruised and beaten and its mouth supposedly glued shut after getting loose in their North Fort Myers neighborhood.
"Be cruel to that little dog, couldn't have done it. She had the most beautiful look at her," he said.
Boardman buried the dog in a shallow grave in their backyard. But it was dug up for a necropsy after Animal Services cited them with a $250 fine for neglect, saying they should have sought medical attention that could have saved her.
"She seemed alright. I didn't see any reason to take her to a vet at all at that point, at that point she just laid down and died," Gilliam said.
Forensic veterinarians from the University of Florida found no evidence of glue or signs of abuse. And the state was not able to prove its case against the dog's owner.
"At no point did the state present any evidence of how the dog died or what else could have done or what a vet could have done," said Peter Dennis, with the Moorey Law Firm.
While a court case may have ended on a good note Tuesday, Gilliam says he still has questions.
"I'd like to know who is mean enough and cruel enough to glue any animals mouth shut," he said.
|Source: NBC News - July 31, 2012|
Update posted on Aug 1, 2012 - 1:22AM
- NBC News - June 2, 2012
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