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Saturday, Mar 12, 2005County: Erie
Case Images: 11 files available
Defendant/Suspect: Ida M. Thomas
Case Updates: 3 update(s) available
A Buffalo woman faces cruelty to animals charges after starving her five-year-old pet greyhound.
Ida M. Thomas, 44, of Southampton St. in Buffalo, was charged with Section 353 of the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law pertaining to cruelty to animals. She is set to appear in Buffalo City Court Monday, March 21. SPCA Senior Investigating Agent Michael Armatys placed the charges this afternoon.
"Samson" weighed 80 pounds when Thomas brought him into her home in June of 2004. He weighed 40 pounds when an acquaintance of Thomas' surrendered the dog to the SPCA Saturday, March 12, claiming Thomas was out of town for one month. The dog had not been fed in at least that period of time.
According to SPCA veterinarian Dr. Martin Downey, "Samson is anemic, obviously suffering from malnourishment and dehydration. He has numerous, open ulcers, similar to human pressure sores, over his joints and hips. His bloodwork reveals abnormalities, but there is no irreversible damage to his internal organs."
Downey adds, "Samson's treatment over the next several weeks will include oral antibiotics, daily treatment of his open sores, nutritional support, and lots of hugs from SPCA staff." Although Samson's recovery will be an arduous one, Downey is hopeful that he will return to his ideal weight, and that he'll maintain his loving personality. "He's so gentle, despite the abuse he suffered at the hands of a human."
|Even though many were pushing for the dog owner to be incarcerated, Thomas, who pleaded guilty to animal cruelty, was spared jail time. Thomas was sentenced to maximum probation Tuesday for the starvation of the greyhound she adopted last summer. |
The dog, Samson, was turned over to the SPCA in March by Thomas's son.
Veterinarians estimated he had not eaten for at least a month. That's why the Buffalo Greyhound Association and SPCA were asking that Thomas be put in jail.
But although Thomas pleaded guilty to the animal abuse misdemeanor charge, she told the court the dog was not in her care for the last month she owned him.
Her attorney argued that Thomas left Samson under the care of an elderly neighbor because she had to leave town to care for her sick grandmother.
Thomas did not want to reveal the identity of her elderly neighbor who she says took care of the dog in her absence. She says didn't want to get him in trouble.
As for Samson, he's now healthy and in a new home environment.
|Source: WIVB - Sept 13, 2005|
Update posted on Sep 13, 2005 - 3:02PM
|Ida Thomas went against the advice of her own attorney and pleaded guilty. Everyone in court was somewhat surprised by her decision, because the case was scheduled for trial today. |
Nearly three months ago, Sampson, a five year old retired racing greyhound, became a local symbol of animal abuse. Today, his former owner, 44 year old Ida Thomas, went against the advice of her lawyer to proceed forward with a trial, and instead plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty.
Starved and dehydrated, Samson came to the SPCA in March, brought there by an acquaintance of Ida Thomas, who claimed she was away for a month. Veterinarians say the dog hadn't been fed in at least that period of time.
After court today, SPCA officials vowed to push for jail time. If guilty, Thomas faces a year behind bars, three years probation or both. While Sampson, now forty pounds heavier, is in the care of a new and loving family, his former owner must now face the consequences after admitting she starved her five year old pet.
Ida Thomas obtained Sampson from Buffalo Greyhound Adoption, and members were there in court today, satisfied with the guilty plea. However, some wish the case went to trial so they could hear why the dog was starved.
|Source: WIVB - May 26, 2005|
Update posted on May 26, 2005 - 12:33PM
|A Southampton Street woman remained free on bail Wednesday after pleading not guilty to misdemeanor animal abuse charges linked to a dog that weighed only 40 pounds when seized by the Erie County SPCA last month. |
Ida M. Thomas, 44, was ordered by City Judge James A.W. McLeod to return to court May 5 on animal cruelty charges. If convicted, she faces a possible one-year jail term and a $1,000 fine.
Gina Browning, an SPCA spokeswoman, said Samson, a 5-year-old retired racing greyhound that reportedly weighed 80 pounds when Thomas adopted him in June 2004, is doing well at the SPCA's Town of Tonawanda facility.
Browning said Thomas was charged with the criminal offense after acquaintances of hers brought the dog to the SPCA March 12 to be euthanized and said Thomas had been out of town for a month and left no food for the starving dog.
|Source: Buffalo News - April 14, 2005|
Update posted on Apr 15, 2005 - 7:01AM
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