Case Snapshot
Case ID: 601
Classification: Bestiality
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Tuesday, Sep 17, 2002

County: Garland

Disposition: Convicted

Defendant/Suspect: Derek Dunaway

Case Updates: 3 update(s) available

Derrick Dunaway, age 30, of Hot Springs, was arrested Sep. 17, 2002, and charged with one count of sodomy involving his dogs. The date was set following a lengthy debate over what to do with the pets.    Dunaway changed his plea from not guilty to no contest Dec. 20 and could face up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.   

Mary Ann Taft, Garland County Humane Society president, said they have had custody of the dogs, two Doberman pinschers, since around Oct. 24 or 25 and have boarded them in a private kennel at a cost of $1,088. "More costs will be incurred if we don't get permanent custody of them today," she added.   

Asked by Dunaway's attorney, Tylar Tapp, if she thought his client should be sent to jail for a year, Taft replied, "I don't see any benefit in him going to jail for a year but I don't think he should have these dogs."   

Katherine Bolton, DVM, an expert witness for the state, said "They appeared well-fed, perhaps just a little skinny. I did a physical the same day they were taken. What I saw was severe bleeding from the colon: no outer signs."    

When called to take the stand, Dunaway said he did not know if the sodomy statutes applied to animals because the language isn't explicit.    "I love the dogs very much. I've had the male for about two years and the female for about six months. I've had animals since I was a little boy," he added.   

Dunaway also said he attends counseling every Wednesday at Community Counseling Center with the exception of Christmas and New Year's Day.    Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Terri Harris asked the court to impose a sentence of one year in jail with six months' suspended, forfeiture of the dogs and continued counseling.    Forfeiture of the dogs raised the issue of whether the dogs could be taken from Dunaway since they are considered his property.    "If he had been charged with cruelty to animals, I would take them in a heart beat," Ohm said.   

In a letter dated Jan. 2, sent to Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tim Beckham, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals also asked that the dogs be taken from Dunaway.    The letter states in part, "As repeat crimes against animals are the rule rather than the exception among animal abusers, we implore you to take every measure necessary to ensure that Dunaway be prohibited from all contact with animals and that any animals currently in his custody be immediately seized."   

In resetting the sentencing date and certain conditions, Ohm said this was a case with "extremely unusual circumstances." "I have given the case considerable thought and struggled with what's in the best interest of everyone. The court is not ready to impose sentence and let go of it."    Some of the conditions Dunaway must meet in the next six months are: reimburse the Humane Society for the dogs' care; continue counseling; have no animals and have reports from his counselor furnished to the court prior to June 5.    Ohm told Dunaway if he complied with all the conditions set, "I'd be less inclined to put you in jail."    

"I'm pleased with what the court did today," Harris said, "and with the court telling him he can't have any animals for six months."    Dunaway's attorney declined to comment.    

Case Updates

Dunaway was initially scheduled to answer to charges of violating the sentencing provision that prohibited him from owning or harboring animals on April 1, however the court date has been postponed until April 16.

Read more: PETA ActionAlerts
Update posted on Apr 12, 2004 - 3:29PM 

Honorable Terri Harris - Garland County Prosecutor
501 Ouachita Avenue
Hot Springs, AR 71901
Fax: (501) 321-2592
Main Office Phone: (501) 321-2556

Honorable Steve Oliver - Garland County Prosecuting Attorney
501 Ouachita Avenue
Hot Springs, AR 71901
Main Office Phone: (501) 622-3720

Garland County Sheriff's Department
Larry Selig - Sheriff
525 Ouachita Ave.
Hot Springs, Ark. 71901
Main Office Phone: (501) 622-3660

Dan Bugg, Supervisor
Hot Springs Animal Services
Fax: (501) 262-2091
Update posted on Mar 24, 2004 - 2:03PM 
Prosecutor Terry Harris of Garland County, Arkansas, has confirmed that there is a court date on feb. 24th regarding contempt of court charges for the case involving Derek Dunaway who was arrested and charged on Sept. 17, 2002, with one count of sodomy for his admitted attacks on his dog. In November of 2003, Animal Services of Hot Springs confirmed that a dead dog was found at the resident of Dunaway's during his probation period, which he was previously ordered not to have any animals.
Update posted on Mar 24, 2004 - 2:01PM 


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