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Tuesday, Dec 13, 2005County: Grant
Alleged: Qunotina R. Hale
Five days after a major snow storm hit Marion, there was no dog food, no warmth and no water for two dogs left outside earlier this winter, investigators said.
Bear, a 10-month old border collie, was found in cage that was too small, unclean and had feces in it. He and Brownie, a Labrador mix, had gone without food, water, or care for at least five days, said Don Mathias, a Grant County animal control officer.
The dogs' owner, Qunotina R. Hale, told investigators she had been feeding the dogs daily.
But she couldn't explain the lack of footprints through her snowy yard to the enclosures where the dogs were kept.
"She had no answer to that," said Deputy Prosecutor Rodney Faulk.
After a month-long investigation that began Dec. 13, Hale, 32, 1008 E. 26th St., was arrested Jan 19 and charged in Grant Superior Court 3 with a Class D felony count of torture of an animal and two Class B misdemeanor charges of neglect of an animal. A Class D felony carries a standard 18-month jail term; a Class B misdemeanor carries a standard 180-day jail term.
"This is the worst case I've seen - the worst case I've ever turned in to the prosecutor," Mathias said.
"This is the kind of stuff you see on Animal Planet, happening in Marion on a day-to-day basis," said Dan Gadberry, an animal control officer trainee.
Dec. 13, animal control officers got a tip to go to the 100 block of West 14th Street to investigate a dog that was close to death and one that was severely underweight.
What they found when they arrived were two dogs, later identified as Bear and Brownie, living in extremely unhealthy conditions. Bear was eight to 12 hours away from death, Mathias said.
"One (of the dogs) was in a confinement that was not protected from the elements of weather," Mathias said. "The dog could not stand up."
Along with finding no footprints to the cage and pen that separately housed the dogs, Faulk said, officers could not find any dog food on the property. Hale said she had been feeding the dogs table scraps.
Mathias said he and Gadberry removed both animals from the home and rushed Bear to a veterinarian. The vet used a body condition scale to measure Bear's emaciation.
"Five is normal, 10 is obese and one is emaciated," Mathias. "Bear scored a 0.5."
Faulk said the torture charge stemmed from the fact that Bear was left in 28-degree weather for multiple days with no shelter, food, water or ability to defend itself.
The neglect charges came because the dogs had not been fed or given water for several days, Faulk said.
He also said prosecutors do not routinely receive animal torture cases.
"We see abandonment or neglect of dog cases on a semi-regular basis," Faulk said. "As far as a torture case, it's been a while since one has been presented to the office."
Brownie was euthanized; Bear, however, has recovered and was subsequently adopted, Faulk said.
Hale, who was arrested at her home on the afternoon of Jan 19, was released later that night from the Grant County Jail on $500 bond. A date for her initial hearing has not been set.
- Chronicle-Tribune - Jan 20, 2006
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