Justice for Animals: ALDF Celebrates 5 Animal Rescues of 2013

Posted by Jennifer Molidor, ALDF Staff Writer on December 31, 2013

So many cases of animal abuse come across our desks every day at the Animal Legal Defense Fund, we’d like to take some time to celebrate some of the work of animal rescuers across the nation—and reiterate just how important it is to battle cases of dogfighting, animal hoarding, companion animal abuse, factory farming cruelties, and even shelter neglect. Without further ado, here are five stories from 2013 in which shockingly large numbers of animals were rescued from abuse!


1. 168 dogs rescued from a puppy mill

Cass County, North Dakota – Cass County officials seized 168 dogs, some pregnant and living in filthy, cramped conditions at an apparent puppy mill—where dogs were stacked in kennels three high. Some kennels had five inches of feces piled inside them. The animals were underweight, unvaccinated, suffering from ear infections and dental problems, and some of the dogs’ fur had become so matted that the animals’ movement was restricted by their own hair. Darcy Darrell Smith pleaded guilty to misdemeanor animal abuse.

2. 41 emaciated cows seized

Wallowa County, Oregon – Following an investigation into the death of a calf, the sheriff’s office seized 41 cows and calves. A calf had been too weak from malnourishment to get up, and was trampled by the other cows. The examining veterinarian said some of the cows could barely walk and were noticeably emaciated. One cow died when deputies were seizing the animals, because she was so weak that she fell to the ground and was never able to get up again. Edward Charles Scott was convicted of two counts of Animal Neglect in the First Degree and 12 counts of Animal Neglect in the Second Degree.

3. 225 cats removed from a disease-ridden cattery

Santa Rosa County, Florida – After receiving several complaints about Kirkham Kattery Rescue, deputies executed a search warrant and seized 225 cats who had been roaming freely in the residence. 86 of the cats were so ill they were euthanized. Allan and Ella Kirkham were each charged with: 20 counts of felony cruelty to animals; 10 misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals; and 1 count of selling an animal with a contagious or infectious disease.


4. Menagerie of 150 animals rescued from a hazardous home

Suffolk County, New York – Neighbors complaining of a foul odor induced authorities to search the house of an elderly woman who was apparently an overwhelmed rescuer/hoarder. She forfeited 150 animals, including 60 dogs, 25 cats, rabbits, birds, lizards, tortoises/turtles, chinchillas, ferrets, and hamsters. One report described feces scattered throughout the home and two cats consuming the remains of a dead cat. Crews in biohazard suits hauled the survivors away in pet carriers. One witness said the home was occupied by two women, one of whom is a practicing veterinarian. Officials said they are considering animal cruelty charges, and that the residents violated a town code prohibiting more than 10 animals. The house, which was under renovation and covered in Tyvek at the time, was condemned.

5. 375 rabbits seized from filthy conditions at a breeder’s home

Indianapolis, Indiana – Animal Care and Control officers seized more than 375 rabbits, including many babies. Investigators had visited the same home about a month prior to the raid, after receiving a complaint about the smell.  At that time, they discovered there was no water in many of the rabbits’ bowls. They said they found rabbits in their own feces and urine, with urine burns, and some who hadn’t moved in so long the fur had rubbed off their pads. “The living conditions they’re in are deplorable,” said Marcus Brown, Deputy Chief of Enforcement for IACC. Officials had given the owner, Rick Cartheuser, a month to clean it up, but they found nothing had changed. He faces municipal violations regarding care and treatment of animals.

12 thoughts on “Justice for Animals: ALDF Celebrates 5 Animal Rescues of 2013

  1. Nancy Howe says:

    You are the BEST! <3

  2. Linda Schiess says:

    Congrats! Keep prosecuting. If it’s criminal go for the max. If it’s mental illness hoarding, red flag so that they cannot acquire any animals.

  3. Inga says:

    Not to criticize, but in #5, why was that guy even given a month to clean up? Why on earth weren’t the bunnies seized immediately?! But they were on the second try, so I’m very glad for that.

    In general, I applaud the work you do, and hope you can always continue to fight for those who can’t fight for themselves, the ones with no voices of their own.

    1. Mike says:

      Because initially the owner was given time to make corrections and reduce numbers. The resident was a well known national rabbit breeder of mini Rex rabbits and there was no prior history with animal control. After failing to comply animal control obtained a search warrant to remove the animals.

  4. roe lamirand says:

    The animal abuse should NOT be a misdemeanor it should be a felony.

  5. Pam Hallesy says:

    misdemeanor??? Are they for real??? When will abuse like these become recognized for what they are??? We need stiffer laws and stronger punishments. These monsters should have gotten more than a tap on the wrist. Keep pushing for the helpless angels. Someone has to!!!

  6. Lynne Boreham says:

    Keep up the good work. Animal abusers should be made to live just like the animals in their care have been living. If the person has mental health issues then make sure they can’t get any more animals.

  7. Nancy says:

    Keep doing what you do…because they ALL need a voice…you are all TRUE heros!

  8. Johnny says:

    Rick Cartheuser should have gone to jail.

  9. melissa says:

    Our relatives, our Niijii’s “our Friends”, are not property. One cannot sell what one does not own. My people, not so long ago, were slaves, were called property, women sterilized, unknowingly until the late 70’s. In protecting our relatives we save ourselves. Miigwetch, ALDF.

  10. Edy white says:

    Micheal Vick should be put in a cage And made to fight everyday for the rest of his life! He is a poor excuse for a man. Thank goodness for people who try to help animals.

  11. Carolyn Collins says:

    I just read of an animal fighting ring in Bakersfield, CA – it is a horrid story that someone posted on FB…I would like to know if there is anything that can be done for an investigation. It said 100 dogs were torn apart and thrown in trash bags. If this is true, this is worse than just one as in the case of Puppy Doe. I beg you to make some inquiries. I tagged ALDF in the post. Thank you very much. I will make a contribution soon. I wish I was an attorney and could prosecute these beyond horrible people. They are murderers!

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