A Wayne County woman was charged with animal cruelty after two dogs were found chronically and critically neglected in a pen on her property.
Doll Stanley, Senior Justice for Animals Campaigner for an organization called “In Defense of Animals”, attended court in support of the affiant and provided pertinent information on updated state statutes.
On Nov. 16, a witness named Justin Dail contacted a woman with a local rescue, called “Deogies Backyard Rescue” when he noticed the dogs declining from neglect over two months. One of the three dogs was missing, one was thin, and one was emaciated.
The man said he didn’t see any water being provided for the dogs. He and his partner gave the dogs water through the cyclone fence they were confined in.
He said the dogs were so desperate for water that they stretched to eagerly lap it up as it poured from the bottle.
The rescue called Wayne County deputies regarding the dogs. She said that both deputies told her “they don’t deal with stuff like that” and one deputy said that as long as they fed the dogs once a week that it was alright.
The rescue reminded the deputies that it was their duty to respond to all crimes, including illegal animal cruelty.
On November 17, Deputy Lillian Poole went with the rescue, to do a wellness check on the dogs. They learned that six other dogs had died before authorities had been called.
The owner, Gerrica Busby, ended up surrendering the dogs to the rescue and authorities.
After being examined by a veterinarian, both dogs (10-12 months old) were found to be severely underweight. The female, Baby-G weighed only 1/3 of what she should weigh at 14 pounds.
The male, B-Boy, was also underweight at 27 pounds. Both dogs should have weighed close to 40 pounds if they were healthy.
Busby was charged with animal cruelty on November 29th.
During court, Justice Court Judge Ralph Smith was direct in his condemnation of Busby’s neglect of her dogs. Busby was sentenced to three days of incarceration, a $725 fine, and 25 hours of community service. She was banned from possessing animals for five years.
Busby’s defense attorney pleaded for leniency and asked that her conviction be remanded to the file if she complied with her sentencing. The request was denied. Reluctantly, Prosecutor Curtis Bates and Judge Smith agreed to allow Busby, with Stokley’s agreement, to work her community service and fine off performing duties at Deogies Backyard Rescue, where Busby’s two dogs ended up for rehabilitation. Busby was given a year to complete her sentence.
Judge Smith clarified that if Busby failed to perform her duties, she would be “picked up and brought to jail.” Judge Smith was so appalled at the neglect of her dogs.
He hesitated to give her this opportunity but advised her that this was an opportunity for her to learn how dogs would be cared for. In court, Prosecutor Bates addressed the need for education for deputies to learn how cruelty cases can be addressed. Stanley and Stokley offered to aid.
B-Boy and Baby-G are recovering and relishing a new life receiving the affection and needs all dogs deserve thanks to Deogies Backyard Rescue.
“Justice Court Judge Ralph Smith’s actions have brought a measure of justice that should act as an example for all judges to follow. Too many law enforcers fail to comprehend their duty to enforce all laws. In Defense of Animals has worked with law enforcement agencies and within the judicial system for 30 years assisting with animal cruelty cases and sharing our knowledge of local, state, and federal laws,” said Stanley. “We share resources for law enforcement agencies that do not have budgets or facilities for animal care and offer training in law and investigation.”
In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization with over 250,000 supporters, and a 39-year history of defending animals, people, and the environment through education and campaigns, as well as hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, and rural Mississippi.