Home > It's A Legal Matter > Animal cruelty

Animal cruelty

By Jeff Terrill

Fort Wayne Reader

2017-08-03


In Indiana, a person who knowingly tortures or mutilates a vertebrate animal commits a Level 6 felony punishable up to 2.5 years in jail. Also, someone who is not licensed and who receives payment for performing a surgical procedure upon an animal commits the crime of practicing veterinary medicine without a license.

Meet Mike. Mike is always trying to earn a few extra bucks. Mike and his wife recently started breeding puppies. Mike can make up to a few thousand dollars when he sells a large purebred litter of puppies. Mike isn’t a real person.

When the puppies are very young, Mike docks their tails and crops their ears to conform to the breeds’ requirements. This means that Mike cuts the tails and ears of the puppies. The procedures inflict a considerable amount of pain on the puppies. Mike also performs similar procedures for a fee on older dogs not owned by Mike. Mike is not a veterinarian.

Recently, Mike met with a woman who was interested in purchasing one of Mike’s puppies. The woman came by Mike’s house and noticed several puppies with bandages on their tails and ears. Mike explains to her that his puppies cost more because their tails are docked and ears are cropped.

The woman observes that some of the puppies are struggling to walk and appear to be in pain. A couple of the puppies appear to have infections in their tails and ears. The woman leaves without buying a puppy. She calls the police and animal control.

Officers arrive at Mike’s home and start asking him questions. Mike admits that he removed the puppies’ tails and parts of their ears. Mike explains that he is able to charge more money for the puppies after he performs those procedures. He acknowledges that he has no training in veterinary medicine and that the procedures are very painful for the dogs.

The officers ultimately decide to remove the puppies from Mike’s home to get them proper medical care. The officers arrest Mike for animal cruelty and practicing veterinary medicine without a license.

Mike explains that the procedures he performed on the puppies could improve their overall health. The officers inform Mike that his conduct was criminal and torturous.

Later that day, a veterinarian euthanizes two of the puppies due to the extent of their injuries from the botched surgical procedures performed by Mike.

The Prosecutor charges Mike with several felonies and misdemeanors.

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Jeff Terrill is a partner/shareholder with the law firm of Arnold Terrill Anzini, P.C. Mr. Terrill represents clients accused of crimes throughout northeast Indiana. You can contact Mr. Terrill with any questions or comments at his office at 260.420.7777 or via email at jterrill@fortwaynedefense.com. Learn more about his firm at www.fortwaynedefense.com. This article expressed opinions and observations of the author, is not intended as legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the reader. Please consult a qualified attorney with any legal questions or issues you might have. Thank you










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