Dog owner is charged with neglect

March 03, 1994|By Ivan Penn | Ivan Penn,Sun Staff Writer

Howard County Animal Control officers call it one of the worst cases of animal neglect they have ever seen.

Buffy, a 5-year-old female cocker spaniel, had her left hind leg amputated and 9 pounds of matted hair shaved from her body after an Animal Control officer discovered the ailing dog on Stella Bishop's farm in Dayton.

Ms. Bishop, 41, has been charged with failure to provide veterinary care, shelter and protection, as well as with inflicting unnecessary suffering on her dog.

If convicted, she could face up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine on each of the two charges. The case will be heard in Howard County District Court April 26.

The dog was taken away from Ms. Bishop on Dec. 14 and has been adopted by another county family.

Ms. Bishop said she provided food and shelter for the animal and denies that it was neglected.

"I don't understand," Ms. Bishop said. "We love animals. Anybody can tell you that. I don't know why they're making a federal case about it. I did the best I could."

Buffy was found by Animal Control Officer James Boller, who approached the Bishop family's farm after receiving a complaint about the injured dog.

"The dog was in a great deal of pain, so it would bite you if you approached it," said Brenda Purvis, Animal Control administrator. "The dog had been kept outside without shelter, . . . without grooming.

Buffy also had stepped in an animal trap while living on the farm. The dog received only peroxide treatment for the wound and was not taken to a veterinarian for care, said Ms. Bishop.

Veterinarians "did determine that the only course of action was amputation or euthanasia," Ms. Purvis said.

Ms. Bishop, who has two other dogs as well as 75 chickens, said she didn't see anything wrong with the care she provided for the dog.

Buffy wandered onto her property two years ago, she said. She fed Buffy and made a home for her in a plastic barrel padded with hay, Ms. Bishop said.

The dog was shaved and groomed once during the two years, Ms. Bishop said.

When the dog stepped into an animal trap and wounded her left hind paw six months after she arrived, Ms. Bishop treated the animal with peroxide, saying she thought that was enough.

Mr. Boller, however, said that the dog's condition reflected severe neglect.

"I have not personally been involved in a case where the condition of the dog was so deteriorated," he said. "This is probably one of the worse I have seen."

In Buffy's new home, the dog has done well and could live to be 8 or 9 years old, said Mr. Boller.

"[Buffy] almost thinks it's a puppy again," he said. "It's loving, wants to sit in your lap all the time. The animal is doing very well."

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