(In a misdemeanor-charge kind of way.)
A couple of gentleman have just learned that lesson. Gary Miller, a 59-year-old from the 3100 block of Fair, has been arrested and now faces two counts of Animal Neglect/Abandonment.
Unrelated to that is the case of Mario Hambrick, a 30-year-old from the 3800 block of St. Louis Avenue who's been charged with five counts of Animal Abuse/Neglect.
All of these charges are misdemeanors, meaning each count is punishable by up to 15 days in jail, and a fine of up to $300.
First, Miller. He was found to be keeping a malnourished adult male terroir mix that was suffering from bloody, open wounds on its face, body and legs, according to the probable cause statement filed by Stray Rescue Founder, Randy Grim.
In addition, Miller owned a mixed-breed puppy. It was allegedly emaciated and showed skin lesions from flea bites.
(Miller is already in trouble with the law for another matter, charges of stealing and trespassing.)
As for Hambick, he was found to be keeping the following, according to the probable cause statement:
- A pit-bull that had open wounds on both ears, fly bite wounds
- causing bleeding, untreated wounds on it's chest and tail, and an untreated nasal infection.
- A pit-bull mix that had trapped itself beneath a shed, significantly restricting its movement.
- I observed a blue pit-bull that had tangled itself under wood pallets, significantly restricting its movement. It had broken canine teeth and wounds from fly-bites.
- Nine pit-bull puppies that were being kept in a small, indoor enclosure littered with feces (some of it very old).
- Six adult dogs of varying breeds, each suffering from untreated flea infestations
None of these animals had any access to drinking water, authorities allege.
Hambick has several priors going back to 2002, the most recent being indecent exposure and theft in Tennessee.
The Animal Cruelty Task Force is an alliance that was formed last September by Mayor Francis Slay and includes members of his office, Stray Rescue, the Department of Health, the Circuit Attorney's Office, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and the Municipal Courts.