Court rules in favor of GladysBy PAT BROWN,
Thursday turned out to be a good day for animal activists in Simpson County.
Justice Court Judge Ted Blakeney ruled in favor of Kelly Collins with Rescue Revolution in their animal cruelty case against Milton Craig, a Simpson County resident.
Craig was the owner of a dog the paper had reported on in March. The dog, who eventually had its name changed to Gladys Knight, is doing much better and is on the road to recovery.
The issue of Gladys’s plight started with Facebook postings of an animal being abused in Rankin County. This led to the posting of a photo of Gladys, who was in bad health in December. By March when the picture surfaced locally Glady’s was at death’s door.
The newspaper was made aware of the issue and a deal was struck with Craig to surrender the dog to the Browns. In turn contact was made with Rescue Revolution in Madison. They agreed to accept Gladys.
The problem was that the dog was emaciated and on the brink of death. She was taken to an emergeny facility and treated by Dr. Mills, veternarian. Dr. Mills stated the dog would not have survived another day due to her poor state of health and near starvation. A lot of the fees to treat Gladys were raised locally through donations. The vet bill was over $1,000 for the emergency treatment.
Kelly Collins who is the director of Rescue Revolution filed charges against Craig in Justice Court. She filed aggravated animal abuse charges this was based on the fact that she was told that the dog was placed in the dog pen to die peacefully. This meant the dog was not afforded healthcare. It was claimed that the dog was 18 to 19 years old when in fact the veternarian said the dog was closer to five years old.
Defense of Animals another animal advocate group became involved and collected over 10,000 signatures calling for stringent penalties over the abuse case of Gladys. Craig was charged with Aggravated Animal Abuse which carries up to a $2,500 fine along with jail time. Judge Blakeney because of circumstances agreed to levy a $1,000 fine. Craig did not appear for the trial which was held in justice court last week.
Because there was not precedent to allow for the expenses to be reimbursed to Rescue Revolution that was not able to occur. However, Judge Blakeney did allow that if a ruling from the Attorney General’s Office could be found that would allow this to happen he would reconsider. The prosecution of this case would not have been possible without the help of the County Prosecutor, Wesley Broadhead.
Many of the elected officials including the Sheriff’s Department and Judge Judge Charles Savell were instructmental in helping solve this issue.