|08-17-2013 05:31 PM|
Here is the story as I understand it:
The animal cruelty case was dismissed because law enforcement officials waited 34 days to execute the warrant. The judge determined that this delay invalidated the premise of the warrant. Once the warrant was deemed invalid, all evidence attached to it was inadmissible. The prosecutors had no choice but to drop the charges.
After the charges were dropped, the Great Dane Rescue Alliance filed a civil suit to assume custody of the seized dogs and to prohibit the William’s from owning future dogs. The William’s filed a counter-suit to gain leverage. The parties reached a settlement agreement whereby GDRA was able to keep custody of all but one dog and the William’s received some money from GDRA and did not have to pay back the money the local HSUS paid for veterinarian care of the animals.
All of the additional legal troubles faced by the Williams were due to puppy purchasers suing them for breach of contract and breach of implied warranty.
|08-17-2013 04:07 PM|
yes, this is all very different info than what I've been reading.
As I said, the picture painted by the people I've seen commenting online is of a family that was very active in rescue that were shunned once they decided to become breeders. That the numerous inspections only found minor infractions and that the dogs were generally healthy though some were underweight. The info that I've been told is that the dogs that were underweight were not their breeding dogs but rescues - that the family was still actively involved in rescue work.
Also, winning the slander lawsuit is part of the evidence presented that the dogs were not unhealthy.
I've passed on the links that others have shared here.
|08-17-2013 01:48 PM|
Oh hey, I actually know of these people.
Wilson NC is where one of our main rescue partners is located. My rescue has actually gotten dogs dumped by these people in the past. I don't think our partners had any part in the legal battles (there's just no money or manpower to spare for that), but I'm sure they would have joined in if they'd had the ability to do so.
LifeofRiley is right: This was a bad puppy mill with sick, severely neglected dogs. There were complaints about them for years and they were finally charged with animal cruelty in 2012. It takes a lot to get animal cruelty charges brought.
|08-17-2013 01:28 PM|
According to local news reports, law enforcement agencies had been investigating that kennel since 2009 after receiving numerous complaints from puppy purchasers about sick puppies.
Also, the fact that AKC sent an investigator is further evidence of numerous complaints being filed. The AKC has a lot of field agents, but only nine inspectors to cover the entire country. As there is no way nine inspectors can cover all facilities producing AKC dogs, inspections of facilities that have had a number of serious complaints made about it are prioritized.
(btw: you should read the AKC’s Care and Conditions policy… it is really kind of horrifying how lax they are)
Finally, local rescues report a pattern of behavior where the breeders repeatedly dumped their sick breeding dogs at the rescues for years prior to the seizure action.
This posting from a Mastiff rescue dated 07/25/12 predates the August 2012 seizure of another 28 animals in poor health by about a month. Home - Southern States Mastiff Rescue
"Just this past week we were made aware of a puppy mill situation in Wilson County, NC. We worked with Wilson County Animal Control and we were able to bring in three Mastiffs from pretty bad conditions. As a rescue we were not allowed on the exact site of the puppy mill itself, but just seeing the dogs and hearing their story was enough for us.
These Mastiffs were rescued with at least eleven Great Danes.
SSMR now has them. They are with Dr. Dale Brown in Fayetteville, NC. We have worked closely with Dr. Brown on many rescue cases in the past. Each of the dogs had hook worms. They have all tested heart worm positive. They are all extremely underweight. Each is being spayed/neutered and we are trying to find foster homes for them.
I will tell you what I know about each.
Moose - named by Dr. Brown's office staff. A little timid, but a friendly boy. We think he will be easily adopted. He likes other dogs. He is extremely underweight, but will be a handsome boy when he fills out and becomes healthy.
Dolly - named by Dr. Brown's office staff. A very shy girl. She is feeling very overwhelmed by everything that is happening to her. She wants to be with Moose most of the time. The kennel staff will allow them to be in the same kennel so she can relax. She is thin, but not quite as thin as the others. She is going to need some serious TLC and patience to get her through this and help build her confidence.
Savannah - named by Animal Control. This girl is extremely thin. She just had a litter of puppies 14 days ago. The puppies were left behind and put on another lactating female from the puppy mill. Savannah was in no shape to feed them well. This girl has been described as "broken"...as "ashamed to be alive". We will need to find her a place were she can come out of her shell and build some confidence. Hopefully with time and patience she will come around.
Not only did the people at this puppy mill neglect these beautiful Mastiffs and fail to feed them properly and treat them with respect they actually used cattle prods on them!! These dogs have probably never had a happy day in their lives. We, in Southern States Mastiff Rescue will change that."
So, in the month leading up to the seizure, these so-called hobby breeders had 40+ breeding dogs in poor health – this number does not take into account the number of litters that were on the ground. Sorry, these people do not sound like innocent hobby breeders to me.
I also learned that they continued breeding after the seizure under a different kennel name.
|08-17-2013 07:26 AM|
You are the first person I have found that has ever mentioned that there were "numerous complaints" or other evidence of problems. In the article you posted above, it says that they were inspected and that their were only a couple minor problems listed by the AKC.
As I said, I posted it here because many people I know on Facebook are commenting on the relentless hounding these people received. They won a slander lawsuit against the rescue groups which means that a judge ruled that what the rescue folks were saying about them was unfounded and not supported by the facts.
Were they good breeders? It looks like NOT. Were they worse than any of the other backyard breeders all over the country? It looks like they were not. That's not a good thing either. But to slander, harass and make a family lose everything they own and drive a man to murder/suicide? I can't see where they did anything bad enough to deserve that
ETA: I haven't seen any reference to it online but someone mentioned that the family may be considering a civil suit against the rescue group because their actions drove this man to what he did.
|08-16-2013 11:10 PM|
Yes, this is a tragic story. It is absolutely horrible that an innocent 10 year old boy is dead due to the mental instability of his parent. Like others have said, my heart goes out to the family.
But, let's not use this as a reason to malign the local animal control agencies, local breed rescues, and local HSUS representatives that were responding to numerous complaints and reports about bad practices at that facility.
|08-16-2013 10:38 PM|
|mharrisonjr26||Killing your child is deplorable, I feel like anyone who kills themselves is a coward, unstable and probably did us a favor. I do feel alot of sorrow for the family and friends of such people. Very tragic.|
|08-16-2013 10:36 PM|
"...and i do not know enough to blame anyone or anything".
wow, that's one of the coolest responses i've seen on the internet lately! so often we don't (know enough to blame anyone or anything), but i see so many judgements handed down, and so many personal opinions presented as fact. this made my day! sorry for the hijack...
|08-16-2013 10:23 PM|
Right or wrong, I don't know about them raiding him etc. But I expect that the continued assault probably effected the man's mental state.
To kill yourself, you have to be out of your mind, unless you are facing a seriously painful and sure death by illness -- not sure about that.
When you are seriously out of your mind, enough to kill yourself, then your reason is screwed up and killing the ones you love is all part of the delusions.
I see it as a tragedy. And I do not know enough to blame anyone or anything.
|08-16-2013 09:53 PM|
Hmmm… I think that there were likely legitimate reasons why their kennel was raided.
Excerpt from New York Times article titled, “Safety Concerns Stoke Criticism of Kennel Club.” February, 2013
"The A.K.C. inspected the kennel of Joseph and Cynthia Williams in Wilson, N.C., months before the police raided it. On May 17, 2012, an A.K.C. inspector said that the 34 Great Danes and mastiffs under the Williamses’ care were in “acceptable” conditions, with only 2 of the 15 categories marked “needs improvement,” for the construction of kennels and signs of “untreated, visible wounds.” The A.K.C. inspector found that the Williams kennel over all was “in compliance with A.K.C.’s Care Conditions Policy” even though the dogs did not have access to daily exercise outside their cages and pens, according to court documents.
Three months later, Wilson County officials seized 28 of the Williamses’ dogs, a majority of them in “poor” condition, suffering from illnesses, injuries and living in “unhealthy conditions,” according to court documents. A veterinarian told the court that the rescued dogs had ailments that ranged “from serious to severe” and that “most of the injuries appeared to be chronic, having been in existence for a substantial period of time.”
Pictures of dogs in rescue posted on www.complaintsboard.com. Here is the link speaking to the breeders in question: http://www.complaintsboard.com/compl...38.html?page=3
Apparently, these breeders were well known for unethical breeding practices and for dumping dogs on local rescues well before the raid. These pics I believe are either from immediately before the raid or right afterward… not sure.
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