Animal cruelty earns Franklin woman a lifetime ban
Published 9:31 am Wednesday, September 24, 2014
COURTLAND—People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals achieved another victory when a Franklin woman was recently barred for life from ever owning any animals.
Patricia Davis of the 400 block of Wilson Street was found guilty of the charge of cruelty to animals: generally, for not having taken proper care of her dog, Angel. The case came before the Southampton County Circuit Court on Sept. 9.
Laura Brown, animal sheltering and care specialist in the Cruelty Investigations Department of PETA, said that she discovered the dog by chance on Nov. 29, 2013.
Her presence in Franklin stems from the organization’s periodic visits.
“There were other PETA reps in the area on Feb. 18 of last year. We deliver free straw and low-cost doghouse program. Our number is clearly stamped,” Brown said. “We canvas areas and people often come by with their pets for low-cost spay, neuter services.”
“When I found her, she literally tumbled out of dog house, which was a small pen,” Brown said. “She was severely emaciated, her spine, ribs and shoulders sharply protruding. She couldn’t hold herself up.
“It was like she was having a seizure, and couldn’t unfold her legs from beneath her.”
Brown said Angel was “heavily, heavily pregnant,” and later learned the animal was 50 days in the 68-day cycle.
Brown also said she got the dog surrendered to her and took the animal to emergency vet care, but it was too late.
“Angel’s condition was so critical that the veterinarian recommended euthanasia,” she said. “It had the lowest body temperature of 87.7 — 101.8 is normal. The dog weighed one-half of its body weight and was severely anemic.”
Brown added that Angel was in a state of shock and wouldn’t have survived aggressive treatment for its starvation and parasites.
“We had to put it down. That was the kindest thing.”
Brown said she returned to the residence on Dec. 3 to investigate further and met Davis.
“She claims not to have noticed the dog that morning,” Brown said, adding that there were conflicting stories about Angel running around and that Davis had “no knowledge of the dog’s condition.”
There was another person involved in the matter, Demarko Thomas, who was also found guilty of the same charge. In Franklin General District Court, he was sentenced to 30 days, but got that time suspended. Further, he had to pay a $500 fine and costs.
Also according to Virginia Courts website, Davis was first given a year imprisonment and two years probation from a decision in Franklin court. But the matter was appealed to the Southampton Circuit Court.
“Davis said they were feeding the dog when they clearly were not, and trying to blame a third party,” Brown said. “The judge said she couldn’t own animals, and I think he saw things clearly.
“We were very happy that the judge decided on a lifetime ban from Davis owning any animals.”
Further, she was given a 180-day sentence, but had all but 10 days suspended. A fine of $100 plus court costs was also imposed.