If you have followed my articles on Associated Content since 2008, you may remember my stories on the over 100 starving pitbulls found in Newkirk, Oklahoma on Dec. 2, 2008.
The dogs were found thin. chained and sick, some were even puppies.
The man held accountable for the animal cruelty, Jerry Lee Southern, 38, Wichita, Kan., entered a plea of guilty to five felony counts of animal cruelty in Kay County District Court in August.
Southern was charged with 70 counts of animal cruelty but a plea bargain resulted in 65 counts being dropped.
Southern was sentenced to a 15-year-suspended sentence in the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, 90 days in the county jail with credit for time served, and he must pay $10,000 with $5,000 going to the Ponca City Humane Society; $2,500 to Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pit Bulls, (BADRAP), the rescue organization in California that assisted and rescued some of the dogs, and $2,500 to Oklahoma Alliance for Animals.
The prosecutor in the case Tara Portillo said nothing could be done to enhance Southern’s punishment because he has no history of felonys.
Southern did have a previous conviction of animal cruelty in Kansas.
Portillo said since that charge was a misdemeanor, it could not be held against Southern. She added that by Southern giving money to the animal charities, it would be more beneficial then sitting in prison.
Southern was also ordered not to have any other dogs other than the family pet that is currently owned.
Portillo said the family pet belongs to Southern’s daughter and prosecutors did not want to hurt the child by taking the pet.
Southern is to report to the Kay County jail on Oct. 8 to serve the remaining 83 days of his sentence.
Judge D. W. Boyd told Southern if he fails to show up for jail, a short sentence will turn into a long one.
To date, Southern has paid $6,100 of the $10,000 owed.
As for the dogs, most were euthanized but some were rescuded by BADRAP in Cailfornia, the same organzation that helped some of the dog victims of Michael Vick.
One dog that BADRAP took had no nose.
The organzation named her Nellie and has provided her the care she needs.
You can see pictures of Nellie on the BADRAP blog
I have posted links to my other articles on this subject in the resources section.