HRA Humane Law Enforcement Combats Multiple Cases of Animal Cruelty this Week
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HRA Humane Law Enforcement Combats Multiple Cases of Animal Cruelty this Week

This week, DC resident Zahir Reeder was found guilty of cruelty to animals following a case that lasted almost two years. In addition, Katherine Spears of DC was arrested Wednesday, October 24 by the Metropolitan Police Department and charged with one count of cruelty to animals following an investigation by Humane Rescue Alliance humane law enforcement officers. 

Combating animal cruelty is a job we take very seriously. Our law enforcement officers are available to help 24/7 and are dedicated to making our community a better place for both animals and people.

Stopping animal abuse requires the assistance of caring people in the community. If you see something, say something. To report suspected abuse or neglect, please call 202-723-5730.


NE DC MAN FOUND GUILTY AND SENTENCED IN ANIMAL CRUELTY CASE FROM 2016

Washington, DC resident Zahir Reeder has been found guilty of cruelty to animals following a case that lasted almost two years. 

A jury convicted Reeder on seven charges, including the one charge of animal cruelty, following evidence presented in the case by Humane Rescue Alliance humane law enforcement officers. Reeder was sentenced to 55 days confinement and two years of probation. He must pay court fees and restitution to HRA. In addition, he was issued a “stay away” from animals during probation, must take an anger management class, and was forced to forfeit his four dogs, which have been in HRA’s care for more than a year.

Reeder was originally indicted on 12 counts, ranging from animal cruelty and assault with a dangerous weapon (dog), to destruction of property and threatening to injure. The case dates back to 2016.  According to the indictment, Reeder used his dogs to intimidate members of the community.   


SE DC WOMAN ARRESTED FOR CRUELTY TO ANIMALS FOLLOWING HUMANE EUTHANASIA OF GRAVELY ILL CAT

Katherine Spears of Washington, DC, was arrested Wednesday, October 24 by the Metropolitan Police Department and charged with one count of cruelty to animals following an investigation by Humane Rescue Alliance humane law enforcement officers. 

On August 25, 2018 Humane Rescue Alliance Humane law enforcement received an anonymous phone call reporting that a neighbor had placed a sick and unresponsive cat in the grassy area in front of a SE Washington home. HLE Officer Russell arrived at the address and located the cat, who was breathing but unresponsive. The cat was extremely underweight with unkempt fur.

Officer Russell loaded the cat into her vehicle, and then located the owner of the cat, Katherine Spears. Spears indicated that she did not know what was wrong with the cat and stated the cat had run onto a fragrant wax burner approximately two weeks prior and she had been trying to clean the cat up since that time. She stated that the cat would not eat and was dragging its rear legs when attempting to walk. Spears also stated that the cat was “not acting right” and was beginning to emit a bad odor, and because of this, she put the cat outside with a water and food bowl. She stated that she was not planning on taking the cat to a veterinarian, but would surrender the cat to HRA because the cat appeared to be gravely ill. 

Officer Russell transported the cat to a veterinary hospital, where he appeared to be dehydrated, with pale gums, matted fur mixed with feces, with ulceration on the skin. Veterinarians found ants in the cat’s fur and the cat’s body temperature was too low to read. They determined that the extreme weight loss and poor body condition would have been apparent for weeks. Given the poor overall condition and critical state, the veterinarian recommended humane euthanasia. The cat was euthanized.

On August 28, 2018, the cat’s remains were examined by a forensic veterinary specialist for necropsy. Necropsy results determined that the cat was severely emaciated, with a bone marrow fat percentage of 0.3 percent, consistent with severe, chronic emaciation. 

Based on these factors an arrest warrant was issued for Katherine Spears, charging her with one count of cruelty to animals. Spears turned herself in to the Metropolitan Police Department. Following the arrest, Spears was arraigned, given a status hearing date and released.  She was also given an order to stay away from animals.