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Yesterday, after a year-long investigation and court case, the Humane Rescue Alliance’s Humane Law Enforcement (HLE) division secured a guilty verdict against Kevin Ratiff of Washington, DC. Ratiff was convicted on three counts of cruelty to animals after severely neglecting his three dogs.
“This case is a testament to the tireless work of our HLE officers to protect the animals of our city,” said Zita Macinanti, HRA’s Director of Humane Law Enforcement. “These three dogs were living in horrendous conditions, and through a long investigative and judicial process, we were able to secure a conviction in this case. Animal cruelty takes many forms – including extreme neglect – and we are proud of our HLE team, specifically Officer Ann Russell who took the lead on the case, for the continued outstanding work on behalf of the animals.”
In January 2017, HLE received an anonymous complaint that three dogs were being neglected in a home in DC. HLE officers investigated and found the dogs living in squalor among large amounts of trash, urine, and feces. The strong odor from the home was overpowering and the officers estimated that the urine, feces, and trash had accumulated for at least three months. After obtaining a search warrant, HLE removed the three dogs – named Minnie Mouse, Boomer, and Boogie – and put them in the care of HRA.
Minnie Mouse, a sweet, eight year old, was soon placed in foster care and was eventually adopted by her foster family. Boomer, a 15 year-old poodle, had an extremely matted coat and required extensive care and grooming. Once HRA staff cleaned him up, he too found his forever home.
Unfortunately, in many cruelty cases, dogs that are neglected for long periods of time and are not properly socialized, may develop severe stress and anxiety and cannot be adopted. This was the case with Boogie, who was euthanized.
After being convicted, Ratiff was sentenced to 75 days of confinement for each count (all suspended) and one year of supervised probation for each count. Ratiff must undergo mental health treatment; complete a Responsible Pet Ownership class before owning animals again; and pay fines totaling $150 to the Crime Victims Compensation Fund.
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