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Jaquan Jackson of Washington, D.C. was convicted and sentenced on two counts of animal cruelty following a Humane Rescue Alliance-led investigation and criminal case lasting more than four years.
The sentence: The judge handed down a strong sentence on July 28, 2022, including: 90 days jail time, five years’ probation, a stay away order on owning or possessing an animal for 10 years, mandatory psychological counseling, restitution in the amount of $52,372.66 to be paid to HRA, and $50 for the Victims of Violent Crimes Act program.
The investigation: On June 11, 2018, Humane Law Enforcement officers with HRA responded to the 3500 block of Brothers Place SE after receiving a report about a dog actively hanging himself from a chain. Upon arrival, HRA officers found a deceased dog hanging over a fence. The dog had significant scarring in various stages of healing around his muzzle and forelimbs, which was consistent with organized dogfighting. HRA officers observed two more dogs at the scene with wounds on their faces. Jackson told our officers he was also in possession of an alligator.
After further investigation, HRA officers arrived at the home on July 25, 2018 with a search and seizure warrant to remove the 5-foot alligator from the premises. The alligator was being housed illegally and living in inhumane conditions; its snout was deformed from being cramped in a small, plastic storage container. During the execution of the search warrant, HRA officers observed conditions and paraphernalia associated with organized dogfighting.
On July 26, 2018, a Superior Court judge issued a second search warrant, and HRA officers took six adult dogs and six puppies from the premises; some of them had scarring consistent with dogfighting and the dogs showed signs of chronic neglect from living in unsafe and unsanitary conditions. One of the dogs required emergency veterinary care because she had infected wounds on her front limbs. One of her bones was fractured and she required an amputation of one of her toes. Veterinarians also discovered a canine tooth lodged in her leg, and later diagnosed her with Babesiosis, a tick-borne illness that can be transmitted through direct blood contact with another dog.
The animals: HRA transferred the alligator to sanctuary immediately following the seizure. HRA has been caring for the 12 dogs since rescuing them on July 26, 2018. The dogs were formally relinquished into HRA’s custody on July 28, 2022.
Chris Schindler, vice president of field services at the Humane Rescue Alliance, said: “After a long investigative and judicial process, we were finally able to achieve justice for these animals through a conviction and strong sentencing. This case is a testament to the tireless work of our Humane Law Enforcement officers to protect the animals of our city, and the substantial sentence should serve as a reminder that animal cruelty will not be tolerated in the District. We look forward to preparing the 12 dogs we rescued for the next chapter of their lives.”
To report animal cruelty or neglect in Washington, D.C., please call HRA at 202-723-5730, available 24/7.
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