Again, no time, no fine for County’s animal abuses

When Brian Smith, 41, walked out of General Sessions Court onto Congress Street last week with no fine and no jail time after pleading guilty to animal abuse, it was the second such occurrence in that court room that week.

Katera Alexander, 28, pled guilt earlier that week to Ill Treatment to Animals after she admitted allowing her dog to starve to the point of death while chained on her front porch. It had to be euthanized two days after being rescued from the porch.

Alexander received 90 days parole and was told she can not own another dog during that 90 days. She was not fined and was not asked to pay restitution for the dog’s care and medical treatment before she was euthanized.

Three days after Alexander’s guilty plea, Smith pled guilty to Ill Treatment to Animals after shooting a dog more than a year ago on March 21, 2016,

While the incident report stated that Smith at first denied shooting the dog, he later admitted shooting it because, the report said, Smith thought the dog was one that had attacked his mother’s small dog a week earlier while it was chained in his mother’s front yard.

No evidence was presented in court that the dog Smith shot was the same dog that attacked his mother’s dog.

The incident report states that Smith said he shot the dog with bird shot, but the report states that buck shot was used to shoot the dog.

Smith was arrested, and Animal Control was dispatched to the scene to take control of the dog who survived and has since been adopted, Assistant Solicitor Riley Maxwell told Judge Grace Knie.

“I think Mr. Smith did what most people would have done in that situation,” Smith’s attorney, William Frick, told the judge. “Some may disagree. Changing mores in society sometimes comes slower to the rural areas. In Fairfield County, with 23,000 people and many of them living in a great deal of poverty, the way animals are treated may be different in different parts of society,” Frick explained. “I’m not saying that’s right or wrong, but Mr. Smith acted as most people would in that situation. He does regret it  and he wishes he had not had to do it.”

No testimony was given that the dog had been aggressive or did anything to precipitate the shooting, only that Smith thought the dog he shot was the same dog who had days earlier attached his mother’s dog.””There was a reason he did what he did,” Frick said.

While Smith’s prior record was stated to include DUI, disorderly conduct, possession of marijuana and shoplifting, Frick told the judge that Smith had never been in General Sessions Court, but that now with a criminal record in General Sessions Court, “he will suffer the consequences.”

Frick said Smith is on disability and has limited means, “so I do ask you to consider terminating probation after an appropriate period of time.”

Smith was told to pay $1,500 in restitution to the Fairfield Animal Control for the dog’s care and treatment for his injuries.

Smith was given two years of probation and the judge prohibited from owning an animal during those two years.


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