A Middletown man will serve five days in jail for mistreating a German Shepherd that was found emaciated and covered with fleas in September.
Jeremy Temple, 41, pleaded no contest to the charge of cruelty to a companion animal in Middletown Municipal Court and visiting Judge Larry Moore found him guilty. Moore sentenced Temple to 90 days in jail, with 85 days suspended. He was fined $150 for the cruelty charge and told to pay PAWS Adoption Center restitution of $3,766.53, the cost of the medical expenses so far for the German Shepherd. The dog’s estimated medical costs are $5,000.
The charge, a first-degree misdemeanor, carried a maximum sentence of 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Temple’s attorney, J.C. Shew, asked Moore to suspend Temple’s sentence until after Thanksgiving. Moore said Temple has two young children and requested he start serving his sentence at 4 p.m. Monday.
Moore told Temple that he hoped his five-day sentence would give him “time to consider what you have done.”
Temple also was placed on probation for two years.
When asked if he wanted to address the court, Temple said, “No thanks.”
About 50 animal activists braved freezing temperatures Monday outside Middletown Municipal Court, holding signs to raise awareness of the need for stiffer penalties for convicted animal abusers. They crowded into the courtroom before Temple’s hearing.
The German Shepherd, now named Joseph, is in a foster home after spending several weeks in the care of West Chester Veterinary Center. He has gained weight and is on the road to recovery, according to the PAWS Facebook page.
A Middletown police officer and Butler County dog wardens responded to 4908 Roosevelt Ave. on Sept. 27, after receiving an anonymous complaint that a German Shepherd was being mistreated at the home. Dog wardens said the German Shepherd was tied to a tree, and a Pomeranian was in a fenced-in area.
Temple initially told officers the dog normally lost a lot of weight, according to the report.
By Rick McCrabb and Lauren Pack - Journal-News, Hamilton, Ohio (MCT)
©2013 the Journal-News (Hamilton, Ohio)
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