Olathe man guilty in pit bull case
By DIANE CARROLL
The Kansas City Star
An Olathe man who had pit bull terriers has been found guilty of the unlawful conduct of dog-fighting and of cruelty to animals.
A Johnson County judge delivered the verdicts Wednesday against 31-year-old Reginald Marcellius Anderson after a bench trial that began Monday.
Before the trial started, Anderson pleaded guilty to three felony drug charges involving marijuana and drug paraphernalia. District Court Judge Stephen Tatum scheduled sentencing on all the counts for Sept. 2. The dog-fighting conduct is a felony; animal cruelty is a misdemeanor.
In opening statements Monday, assistant district attorney Sarah Geolas said Anderson was training three adult pit bulls for fighting and forcing them and 16 pit bull puppies to live in squalor.
After a search warrant was executed at Anderson’s home on June 14, 2007, authorities confiscated a dog treadmill, heavy chains and journals that are important in the world of underground dog-fighting, Geolas said.
Defense attorney John Harvell, however, said Anderson was breeding the pit bulls and caring for them appropriately. Dogs with a fighting blood-line are sought out for pets, Harvell said, because they are not vicious with people.
“This is a case that is purely circumstantial,” Harvell said.
Olathe animal control officer Vickie Hudson testified that she went to Anderson’s home on an odor complaint on June 12, 2007. When no one answered the front door, she went to the back yard in the 15800 block of W. 127th Terrace.
There she saw two pens of pit bull terrier puppies. Some were so thin their ribs were showing, she said. One was shaking and in respiratory distress.
Their bedding was soaked with urine and feces and their bowls had little food or water. Some of the food appeared moldy, she said.
Hudson said she called police. They contacted Anderson, who told them he planned to take the dogs to a veterinarian in Oklahoma within 24 hours. Hudson said she returned to the home the next day to find the dogs were still there and their living conditions the same.
Nineteen dogs were taken into custody; 16 either died or were euthanized because of their condition. The city of Olathe last week filed a petition with the court seeking permission to euthanize the remaining dogs.
To reach Diane Carroll, call (816) 234-7704 or send e-mail to dcarroll@...
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Bless the Bullys