Published on Nov 25, 2013
MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (Rich Jaffe) -- A dog that suffered horrible abuse for years found a voice outside a local courtroom.
Jeremy Shane Temple is accused of leaving Joseph the German Shepherd chained outside for years. Earlier this year, rescuers found Joseph sick and starving, and he is still recovering.
This afternoon a judge ordered temple to go to jail. Local 12 News Reporter Rich Jaffe has been following this story since Joseph was rescued.
This story has generated international outrage. Responses coming from as far away as Southeast Asia. Animal rights supporters are hoping that Josephs Plight will help them change the laws in Ohio so that animal abuse becomes a felony.
Protester Nancy Bender says many have commented on her choice of apparel- a Scooby costume.
People love it. People love animals in Butler County. They love Scooby. If Scooby can help, then here we are.
In September, Joseph was rescued from the Middletown home where he had been starved and chained to a tree for as long as four years.
With Joseph as the focal point, supporters have gotten more than 33,000 signatures from around the world on a petition to change Ohios Animal Abuse law to a felony. That petition was presented to the judge today.
Meg Melampy, Josephs current caregiver, says Joseph is doing very well.
He still has issues with his ears and he has to go to the vet three times a week at least. He hasnt even started his heartworm treatment yet. From what I understand, that is going to be extensive and is going to be miserable on him.
In court, Jeremy Shane Temple, Josephs previous owner, pled no contest and was found guilty to his three charges saying he didnt realize the dogs condition had gotten that bad. He thought it was just his seasonal pattern.
Temple was sentenced to court costs, fines, and jail time. We were there when he quietly walked out of the court room. Temple chose not to comment.
Now, Temples entire sentence includes more than 37,000 dollars in vet bills, ten dollars plus costs for having an unlicensed dog, 550 dollars in fines for the animal cruelty, and the most interesting part about this is that he was sentenced to a 90-day jail term and 85 of those days were suspended.
So he will serve a very real 5-day starting next week. The reality of that is jail time on animal cases is very, very rare and unusual. And that itself should send a message in itself.
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