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Dog Owner Pleads Guilty in Animal Abuse

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Published on Oct 14, 2013

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (Rich Jaffe) -- Two cases of animal abuse are bringing international attention to a courtroom in Middletown and a growing cry to change Ohio law.Dozens of animal rights advocates showed up in Middletown Monday to see what happened to the owner of an abused Pitbull named Dee. They also wanted to lend their voices to a growing effort that would see Animal abuse in Ohio go from a misdemeanor crime to a felony.Only Local 12's camera was in the courtroom when the owner of one of the abused animals surprised spectators by entering a guilty plea. Local 12 News reporter Rich Jaffe says the pitiful Pitbull case is just one piece of the puzzle.This is a tale of two tails, one belongs to Joseph the German Shepherd, the other to Dee the Pitbull.While she looks fine Monday, when Dee came to the Animal Friends Shelter two weeks ago she'd been starving for weeks in a feces and water filled cage.Today her ex-owner Bert Brashear plead guilty explaining to Judge Patrick Binns that his amputation surgery, and separation from his wife had him believing his step son would care for the dog. That didn't happen and he didn't ask until the authorities got involved.Animal advocate and spokesperson for Justice for Joseph says, He's being nice about it hoping to get some sympathy from the judge definitely.Rich Jaffe asked, Does that in anyway change what's really at stake?Not at all, she answered, not at all that dog should have been taken care of and he still had the ability to use his mind and speak up for the dog and say hey you need to take care of my dog. The other dog, Joseph, has become an international poster dog for animal abuse.Chained to a tree for possibly as long as four years he was recently removed from Jeremy Temple's Middletown home. Lucky to be alive he too is now thriving at the West Chester Vet Center.His owner, Jeremy Temple, is due in court October 28th. But it was outside the municipal building the real issue unfolded.Dozens of animal lovers trying to lend their voices to a movement that could change animal abuse in this state to a felony. Shaanon Lindauer and Ginny Kinsey drove all the way from Washington D.C. to help.Lindauer says, There's something particularly heinous about this. To watch a dog die for four years, that I just really felt like the laws need to be changed. Start here, move there they need to be stricter in D.C. So we just drove up to lend support to show that it's a national issue not an Ohio issue.For his part, Bert Brashear didn't seem to care about the protest or the bigger issue, nor did he want to try and explain anything on camera. On Friday Local 12 told you that Butler County Sheriff and Dog Warden Richard Jones is seeking support from the Buckeye Sheriff's Association to change animal abuse in Ohio to a felony charge.House Bill 274 currently being rewritten and amended, would do that in some situations.

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