On May 7, the trial of Dachshund killer Dudley Ramsay came to a close. The 25-year-old Brooklyn man was found guilty of aggravated animal cruelty for the deadly beating of his 5-month-old puppy, Junior. The incident occurred in 2006.
An ironworker by trade, Ramsay was convicted of punching and repeatedly smashing the pup against the side of the tub. In spite of the dog’s obvious injuries, Ramsay then waited several hours before taking Junior to a veterinary hospital—ultimately resulting in the dog’s death. A necropsy showed extensive internal injuries, including six fractured ribs and damage to the liver and lungs. The alarmed veterinarian contacted the ASPCA for assistance.
After a thorough investigation, Ramsay was arrested by ASPCA Special Agent Richard Ryan. Upon questioning, Ramsay admitted that he was only trying to "discipline" Junior for misbehaving during a bath. Further inquiry resulted in Ramsay confessing to killing his first Dachshund puppy, Viola, and burying her body in the backyard. Viola’s remains were unearthed, and a necropsy performed at the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Hospital revealed that the small dog’s skull had been crushed.
“I think I need help with anger management because I killed my first dog, too,” Ramsey stated several hours after his arrest, according to Special Agent Ryan’s testimony in court.
The brutality of Ramsay's acts impelled Deputy Assistant District Attorney Carol Moran to push for the maximum sentence allowed by law—two years in jail. Despite her efforts, Ramsay was acquitted of killing Viola, but found guilty of felony animal cruelty in the death of Junior. He was sentenced to four months incarceration by Judge Michael Gary. The ruling also places Ramsay on five years probation, mandates anger management training and psychological counseling, and he is banned from owning an animal for eight years.
"While the severity of the crime certainly would have justified a stiffer sentence, we are pleased that this senseless violence resulted in a felony conviction and a term of incarceration," says Stacy Wolf, Vice President and Chief Legal Counsel for ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement.
If you know of an animal who is being hurt, please report it. To report animal cruelty in New York City, call the ASPCA's tip line at (877) THE-ASPCA. Visit our Report Cruelty FAQ to learn how to report cruelty elsewhere.
After two days of intense thunderstorms that brought devastating floods to the city of Nashville, TN, and forced evacuations across multiple states, members of the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team have been deployed at the request of the Dyersburg-Dyer County Humane Society. The ASPCA is currently on the ground helping to care for more than 70 companion animals, including dogs, cats and various birds that were rescued from floodwaters, trees, rooftops and abandoned homes in the Dyersburg city limits, approximately 80 miles north of Memphis.
ASPCA responders arrived Tuesday afternoon and immediately established a temporary shelter behind the humane society to handle the overflow of animals—providing extra cages, bowls, food, industrial fans and other necessary supplies. The team also set up a decontamination station where animals affected by the polluted flood water can be washed and cleaned.
"The temporary shelter has helped ease the strain on the already full humane society," says Allison Cardona, the ASPCA Director of Operations. "The Dyersburg-Dyer County Humane Society and its staff and volunteers have been extremely dedicated toward the animals in their community during this life-threatening event."
The ASPCA has also worked with local authorities to implement a water rescue team, with volunteers navigating some areas in small motor boats to access abandoned pets. Most of the animals in custody have been removed from homes at the request of pet parents forced to evacuate and will be housed at the temporary shelter until they are claimed. All incoming animals will recieve a physical exam, and if veterinary records cannot be located, will be vaccinated as a precaution. The Humane Society is not charging for the emergency boarding or medical care.
"Our city has been declared a disaster area and many neighborhoods have been evacuated," says Dr. Carol Feather, President and Co-founder of the Dyersburg-Dyer County Humane Society. "We're grateful for the ASPCA's assistance, and to our own staff and volunteers, all of whom have been working non-stop to help animals that are abandoned or lost. We want to save all the animals we can—that's our job."
In addition to the ASPCA, local businesses assisting Dyersburg-Dyer County Humane Society include Hollywood Feed, which provided cages, and Pet Stop, which relieved the organization of some of its adoptable pets so room could be made for incoming animals.
"The ASPCA will continue to provide supplies, support and manage the temporary shelter and decontamination area for as long as we're needed," says Cardona. "We are glad to be in a position to provide relief."
Please stay tuned to the ASPCA blog for breaking news on this disaster and our efforts to aid.
Missouri may soon have to give up its nickname as the "Puppy Mill Capital of America." The landmark ballot initiative to put the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act before Missouri voters and crack down on the state's widespread and inhumane breeding practices has succeeded! The petition required 130,000 signatures of support, and we're happy to report that on May 2, our supporters delivered more than 190,000 signatures to the Secretary of State's office to qualify the legislation for the November 2010 ballot.
"This can only be considered a massive outpouring of public support for the idea of puppy mill reform," said Barbara Schmitz, campaign manager of Missourians for the Protection of Dogs, a coalition made up of the ASPCA, the Humane Society of the U.S., the Humane Society of Missouri and the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation. "We ran into few people who were unaware of the problem, and so many of them are enthused about voting to halt this cruelty in the November election."
Election officials have until August 3 to determine whether the measure qualifies for the ballot. The Missouri Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act will substantially improve the lives of dogs by requiring large-scale breeding operations to provide sufficient food and clean water, necessary veterinary care, adequate housing, space and exercise. To follow the proposed legislation's progress, please visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center. Thank you, Missouri voters, for your support!
After two days of intense thunderstorms that brought devastating floods to the city of Nashville, TN, and the need for evacuations across multiple states, members of the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team are on the scene at the request of the Dyersburg-Dyer County Humane Society. The ASPCA landed in Tennessee on Tuesday night to help local groups care for animals displaced by the floods. In addition to bringing much-needed sheltering supplies, the ASPCA is prepared to provide a water rescue team and other resources to assist with the recovery efforts as needed.
The ASPCA's joel lopez, left, and Tiptonville, Tenn. Animal Control Officer Chandra Davis washing a rooster outside the Dyersburg-Dyer County Humane Society, where the ASPCA has established a temporary shelter and decontamination station for animals impacted by recent flooding.
We will post updates as we receive them—please check our blog for the latest news.
As the recent Gulf oil spill threatens several coastal states, the ASPCA has dispatched Kathryn Destreza, Southeast Regional Director, Field Investigations and Response, to help local animal shelters prepare for a response. Destreza is on the ground in Plaquemines Parish, LA, working with representatives from the Louisiana State Animal Response Team (LSART), local shelters and federal and state agencies to assess animal rescue needs in the area. The ASPCA is also in communication with officials from Mississippi and Florida to monitor the needs of the entire Gulf Coast region.
Stay tuned to ASPCA.org for developing news on this national disaster.