Sunday, July 17, 2011

Pit bull owner charged with animal neglect

By Pat Murphy, Observer & Eccentric

The owner of one of two aggressive pit bulls has been charged with a second misdemeanor after 11 malnourished and “flea-bitten” puppies were found at her house on Norborne.
Belinda Lynch, 48, was initially charged with violating a township ordinance — harbouring vicious dogs — after two pit bulls escaped from her house and attacked two pets being walked by their owner near Norborne and Seven Mile on the morning of June 30.
Lynch owns one of the adult pit bulls, the female, which was licensed, according to Denise Nitschman, the township's animal control officer. Her brother owns the male, which was not licensed, she said. The brother was not charged because both pit bulls were at Belinda Lynch's home at the time they got loose.
The owner of the pets suffered a bite on the hand when she tried to protect her animals. But she was not seriously injured. One of her animals, a 7-year-old Boston terrier named Chewbacca, was bitten several times, although it is recovering.
Belinda Lynch was charged with the second misdemeanor, neglecting animals, after the animal control officer went to her house in the 18000 block of Norborne and found the puppies. Lynch was scheduled for arraignment on both charges on July 28.
She has also received a civil citation, or ticket, for the dogs being at large.
“The puppies were thin and flea-bitten,” said Nitschman, and they appeared to have been neglected.
The pit bulls have been placed in the Taylor Animal Shelter, where the puppies have attracted considerable attention. “The puppies are cute and cuddly, like all puppies,” said a spokesman, who did not want to be identified.
The puppies and their parents will likely remain at the shelter until the case is resolved, he said, but much depends on the court proceedings. The pit bulls will remain at the shelter in quarantine until a final determination is made about their future.
“But there are all kinds of animal rescue groups,” he said, including pit bulls.
The spokesman wouldn't speculate on the fate of the Redford pit bulls. As a general policy, however, dogs assigned to the shelter at some point can be put up for adoption by members of the general public, he said.
If animals are not adopted, rescued or otherwise claimed, he said, they are sometimes euthanized.

Update July 31, 2011 - The following article is by Pat Murphy, Observer & Eccentric:

Pit bull owner denies neglecting 11 puppies

The owner of two aggressive pit pulls has pleaded guilty to violating a Redford Township ordinance against owning a vicious dog, but she denied neglecting their 11 puppies.
Belinda Lynch, 48, seemed contrite at her arraignment Thursday in 17th District Court, where she was sentenced to 24 months probation, during which she cannot own a dog. She was also ordered to pay a fine and court costs.
She pleaded not guilty to a second misdemeanor of neglecting the pit bulls' offspring. Her pretrial examination was scheduled for Sept. 7.
The judge, Charlotte Wirth, emphasized the responsibilities that go with owning a dog, township animal control Officer Denise Nitschman said, and the injuries they might cause.The dogs attacked two pets being walked June 30 by their owner near Seven Mile and Norborne. The owner was bitten on the hand as she protected her pets, but was not seriously injured.
“It was an accident,” Nitschman said, about the animals breaking loose and running out the front door.
One of the victim's dogs — a 7-year-old schnauzer named Chewbacca — was bitten severely, but survived. “She's still skittish,” said the owner, who did not want to be identified. “But I think she will make it.”
The charge of neglect was filed after Nitschman found the puppies at Lynch's house in the 18800 block of Norborne. She said they were flea-bitten and appeared to be malnourished and neglected.
The two pit bulls and their puppies have been turned over to the Taylor Animal Shelter. The fate of the adults is uncertain, Nitschman said, but the shelter has received numerous calls about the puppies from people interested in adopting them.

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