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  #1  
Old 02-24-2008, 04:58 PM
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lakotasong lakotasong is offline
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Exclamation Musher charged with neglecting 33 sled dogs.

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By Ted Sullivan, Chronicle Staff Writer, February 16th 2008

A West Yellowstone man was charged Thursday with 34 counts of animal cruelty for allegedly abandoning 33 sled dogs earlier this month near Targhee Pass.

John T. Hessert was charged with one count of aggravated animal cruelty, a felony, and 33 counts of animal cruelty, all misdemeanors. He is expected to enter a plea to the charges in Gallatin County District Court at a future date.

The maximum punishment for aggravated animal cruelty is a two-year sentence to the Montana Department of Corrections and a $2,500 fine. Misdemeanor animal cruelty carries a maximum sentence of one year in the county jail and a $1,000 fine.

According to court records, a man called animal control Jan. 30 to report that 33 sled dogs were being kept in an unsafe environment outside West Yellowstone.

The man told the officer he knew the owner of the dogs and that he had not seen the owner in several days, court records stated. The path leading to the dogs had no snowmobile or ski tracks, and the area was not accessible in any other way.

The man who called the sheriff’s office said the dogs were “extremely emaciated” and in “poor condition,” according to court records. The dogs also had no shelter, food or water.

After a district judge signed a search warrant, the dogs were seized from the property, court records stated.

A veterinarian examined the dogs on Saturday, Feb. 2, and determined that the dogs were all “well below normal health and had not been being fed enough food,” according to court records.

One of the dogs had a collar embedded in its neck, court records stated, and other dogs had frostbite.

According to Web sites related to mushing, Hessert has competed in the Iditarod Great Sled Race and other sled-dog races. He withdrew last year from the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race at the request of race officials. He also had been trying to organize a race near West Yellowstone.
source: Bozeman Daily Chronicle
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  #2  
Old 02-24-2008, 06:56 PM
Boreayl_Chinooks Boreayl_Chinooks is offline
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This is a perfect example of how existing laws are already working when needed. If the above facts are correct, this man already has the likelihood of a felony charge which will preclude him from certain employment opportunities for the rest of his life (you may be young in your career, but as a hirin' manager I know these things ). He also has the potential for a $2,500 + 33*$1,000 = $35,000 fine plus 2 + 33*1 = 35 years in jail. Child molesters, wife beaters, rapists, drunk drivers causing fatal accidents...I'm willing to bet their potential consequences are less than for this man.

Glad to hear the dogs have been rescued and glad to have this as a shining example of how existing laws work and that we don't need AR or more laws. And no, just because one "professional" musher was a jerk does NOT mean that all are. Jerks abuse their dogs, wives, and families every day. The only reason this is news is the unusual circumstances of so many dogs.

Debbie
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Old 02-24-2008, 07:42 PM
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That's a shame.

I wonder why he was asked to withdraw from the Yukon Quest.
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Old 02-24-2008, 08:15 PM
Boreayl_Chinooks Boreayl_Chinooks is offline
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It was because the race marshall considered him unfit to continue and evoked an involuntary withdrawl on the basis of protecting the driver, the dogs, and/or the event.

LINKY

Debbie
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Old 02-24-2008, 09:16 PM
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To sad, but at least the dogs were found in time.
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Old 02-25-2008, 06:44 AM
Boreayl_Chinooks Boreayl_Chinooks is offline
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Kayla, I feel bad for the dogs too, but I don't think this kind of post should reflect on the entire sled dog community as may have been the purpose for placing it here. Quite the opposite. It seems like just about everyone who had dealings with this person was concerned that there was a problem. Obviously they were correct!

Debbie
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Old 02-25-2008, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boreayl_Chinooks View Post
Kayla, I feel bad for the dogs too, but I don't think this kind of post should reflect on the entire sled dog community as may have been the purpose for placing it here. Quite the opposite. It seems like just about everyone who had dealings with this person was concerned that there was a problem. Obviously they were correct!

Debbie
There's no "may"... it's posted because this guy, while being a dirt bag, was also a long distance musher who has competed in the Quest and the Iditarod and so Summitview on her permanent quest to have any and all distance (or maybe all competitive mushing... who knows) erradicated posted it here to pluck at peoples heart strings in typical AR fasion.

Anyways... it's good the dogs were found and will now be properly cared for... how anybody could abandon there team I don't understand...
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Old 02-25-2008, 07:47 PM
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noludoru noludoru is offline
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Good posts, Debbie, Sharky. I almost didn't want to open this thread because I figured it would be loaded with AR propaganda.
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Old 02-25-2008, 08:53 PM
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I feel bad for the animals in that situation. I wish we have harder laws for this type of thing but you know he's gonna get of easy which sucks. because I love my husky to death And thought she loves it outside I caint see leaving her alone like that I hope he gets what he deserves.
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