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Collin County veterinarian convicted of animal cruelty

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Collin County veterinarian convicted of animal cruelty

February 26, 2013

Last Thursday, after a week-long trial, a jury found Collin County veterinarian Janine Joyce Charboneau-McInnis guilty of animal cruelty after Collin County investigators found more than 40 neglected and cruelly confined dogs on her property in Lucas in November of 2011. Photos provided by investigators showed most of the dogs were living in tiny wire cages in a dark shed on her property, while others lived in trash cans and plastic totes; still more were found in small plastic kennels inside her home. The floors of the shed were covered in feces and urine. Photos show most of the dogs were living in their own filth, and there was no food or fresh water available at the time of the seizure. Many of the dogs were covered in fleas and matted, and some had ear infections and others eye discharge.

According to witnesses at the trial, the defendant claimed that trash cans were part of her animal behavior modification program. She told the jury that the dog’s mats were similar to human dreadlocks, that the fleas were resistant to flea treatment, and that the dog’s ear infections were resistant to antibiotics. According to witnesses, when asked about the dogs not having fresh water and being forced to drink their own urine, her response was to cite a UK study that showed that eating feces and drinking urine was good for a person’s health.

Dr. Charboneau was given 365 days in jail and a $ 2,000 fine. Collin County Court at Law Judge Jay A. Bender prorated her sentence to 10 days in jail, and 24 months on probation, plus a psychological evaluation and a substance abuse analysis, and forbid her from owning any animal during the time. She will be reported to the Texas Veterinary Medical Board, the body that licenses veterinarians in Texas.

Dr. Erin Shults, who testified for the prosecution in the case, had this to say about the trial, “Times are changing and no matter who you are, society is not going to allow you to neglect or abuse animals.”

Copyright Rebecca Poling 2012. All rights reserved. Email if you have a story you’d like to share. Or find us on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest!