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SC judge rules in favor of neglectful dog owner despite public outcry

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How many times have we witnessed children returned to abusive parents or pets returned to abusive owners? Why are the authorities and courts always more concerned with protecting the rights of wrong doers than the actual victims?

These decisions often end in tragedy as the next investigation is usually a death investigation which then forces the said authorities to take action against the abuser. When are we going to be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to saving the lives of the defenseless?

Recently a story surfaced about a dog named Lacy in Greenville, South Carolina who was kept in a small cage all day and most of the night and barely fed enough for a dog of her breed and size. She was visibly skin and bones. Not only was Lacy the victim of neglect but also her brother Toby who died from this abuse.

Advocate for animals rallied to save Lacy by starting a petition to have her removed from her owner Kimberly Banks. Cheri Teeter of Greenville, SC led the charge on this case and a court hearing was scheduled to decide Lacy's fate on Wednesday March 5th 2014 at the Greenville City Municipal Court.

Although the prosecuting attorney Robert Coler did an excellent job and presented every fact and photo showing Lacy's deplorable, emaciated conditio due to a crowded docket and time constraints the judge did not allow statements referring to Toby's death only photos.

When it came to the defense of Kimberly Banks, Lacy's owner, excuses were given and the facts distorted to rule in her favor. However after all was said and done the judge ruled that Lacy's owner be allowed to keep her dog, pay a $300.00 fine and do a couple weeks of probation. Never at any time did Banks acccept responsibility or even mention love or concern for either of her dogs , not one time did she even say their names. She appeared confused by the witnesses reactions and why they were even there in court.

According to the judge's ruling she rationalized it as Lacy's owner just not knowing any better which is why her dogs were neglected to the point of death. This statement and decision making knocked the wind out of all that were there to fight for Lacy. The judge also blamed the roomates who first went to Lacy's defense for tolerating it longer than they should have.

Cheri Teeter and her team including Carmen Klapper a well known local animal advocate put up a good fight for Lacy and shared all their evidence in court. They did not leave out a single detail on how Lacy and Toby were forced to live in conditions unacceptable for any domestic animal. The judge's decision was not because they did not put up a good fight for Lacy.

According to Teeter the decision will not deter her or others from reporting or fighting for any animal who needs protection and intervention.

As hard as as it is they will respect the courts decision and keep moving forward with ever watchful eyes protecting any defensless, neglected or abused animals. They will keep praying for Lacey to be loved , fed and appreciated in her life .

Cheri Teeter has filed a request for an appeal on this case. To contact the prosecuting attorney and voice your opinion on the case and the need for an appeal please email Robert Coler at rcoler@greenvillesc.gov.

Cherri Teeter closed with the following statement:

"I am requesting that all of you do the same for her and any animal who needs help , they belong to all of us and God did not make any mistakes creating them to dwell with us on this earth .Be Blessed & know that we did all that we could do for Lacey ."

"Not to hurt the creatures brethren is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission - to be of service to them wherever they require it." - Saint Francis of Assisi

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