Dale Boyd, one of the owners of 26 dogs seized two weeks ago from an Olmstead home for alleged neglect, decided Wednesday during his arraignment to surrender the 12 he was fighting to keep.
Boyd and his girlfriend Leslie Johnson, who were also arraigned Wednesday, signed over 14 of the animals last week, but said they wanted to keep the 12 that lived in the home with them.
All 26 were taken from the home by the Logan County Sheriff’s Department, Animal Control and the Logan County Humane Society. They now reside at the Logan County Animal Shelter being treated by local veterinarians Jon Todd and Beth Tabor. Four have already tested positive for heartworm, a serious and potentially fatal condition caused by parasitic worms living in the arteries of the lungs and occasionally in the right side of the heart of dogs.
Both Boyd and Johnson were charged with 26 counts of cruelty to animals 2nd degree, which is a Class A misdemeanor with a fine up to $500 and/or imprisonment up to 12 months. Although Boyd claimed the dogs were his Wednesday, he and Johnson were both scheduled for a pretrial conference March 22.
One of the reasons Boyd decided to surrender the 12 he wanted to keep, was due to a motion filed by County Attorney Joe Ross, who is prosecuting the case. Ross asked for restitution in the amount of $10 per dog, per day beginning Wednesday to be paid to the Logan County Humane Society for housing the 12 he wanted back until the case concluded. That would be $120 per day.
District Judge Sue Carol Browning told Ross she thought that was fair restitution, considering it cost a great deal more for a dog to be housed at a veterinarians’s office. Browning explained to Boyd that is was very costly to care for animals. She said she has four herself and her bills for their upkeep was one of her biggest.
Boyd said he could pay some, but not $120 per day. The judge told him he could either pay the restitution or surrender the 12 as he did the other 14, it was his choice.
“If you care about your animals Mr. Boyd, you could surrender them and allow the Humane Society to find good homes for them,” said Browning, who also suggested that if Boyd cared he could make a voluntary donation to the society to help them care for the animals until they got them a home. Boyd agreed saying, “I don’t mind helping take care of them.”
Boyd told Browning that he had an attorney, but that he wouldn’t be in until two weeks. When Browning asked him who his attorney was Boyd asked is he could tell her at the bench, he didn’t want others to hear.
“By releasing the dogs to the care and custody of the Logan County Humane Society, Mr. Boyd has enabled the placement of the dogs into safe, loving homes in an expedited manner,” said Humane Society Board member Gail Guiling. “I am very thankful that these beautiful dogs have this opportunity now, rather than languishing in cages at the shelter during the duration of Mr. Boyd’s and Ms. Johnson’s court proceedings.”
At this time, the Humane Society will continue housing the dogs to allow for their medical treatment. The society has to wait until they are healthy enough before considering adoptions.
“I am glad we were able to get this issue resolved so quickly so that now we can focus on all of the usual aspects of a criminal case ,” said Ross. “If they wanted to continue to contest the issue of return of the dogs, that was certainly their right, but I also think it is reasonable for them to be responsible for the costs associated with the boarding and care of these animals. Hopefully these dogs will be able to find suitable homes now rather than having to wait at the Humane Society until this case is finally resolved.”