Posts tagged "1106916"

Commonwealth v. Trefry (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-069-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   15-P-87                                    Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  LEANNE TREFRY. No. 15-P-87. Barnstable.     May 23, 2016. – June 15, 2016.   Present:  Katzmann, Maldonado, & Blake, JJ.     Dog.  Statute, Construction.       Complaint received and sworn to in the Orleans Division of the District Court Department on August 9, 2013.   The case was heard by H. Gregory Williams, J.     Roderick S. Oreste for the defendant. Elizabeth Anne Sweeney, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.      KATZMANN, J.  The defendant was convicted after a jury-waived trial in District Court of two counts of violating a 2012 statute, G. L. c. 140, § 174E(f), which protects dogs from cruel conditions and inhumane chaining or tethering.[1]  She now appeals, challenging the sufficiency of the evidence.  In this case of first impression, which requires review of the reach of G. L. c. 140, § 174E, we conclude that subjecting a dog to cruel conditions suffices to establish a violation, and we reject the contention that outside confinement or confinement in general is an element required to convict under the statute.  Accordingly, we affirm. Background.  After the defendant’s house in Brewster (property) had been condemned in August, 2012, and she had moved into a nursing home, her two Shetland sheepdogs, Zach and Kenji, remained on the property, where they had access to the inside of the condemned house and a fenced-in yard. Although the defendant herself was present on the property at least intermittently even after the house had been condemned, and she had occasional assistance from friends, the dogs were effectively left alone on the property, which was clogged with trash inside and out, emitted odors of trash (inside) and dog feces (outside), and contained numerous items that would pose a danger to the dogs’ health and safety.  Neighbors, animal control officers, and police officers observed the deplorable conditions to which Kenji and Zach were subjected. On July 25, 2013, an animal control officer who had been working with the defendant saw that Kenji was limping badly and appeared to be in pain.  He was taken to a veterinarian, and both dogs were removed from the property three days later. Discussion.  The defendant’s primary contention on appeal is that G. L. c. 140, § 174E, inserted by St. 2012, c. 193, § 48, is inapplicable where there is no evidence that the dogs were confined outside.[2]  We agree […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - June 15, 2016 at 7:13 pm

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