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Court Sends a Clear Message to NC PUPPYMILLER!!!!!
******Crossposted so forward where ever you deem needed ************
Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2003 4:34 PM
Subject: Court Sends a Clear Message to NC PUPPYMILLER!!!!!
In what can be regarded as a very clear message being sent to reputed PUPPY
MILLER Delores Perez, the Judge in Union County NC District Court sent a
chilling message to those who chose to profit of the misery of innocent
Perez has been fined in excess of $100,000 and ordered to never again own or
be involved in the breeding and sale of animals.
Many community's and animal control agency's are fighting back against the
huge costs county governments are being burdened with some large scale
animal seizures. Much of the restitution will go towards reimbursing
attorney's fees with the remainder covering cost of rehabilitating the
animals seized from the mill.
If more breeders are sent this message it will certainly raise the bar for
those who seek to make a fast buck of the suffering of innocent animals.
Who knows, maybe someday soon the art of raising and breeding puppies will
only fall to small scale ethical breeders instead of all the money grabbers
who give breeders a bad name.
Posted on Thu, July 31, 2003
Staff Writer MONROE -
The two cats, one parrot and more than 250 dogs seized from a 77-year-old
dog breeder's home in April may be moved from temporary foster care into
permanent homes as soon as next week.
The animals have been held as evidence, awaiting the last step of the civil
portion of Delores Perez's animal cruelty trial that was heard in Union
County's courthouse Wednesday. Perez must pay more than $100,000 in fines,
fees and restitution.
The unusual case began after sheriff's deputies, animal control officers and
members of the Humane Society of Union County raided Perez's 35-acre
property in southeastern Union County and confiscated the animals.
They said she ran a "puppy mill," breeding and selling dogs at high volume
in squalid conditions.
Perez was found guilty of a criminal animal cruelty charge on July 2 and
held liable in a simultaneous civil case. But the court still had to resolve
the final amount Perez has to reimburse the Humane Society and its attorney
In Wednesday's proceedings, District Judge Chris Bragg increased from
$47,000 to $101,222 the amount Perez must pay in fines and restitution.
Broken down, that's $50,000 for legal fees, $38,952 for veterinary costs,
$10,000 as a criminal fine and $2,270 for other costs such as videotaping a
Her attorney Don Brown objected to the amounts, saying they were too large
and not allowed under the state's animal cruelty statute. He said he plans
to appeal the decision. He has already appealed the criminal conviction to
Union County's Superior Court.
However, Brown said the judge was moving in the right direction when he
reduced the legal fees from a requested $104,240 to $50,000 for the 338
hours and 15 minutes Alexander and his staff say they spent on the case. He
argued the top rate of $415 per hour Alexander charges for his work
constituted a "windfall to the law firm" that had accepted the case pro
bono, meaning without charge.
In an interview after the hearing, Brown said he charges $200 per hour by
comparison. The judge said he was surprised by the request. "I gasped when I
saw $104,000," Bragg said. "I know it's Union County and I know it's
During the hearing, Alexander showed the judge a copy of the August 2003 Dog
Fancy magazine and an Internet printout that advertised Perez's dog breeding
business. Under Bragg's orders, Perez is barred from owning or selling any
animals ever again. The judge warned Perez to follow the court order but
said she likely placed the ads before her conviction.
After the hearing, Brown said Perez would not intentionally violate the
order. The only sign of an animal Perez had with her Wednesday was a
keychain she carried of a plush red, green and yellow parrot.
Once the case's paperwork is filed early next week, Alexander said all of
Perez's animals could be spayed, neutered, then released. The Humane Society
has been ready for the go-ahead with a list of potential owners. But as soon
as that paperwork is filed, Brown plans to file the civil appeal.
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