A man faces felony criminal charges for allegedly
dousing his uncle's female collie with gasoline and
setting it on fire during a family argument, officials
Micah Fennell, 27, was charged on March 29
with arson and animal cruelty in connection with the
March 23 incident, prosecutors said.
majority of the dog's fur was burned, and she suffered
burns over most of her body, from her neck to her tail,"
Deputy District Attorney Deborah Ploghaus said.
Deputies who responded to a 911 call from
Fennell's home found clumps of burned hair inside and
outside the house, according to reports. They eventually
found the dog upstairs.
She survived despite
suffering widespread second-degree burns.
told authorities the dog was injured when it ran through
a fire he was lighting in his garage, according to
reports of the incident.
Fennell is to be
arraigned on the felony charges May 4 in West Valley
|A badly burned dog was back
in the custody of animal control officers on April
3, 2006 after a national animal rights group
bombarded county officials with complaints for
returning it to the home where it allegedly was
abused. Authorities say the collie was doused with
gasoline and set on fire last month by its owner's
27-year-old son during a family argument. It was
returned to the owner afterward.|
Bernardino County animal control officers took the
dog back on March 31, 2006, just hours after
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals posted
an alert on its Web site urging supporters to
besiege the county with complaints about the dog's
safety. "We were going to make quite a stink,"
said PETA caseworker Martin Mersereau. "We were
gearing-up for war here. Happily we didn't have to
San Bernardino County prosecutors
filed arson and animal cruelty charges last week
against Micah Fennell, of Rancho Cucamonga. They
say Fennell lit the dog on fire with a butane
lighter on March 23, 2006, causing it to suffer
second-degree burns across much of its body. The
dog, named Brown, belonged to Fennell's father.
Fennell is to be arraigned on the charges May 4,
News reports of the charges made
their way to PETA headquarters in Norfolk, Va.
PETA inquired about the incident and learned the
dog had been returned to its owner. The
organization, fearing that the alleged abuser
would have access to the animal, posted an "Action
Alert" on its Web site urging its supporters to
send complaints to Rancho Cucamonga and San
Bernardino County officials.
began to pour in immediately. County supervisors
received hundreds of phone calls, faxes and
e-mails, some from as far away as Italy and
Ireland. Rancho Cucamonga City Hall received more
than 500 complaints. County Public Health Director
James Felten, who supervises the county's animal
care program, was among the recipients. He said
they prompted him to immediately look into the
matter. "I called PETA and thanked them for
bringing this to my attention," he
Felten said Brown was initially
returned home because its owner was genuinely
distraught over what happened between the dog and
his son. The owner had been providing proper
veterinary treatment, he said. However, during a
follow-up investigation on March 31, 2006, animal
control officials determined it would be in the
dog's best interest to remain in full-time
veterinary care, Felten said.
voluntarily released the dog to animal control
officials pending the outcome of the criminal case
against his son, Felten said. "We all felt, for
now, we better see how things work out before we
let the dog back into the home," he said. The dog
is being treated an animal hospital in
Daily Bulletin - April 5,
posted on Apr 4, 2006 -
|A letter was by the Program
Manager of San Bernardino County Animal Care &
Control Division in response to the flood of
letters received on behalf of the victim in this
March 31, 2006
To All Interested
This letter is written in response
to a recent “Animal Action Alert” that was posted
on the website of PETA (People for the Ethical
Treatment of Animals). The San Bernardino County
Animal Care and Control Division filed a criminal
complaint against Micah Fennell, 27, of Rancho
Cucamonga, California. Mr. Fennell was arrested on
March 23rd and subsequently released on $50,000.00
bail pending arraignment on two felony criminal
The owner of the dog named
“Brown”, who was the victim of the above crimes,
was actually Fennell’s father Mr. Billie Fennell.
Mr. Billie Fennell was devastated over the actions
his son Micah had taken toward the beloved family
pet. Mr. B. Fennell ensured Animal Care and
Control Officials that “Brown” would receive
appropriate and timely veterinary care and as of
today was transporting “Brown” twice a day to the
veterinarian’s office to receive the necessary
treatments for the injuries sustained.
Because of the commitment and assurance of
Mr. B. Fennell to provide for his pet’s care,
Animal Health Investigator, Doug Smith decided it
was appropriate for “Brown” to be returned to Mr.
B. Fennell as the rightful owner. Again, as of
today Brown has received appropriate veterinary
care and treatment for her injuries.
follow-up investigation today, and after
consulting with the treating veterinarians, it was
determined that it would be in “Brown’s” best
interest to remain in onsite hospitalized care at
the VCA Central Animal Hospital in Monclair,
California. The veterinarians at VCA Central have
agreed to hospitalize “Brown” until final
disposition of this criminal complaint. Mr. B.
Fennell has voluntarily released Brown to The San
Bernardino County Animal Care and Control Division
pending the final disposition of criminal matter.
The dog named Brown will remain at the
veterinarian’s office and in the legal custody of
San Bernardino County Animal Care and Control
until final disposition.
San Bernardino County
Department of Public Health
|Update posted on Apr 3,
2006 - 6:28AM |
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