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Posted on Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 3:43 p.m.

Pittsfield Township man sentenced to 11 months in jail for starving puppy

By Cindy Heflin

A Pittsfield Township man was ordered to spend 11 months in jail for severely neglecting a pit bull puppy that was found starving in a crate. In a separate case, an Ann Arbor man was convicted of animal cruelty after his pit bull was found with a chain imbedded in its neck and leg.

Brian Christopher Adams was sentenced Thursday on one count of animal cruelty, said Steve Hiller, county chief deputy assistant prosecutor.


Hercules, a pit bull brought to the Humane Society of Huron Valley emaciated and seriously ill, has now recovered.

Photo courtesy of the Humane Society of Huron Valley

Adams owned a pit bull puppy that was taken by Humane Society of Huron Valley cruelty investigators in February after being discovered abandoned in a crate. The dog was extremely emaciated and was lying in a pool of his own blood, just barely alive, a press release said.

“This is the severest of neglect,” Humane Society Executive Director Tanya Hilgendorf said. “This man knew this animal was in this crate in this condition and tried to say he did nothing wrong.”

Adams was charged with animal cruelty and later pleaded no contest. A no contest plea is not an admission of guilt, but is treated as such for sentencing purposes.

The case is the first the humane society has prosecuted in which animal cruelty charges alone resulted in jail time, Hilgendorf said. “It’s really not very common. As strong of an outcry as there is about animal cruelty in the general public, the penalties usually end up being quite light," she said.

Hilgendorf said animal cruelty is often connected to other violent crimes, and taking a stand against it benefits the entire community.

Adams was given credit for six months served. He was also sentenced to two years of probation and 300 hours of community service, He was ordered to pay $8,502 in fines and costs and $4,764 in restitution to the Humane Society.

The puppy, named Hercules, has spent many months under Humane Society care and is now fully recovered medically, the Humane Society said. He is still under behavioral treatment and is expected to be up for adoption soon.

In the second case, Eddie Kennedy, 44, of Ann Arbor, was convicted on one count of animal cruelty, Hiller said. His sentencing is set for Oct. 14.

Hilgendorf said the young, brindle pit bull in Kennedy's care was emaciated and suffering infections when it was brought it to the Humane Society with the chain imbedded in its neck. The dog had to be euthanized, Hilgendorf said.



Tue, Sep 7, 2010 : 7:34 a.m.

Thank you for covering this story but the punishment still does not fit the crime as any neglect being it a dog, cat, or child should all carry the same punishment and should not be biased to species! This case shows that people like Brian Christopher Adams, Eddie Kennedy, and Adam Collard of Lansing who abuse animals and leave them for dead cannot out run the law forever and when they are finially caught the justice system will now begin to assign the appropriate time for the crime!

Elaine F. Owsley

Sat, Dec 8, 2012 : 1:46 p.m.

Even sadder is the fact that those who commit these atrocities end up in a big clean cage where someone provides food and warmth and water and clothing for as long as the sentence lasts. I don't suppose we can change that, but it doesn't seem fair that the punishment is not as bad as the crime.


Wed, Sep 1, 2010 : 9:59 a.m.

Anyone who would intentionally hurt/abuse an animal is just plain sick. I have more compassion for animals than most humans...


Wed, Sep 1, 2010 : 7:43 a.m.

"... $4700 to return the animal to health? This in a world where... we can fix a fistula for a woman in a developing country for $420? The 12 women who might have had their lives changed with the money are worth more than Hercules the dog...." "...YOU go save the needy humans. The rest of us will care for the rest of God's creatures." Thankfully, not everything in this world comes down to a zero-sum game, where we can only select one worthwhile cause at a time — to the neglect and detriment of all other existing causes. It's entirely possible to assist humans in need while simultaneously seeking to rescue Hercules and other companion animals who suffer under cruel treatment from their awful caretakers. We can multi-task on this. Let's not get too absorbed in single-issue activism.


Wed, Sep 1, 2010 : 7:07 a.m.

There is not much else that can be said that hasn't already been said. But I am a firm believer that humans under almost any circumstances have the ability to positively and negatively change there life. Animals on the other hand cannot. The depend on us for everything but oxygen. When you cant give living creatures the basic rights they deserve, i believe your basic rights as a human should be revoked. This may be harsh but when is enough enough. How long must we keep slapping these sad excuses for humans on the hand with no real repercussions. I for one do not mind my tax dollars going to prosecute these criminals. In fact. I think I may just head to the HVHS today to donate more money. I suggest that those of you who support what the humane society is doing do the same.


Wed, Sep 1, 2010 : 12:19 a.m.

People who abuse animals just make me sick-sick-sick! Their punishment should be equal to the abuse that the animals have endured. My husband and I have a lovely purebred border collie that was rescued from a puppy mill near Grand Rapids. He couldn't be sold because he was not "perfect"- one ear does not stand up perfectly straight. This made him even more endearing to us. He is almost 10 now (we got him when he was 3 1/2 months old)and has never outgrown the "nightmares" he has and continues to wimper in his sleep at times. He was left in a CRATE too. I cannot understand the sickness of people who get animals, crate them, ignore them, and deprive them of food and water. Sick-sick-sick.


Tue, Aug 31, 2010 : 2:54 p.m.

I think it is Minnesota? Or Missouri? I get the two mixed up, but one of these two states has something going on the ballot to end puppy mill abuse. This state has the highest puppy mill rate in the country. Need to check out the ASPCA website. I wished I could have sigged on that ballot. What a mess when it comes to doing unto them as they to the dog. Thru their website they say a lot of these puppies end up at these dog stores ready to be sold. Please do not frequent these stores. Adopt thru a rescue or thru a shelter. So sad to read these stories. We did adopt thru a rescue. Boy does that dog know it too.


Tue, Aug 31, 2010 : 10:57 a.m.

I assume Lokas comments would match my own belief that I am not one to be supportive of this dog breed. The conditions with which this dog were treated were horrible. At risk of having this deleted a specific punishment should be he may no longer own pets. @diagbum, I agree with you. It would be my dog and I to the end together.


Tue, Aug 31, 2010 : 9:58 a.m.

We need to get tougher on the Puppy Mills, the source of all of these unwanted dogs and educate would-be owners in the responsibilities of pet ownership. It is a simple as that.


Tue, Aug 31, 2010 : 7:51 a.m.

@Halima You sure like to "talk" about things, but what are you doing to create and make CHANGE? Talk is cheap... @ACLABT Very well stated indeed. @Cindy Heflin Thanks so much for the story.


Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 11:44 p.m.

adams should be crated and left to starve and kennedy should be put ib a too small collar so it can embed in his neck. maybe halima would offer them eggs and burgers?


Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 10:32 p.m.

Halima I cannot believe you are being so callous. Do you know that a person who mistreats an animal is just as capable of mistreating another human? Did you know that even slaughter houses have ethics standards and for the most part do not mistreat the animals? Did you know that the poor dog was under car of the inhumane scum who willingly, knowingly and intentionally abused and mistreated him? You are defending that scum with your words and insensitive comments. I have personally worked on socializing abused dogs and get much gratification from doing so. The dogs just want to love and be loved. If it were up to me, an animal abuser would serve a MINIMUM of five years in prison. Abusers of animals and children are the worst scum in this world - simply because BOTH animals and children just want to give and receive unconditional love. YOU go save the needy humans. The rest of us will care for the rest of God's creatures.


Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 10:12 p.m.

There are many differences between maltreating a dog and the cruelty suffered by food animals. In this case, maltreating the dog was a deliberate case of cruelty. A clear case of mental depravity, and it's good that the sick individual has come to light. In the case of food animals, they do suffer a cruel fate, but it's not deliberate. It's a by-product of mechanized factory farming. Efficiency, productivity, and cost savings are the driving force behind the fate suffered by our food animals. We're not cruel to them on purpose, it's just that nobody is willing to pay extra for the cost it would take to treat them better. People eat meat, and that means we have to kill something first.


Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 9:55 p.m.

"Why is a dog different from a cow?" Maybe because Cow tastes better? Or maybe there is that whole "Mans best friend" thing. Personally if I was trapped on a mountain or lost at sea with a Cow, a Dog, and another Human, I would eat the Cow first, the other Human being second, my own foot third, and then the Dog. But I like dogs... And 11 months in his own crate with the little amount of food the county jail feeds inmates everyday is the perfect punishment. When Mr Adams adopted that puppy he took responsibility for it's welfare - Just like the county jail takes responsibility for the inmates welfare. If he couldn't live up to the amount of attention that raising a puppy takes, he should have found it a new home. And I really hope that Mr Adams wasn't under the impression that crating his dog and starving it would make it more aggressive for use in a dog fighting ring - he will soon experience what it's like when humans are confined in small spaces with hungry belly's!


Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 7:01 p.m.

I disagree with several things in this situation: the law itself, and the action taken to deal with the sick puppy. Why is a dog different from a cow? I personally eat meat sold in Ann Arbor which has come from animals treated very poorly indeed. Some people are vegetarians, but most of the citizens here eat eggs which are produced in scandalously shocking circumstances. These chickens, cows, etc. are not offered the same protection that 'Hercules' is by the law. Why should the man serve 11 months because he maltreated a dog? The "speciesism" in this situation leads to unequal justice. Second, the Humane society proceeded to spend upwards of $4700 to return the animal to health? This in a world where we are told that we can fix a fistula for a woman in a developing country for $420? The 12 women who might have had their lives changed with the money are worth more than Hercules the dog. The man was wrong to do what he did to the animal, but I do not think that he should be judged by courts in this life. To me, the people who joined together to spend this sort of money on helping a dog, instead of sending themselves and their skills to help human beings, are less HUMANE than the convict Brian Christopher Adams.

Sarah Parviz

Wed, Nov 23, 2011 : 3:48 p.m.

Sorry but livestock is livestock and pets are pets. Not even horses are considerd pets, they are livestock. Go give $4,000 to help fix fistulas if you want. People who care for animals properly are compassionate people, and THOSE are the kind of people I want around me. Not judgemental people who insist on telling me what I can and cannot do with MY TIME and MY MONEY.


Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 5:25 p.m.

Not good to starve a pit. Hope he doesn't get too hungry and eat some fingers.


Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 4:09 p.m.

I am so glad Hercules is getting a second chance to live (with someone that will care for him properly). Training is important, perhaps Washtenaw County Sheriff's Dept. could request that they each have one ride with them in their cars. If one should resist an officer, LET THE DOG OUT!


Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 3:45 p.m.

This man knew this animal was in this crate in this condition and tried to say he did nothing wrong. Nothing wrong? Reading comments like that give me little hope for humanity. For every pet like Hercules that is rescued, how many suffer a slow and agonizing death? It makes me sick.


Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 2:48 p.m.

Goog boy, Hercules! You showed him.