Animal Matters Hearing Board |

Charles County, Maryland

Animal Matters Hearing Board

Tuesday, October 2, 2018



Tuesday, October 2, 2018

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Animal Control Board for Charles County, Maryland, was convened by the Chairman at 6:00 p.m. in the County Commissioners Meeting Room, Charles County Government Building, with the following Board members in attendance.

Maria Padgett, Chair

Matthew Cook

William Van Blarcum

Dawn Harrison

Anthony Hutcherson

Christi Montgomery

Sgt. Travis Yates, CCSO

Shanee’ Major-Kelly, Associate County Attorney

Maria Team, Clerk

 Jesse Bungcayao, Assistant Clerk


A quorum was declared based upon the presence of a majority of the appointed Board Members;



The minutes of the Animal Matters Hearing Board for September 18, 2018 were approved and adopted.


            Citation No. 6810 - issued to Mark Coulter for the alleged violation of Section 230.12.5 of the Charles County Animal Regulations for his dog “Captain”.  Testimony was heard from Officer Alison Budd, Cathy Goldsmith and Paul Sanford (witnesses for County) and Mark Coulter, Cynthia Coulter and Shane McNamara. Entered into evidence was an Animal Fancier License for Mark and Cynthia Coulter, marked County Ex. 1, two pages of a list of dogs residing on the Coulter property marked County Ex. 2, 40 photos marked County Ex. 3 and nine pages of text messages marked County Ex. 4. Also entered into evidence was an adoption application for Ms. Goldsmith marked Owner Ex. 1, two emails marked Owner Ex. 2, 11 pages of text messages marked Owner Ex. 3, two separate Sheriff Office reports marked Owner Ex. 4 and an adoption paper signed by Shane McNamara marked Owner Ex. 5. Officer Budd advised the Board that she was called out for a dog attack by the Sheriff’s Office on August 11, 2018 at 6355 Solitude Place, Indian Head, MD. When Officer Budd arrived the victim, Cathy Goldsmith had already been transported to the hospital. Officer Budd asked Mr. and Mrs. Coulter if they had called 911 at the time of the attack and they told her they had not. Mr. Coulter testified that he answered the front door when Ms. Goldsmith knocked with “Captain” on a leash by his side, and that Ms. Goldsmith reached her hand inside the door to pet Captain. At that time, the dog began attacking Ms. Goldsmith until Paul Sanford who was with Ms. Goldsmith pulled her out of the house and down the steps falling backward and he began yelling for help from the Coulters. Mr. Sanford testified that they did not receive assistance from the Coulters. Ms. Goldsmith sustained many injuries and was in the hospital for a few days to attach her thumb back and recover from her injuries.

            Mrs. Coulter testified that after the quarantine period, they allowed Shane McNamara owner of R & T Loving Paws to adopt “Captain”.

            A motion was made to find Mr. Coulter in violation of Section 230.12.5 with a fine of $1,000 due by the close of business on November 20, 2018. A motion was also made to have Mr. McNamara comply with the requirements stated in Section 12.5.E. 1, 3, 4, 5 (a), (b) and (c) as long as “Captain” is residing in Charles County, Maryland. The vote to support the motion passed.


            Citation Nos. 6896 and 6787 – issued to Donna Dyson for the alleged violation of Section 230.10.A, Section 230.12, Section 230.9.A and Section 230.12.5 of the Charles County Animal Regulations. Ms. Dyson was present at the hearing. Testimony was heard from Officer Jeff Gustafson and Albert Wright (witness for County) and Ms. Dyson. Mr. Wright advised the Board that he was walking his children to school when two of Ms. Dyson’s dog charged at him and the kids. His wife came out the front door and made a noise and scared them away. Mr. Dyson was asked if he had ever seen the dogs before and he told them he had, on a separate occasion, when he was taking his trash out and has called the Sheriff’s Office for the dogs being at large before this incident. Ms. Dyson testified that the dogs should have been in a crate on the front porch at 6:20 in the morning and she did not know why they were not. Her children may not have put them back in the crate. She advised the Board she was moving from Charles County soon. Her two dogs have not been spayed or neutered.

            A motion was made to find Ms. Dyson in violation of Section 230.10.A with a fine of $50.00 for each citation, in violation of Section 230.12 with a fine of $50.00 for each citation, in violation of 230.9.A with a fine of $150.00 for each citation and not in violation of Section 230.12.5 for both citations, with a total of $500.00. The Board ordered Ms. Dyson to provide proof of a current rabies certificate and a current animal license for her dogs to the Clerk for the Board before the close of business on Friday, October 5, 2018, and further ordered her to have the dogs spayed and or neutered within 90 days of this hearing. Fines for rabies and licenses will be held in abeyance until October 5, 2018. Fines for spay and/or neuter will be held in abeyance for 90 days.  The vote to support the motion passed.











There being no further business, the Chairman adjourned the hearing at 9:00 p.m.