Minutes - August 20, 2019 | www.charlescountymd.gov

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Charles County, Maryland

Minutes - August 20, 2019

Minutes
Tuesday, August 20, 2019

ANIMAL MATTERS HEARING BOARD

FOR CHARLES COUNTY, MARYLAND MINUTES OF MEETING

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

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

Maria Padgett, Chairperson

Sgt. Travis Yates

Katie Shelton

Eva Lightfoot

Bill Blarcum

Christi Montgomery

Shanee’ Major-Kelly, Associate County Attorney

Melody Weschler, Acting Clerk

Samantha Knott, Paralegal

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

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

The minutes of the Animal Matters Hearing Board for August 6, 2019 will be approved at the September 17, 2019 meeting.

 

NEW BUSINESS

Citation 6887, 6888, 6889 – Animal Control versus Marlena Williams

Marlena Williams and Seth Nesbitt were sworn by the Clerk.  Officer Jeff Thomas was sworn by the Clerk.  Officer Thomas testified that on July 31st he responded to a report of several aggressive dogs at large chasing children and livestock.  Upon arrival at the scene Officer Thomas testified that they were unable to locate the dogs at the scene of the call but were directed by witnesses and three dogs were located at   12855 Janschek Drive, Waldorf, Maryland which was located approximately 100 feet behind the original reported scene.  Officer Thomas spoke with Ms. Williams and citations were issued. 

George and Katrina Harley were sworn in by the Clerk.  Mr. Harley provided testimony regarding the incident.  Mr. Harley testified that a chicken was killed.

Ms. Williams and Mr. Nesbitt testified.  Ms. Williams provided rabies vaccination certificates for the three dogs. Mr. Nesbitt testified that since the incident they have put up a wire fence as well as the electric fence.

Ms. Shelton made a motion finding Ms. Williams in violation as follows:

Citation 6887 – section 230-12, animal at large, fine of $50.00; section 230-12.5, potentially dangerous and/or vicious, fine of $100;

Citation 6888 – section 230-12, animal at large, fine of $50.00, section 230.12.5, potentially dangerous and/or vicious, fine of $50.00;

Citation 6889 – section 230-12, animal at large, fine of $50.00, section 230-9,A, failure to provide proof of current rabies vaccination, fine of $150.00, section 230-12.5, potentially dangerous and/or vicious, fine of $50.00.  Restrictions imposed under section 230-12.5 (E), 1, 2, 3, 4, 5a, b, c, 7 and 8 (G) for all three dogs. Total fines: $500.00.  Seconded by Ava Lightfoot, all in favor.  Fines due by September 17, 2019.

Animal Control to inspect in 30 days for compliance.

File No. 19-27 - Jonathan Liston vs. Dax Garcia-Morales

Jonathan Liston, Brandy Garcia and Dax Garcia were sworn by the Clerk.  Mr. Liston testified that when walking past the Garcia’s home two dogs (pit bull type and Chihuahua were run out and bark at pedestrians.  On June 11, 2019, while walking his black lab charged and nipped at his dog.  On June 21, 2019 while walking past the Garcia’s home one of the dogs (pit bull type) charged at Mrs. Liston and her daughter.  Mr. Liston’s family is now afraid to run around the neighborhood in fear of these dogs. 

Ms. Garcia testified that what Mr. Liston testified to was true.  Her dog does show aggression to his dogs however, her dog has not had any previous behavior like this.  Since the incident she stated that made changes by not allowing the dog in the front yard without a leash, putting him on run in the back, and started working on the fence. Ms. Garcia entered into evidence two photographs of the fence, rabies vaccination certificate, Charles County Animal License.  

Sgt. Yates made a motion finding Ms. Garcia in violation of section 12.4.A.(3), molest pedestrians, neighbors or passerby with a fine of $50.00; section 12.4.A(4), intimidates pedestrians, neighbors or passersby with no fine; 12.5.A(2), any animal which has injured or killed a domestic animal without provocation, fine of $150, 12.5.A(3), any animal which has a vicious nature, disposition and/or propensity which is known or should be known by its owner or custodian with a no fine; and 12.5.C, potentially dangerous animal, any animal that by its actions, constitutes a physical threat to human beings, other domestic animals, or both, with no fine. Restrictions imposed under section 230-12.5 (E), 1, 2, 3, 4, 5a, b, c and 8(G). Total fine: $200.00.  Seconded by Kristi Montgomery all in favor. Fines due by September 17, 2019.

Animal Control to inspect in 30 days for compliance.

File No. 19-23 – Melinda Jowett vs Sue Buckler

Melinda Jowett and Sue Buckler were sworn by the Clerk.

Ms. Jowett testified that she had been bit by Ms. Buckler’s Labradoodle twice, May of 2018 and May of 2019.  On May 16, 2019 Ms. Buckler was bite and needed two stiches. Ms. Jowett testified that there are two Labradoodles but she does not know which one bite her.

 Ms. Buckler testified that what Ms. Jowett said was true.  The dogs did get out and she and her son looked for them and were unable to find them and unfortunately they did bite Ms. Jowett.   Since that time they’ve tried to remedy the situation and have electrified their metal fence, walk them on a leash one at a time.  Ms. Buckler testified that she did not feel the dogs were aggressive. 

Sgt. Yates made a motion to go closed session for legal advice.  Seconded by Kate Shelton.

A motion was made by Ms. Montgomery finding Ms. Buckler in violation of section 12.4.A(1), be at large, with a $50 fine; 12.4.A.(3), molest pedestrians, neighbors or passersby, with a $50 fine; 12.4.A.(4), intimidate pedestrians, neighbors or passersby with a $50 fine; 12.5.A.(1) any animal which wounds, bites or otherwise injures a human being without provocation on public or private property, with a fine of $100; 12.5.A.(3), any animal which has a vicious nature, disposition and/or propensity which is known or should be known by its owner or custodian, with a fine of $100;  and 12.5.C, potentially dangerous animal, any animal that by its actions, constitutes a physical threat to human beings, other domestic animals, or both, restrictions imposed under section 230-12.5 (E), 1, 2, 3, 4, 5a, b, c, 7 and 8(G), with a fine of $500.  Seconded by Bill Blarcum.  All in favor.  Total fine of $850. Fine due October 1, 2019.

Animal Control to inspect in 30 days for compliance.

File No, 19-22 – Marguerite & Jose Gonzalez vs. Sue Buckler

Jose Gonzalez was sworn by the Clerk.  Mr.  Gonzalez testified that their statements were in support of the multiple complaints of their neighbors. Mr. Gonzalez stated that his family feels unsafe on their property and in the neighborhood because of the dogs.

Marguerite Gonzales was sworn by the Clerk.   Ms. Gonzales testified that approximately four to six months ago one of the dogs entered their garage and was barking and growling at her.

Ms. Buckler testified that she has no knowledge of this incident.  Ms. Buckler provided rabies vaccine certifications for both dogs, Bruno and Buddy. Both dogs are neutered and have Charles County Animal Licenses. 

A motion was made by Ms. Montgomery finding Ms. Butler in violation of 12.4.A.(3), molest pedestrians, neighbors or passersby, with no fine; 12.4.A.(4), intimidate pedestrians, neighbors or passersby with a $50 fine.  Seconded by Ms. Lightfoot.  All in favor. Fine due October 1, 2019.

File No. 19-25 – Karen Wrightman vs. Sue Buckler

Karen Wrightman was sworn by the Clerk.  Ms. Wrightman testified that on May 16th her granddaughter was walking her dog and one of Ms. Buckler’s son came up and told them that the dogs were loose and they were searching for them and they might want to pick up their dogs to be safe.  Ms. Wrightman testified that the neighborhood is worried about the safety of the children in the neighborhood. 

Ms. Buckler testified that the dogs do go in and out a doggie door to the back yard which is fenced in and now is electrified.  Since the last incident they have taken even more precautions to stop the dogs from getting out. 

The Board determined that there was no violation at this time.

File No. 19-26 – Carol Karpiak vs Sue Buckler

Carol Karpiak was sworn by the Clerk.  Ms. Karpaik testified that she is concerned about the danger in the neighborhood that these dogs have created.  She has had no personal incidents with the dogs.

The Board determined there was no violation at this time.

File No. 19-21 – Pam Gingerich vs. Sue Buckler

Ms. Gingerich was advised by the Board that the incident reported on her Complaint Form is over one year old therefore unable to be heard by the Board.

File No. 19-24 Janet Elizabeth Szoch vs. Sue Buckler

Ms. Szoch was advised by the Board that the incident reported on her Complaint Form is over one year old therefore unable to be heard by the Board.

There being no further business the Chairperson motioned to adjourn the hearing. The motion was seconded by Sgt. Yates. All members voted in favor and the hearing was adjourned at 7:45 p.m.

Melody Weschler, Acting Clerk