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Albany County Animal Cruelty or Hoarding Cases
P V LINDA MELLIN
On November 14, 2017, Linda Mellin 45, of Berne, was sentenced to three years of Probation before the Honorable Alan P. Zuk in Berne Town Court after previously pleading guilty to (1) Count of Overdriving, Torturing, and Injuring Animals; Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance, a Class A Misdemeanor. MELLIN was also ordered to not own, harbor, or have custody of any animals for five years. On May 10, 2017, members of the Albany County Sheriff’s Department responded to a report of possible animal abuse and neglect on several different livestock animals on the property of 745 Sickle Road, in the Town of Berne. The neglected animals included a number of horses, goats, sheep, pigs, canines, a rabbit, and felines that were not being cared for properly.
P v JOHN GEHRLEIN
On August 3, 2017, John Gehrlein, 45 of Albany was sentenced to 2 years in Albany County Jail, before the Honorable Thomas A. Breslin in Albany County Supreme Court. On June 7, 2017, GEHRLEIN was found guilty, after a jury trial of (1) Count of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals, an Unclassified Felony, also known as Buster’s Law.
On December 23, 2016, at approximately 1:00 P.M., members of the Albany Police Department responded to a report that a dead cat was found in the back yard of GEHRLEIN’s home on Ryckman Avenue in the City of Albany. Officers arrived to find the cat’s throat had been cut with a sharp object to the point that it was almost decapitated. Following an investigation, GEHRLEIN was arrested.
P v DERON RICHARDSON
On July 20, 2016, DERON RICHARDSON, 23, of Albany, was sentenced to 3 years of Probation, with conditions that he not possesses or reside with animals. On April 21, 2016, RICHARDSON pleaded guilty to (1) Count of Torturing or Injuring Animals by Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance, a Misdemeanor under NYS Agriculture and Markets Law 353, before the Honorable Judge Rachel L. Kretser in Albany City Court.
On March 14, 2016, at 12:40 AM, on Western Avenue in the City of Albany, RICHARDSON engaged in acts of cruelty to his 4 month female Pitbull Terrier by putting tape on her mouth and four legs and then placing her outside on the back porch. By doing this RICHARDSON deprived the dog of the ability to eat, drink and walk. Following his arrest, the Pitbull Terrier was sent to the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society for evaluation and recovery.
P v DANIEL TORRES
On October 14, 2015, DANIEL TORRES, 33, of Albany, was sentenced to 30 days in Albany County Jail, to be followed by 3 years of probation, with the conditions that he not possess or reside with animals. On August 13, 2015, TORRES pleaded guilty to (1) Count of Torturing or Injuring Animals by Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance, a misdemeanor under NYS Agriculture and Markets Law 353, before the honorable Judge Kretser in Albany City Court.
TORRES admitted to depriving a red-nosed pit bull of necessary food and drink for an extended period of time, causing the animal to become highly emaciated. TORRES also failed to provide the proper veterinary care to the dog, allowing a large, festering ulcer to develop under the animal's hind leg.
P v lARRY fULLER
On August 26, 2015, LARRY FULLER, 37, of Albany, was sentenced to 8 months of incarceration in Albany County Jail. FULLER was also ordered to relinquish the rights to the two dogs he owned and he will not be able to own, reside with, or possess any animals. On Thursday, July 2, 2015, FULLER pleaded guilty to (1) Count of Torturing or Injuring Animals by Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance, a misdemeanor under NYS Agriculture and Markets Law 353, before the honorable Judge Carter in Albany City Court.
On May 15, 2015, between the times of 2:10 and 2:20 p.m. in the area of Western Avenue and Thurlow Terrace, FULLER picked up a small, black dog above his head and slammed it to the ground. He then proceeded to strike the dog several more times, causing it to yelp loudly. FULLER then lifted the dog off the ground by the dog’s neck and slapped and punched the animal in the head and face numerous times, still holding it off the ground by the dog’s neck.
P v Elijah Cooks
ELIJAH COOKS was sentenced to 1 year of probation, with the conditions that he not possess or reside with animals. On June 29, 2015, COOKS pleaded guilty to (1) Count of Attempted Aggravated Cruelty Towards an Animal under the Agriculture and Markets Law before the Honorable Judge Norm Massry in Colonie Town Court.
Cooks injured a dog at a residence in Colonie during a domestic dispute. COOKS picked up the dog, a pit-bull, and threw her to the ground before kicking her multiple times.
P v FLOYD MEGGS
FLOYD MEGGS, 40, of Cohoes, was sentenced to one year of Probation, with conditions that he not own, possess, or reside with any animals. On April 16, 2015, MEGGS pleaded guilty to (1) Count of Attempted Cruelty to Animals under the NYS Agriculture and Markets Statute, as a Class B Misdemeanor.
On February 8, 2015, officers from the Cohoes Police Department observed MEGGS grab and lift a small black dog by the back of the neck and throw the dog into the common stairwell area of an apartment building on Main Street in the City of Cohoes. These actions did place the dog in risk of physical injury.
P v HOWARD PETERSON
On June 3, 2015, HOWARD PETERSON, 37, of Watervliet, was sentenced to 5 years of Felony Probation, with conditions that he not not possess or reside with animals. PETERSON also forfeited rights and surrendered all animals that were livingat the residence where the incident occurred. On April 8, 2015, PETERSON pleaded guilty to (1) Count of Felony Aggravated Cruelty to Animals, before the Honorable Judge Peter A. Lynch in Albany County Court.
During a domestic dispute at a residence in Watervliet, PETERSON injured a 7 month old puppy.
On March 27, 2015, DERIC PETERSON, 31, of Troy, was sentenced to serve 60 days in Albany County Correctional Facility, in addition to entering into 3 years of probation. A primary condition of that probation term is that PETERSON not possess or reside with animals. PETERSON will forfeited rights to any animals that were seized from the residence and will be ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution to the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society for housing and care of the surviving animals. On June 11, 2015, co-defendant RACHAEL FASNACHT, 24, of Troy, was sentenced to the same conditions as above.
On February 4, 2015, PETERSON pleaded guilty to violating (1) Count of Torturing or Injuring Animals by Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance, a misdemeanor under NYS Agriculture and Markets Law 353, before the Honorable Judge Kretser in Albany City Courtfor intentionally depriving and failing to provide proper sustenance to four dogs and nine cats. On April 2, 2015, FASNACHT pleaded guilty to the same charges.
MENTOR DEMIRAJ, 29, of Bronk, NY, was sentenced to 1 to 3 years in State Prison before Honorable Judge Stephen W. Herrick in Albany County Court. On August 20, 2014, DEMIRAJ pleaded guilty to (1) Count of Criminal Contempt in the First Degree, a Class E Felony, and (1) Count of Animal Cruelty under Agriculture and Market Law 353, a Misdemeanor.
Between December 1, 2012 and November 1, 2013, DEMIRAJ did repeatedly violate a stay away order of protection by committing acts that caused reasonable fear for the protected party. One of these acts included an incident that occurred at a residence in Albany County on June 13, 2013, when DEMIRAJ did intentionally kill the victim’s companion animal, a two and a half year old female German Shepard. Additionally, this plea also satisfies a charge where on August 13, 2013, DEMIRAJ did intentionally kill another companion animal belonging to the victim, an eight week old German Shepard puppy.
On August 13, 2013, ANTHONY WALKER, 31, of Albany, was sentenced to 6 months in the Albany County Correctional Facility, to be followed by 5 Years of Felony Probation, before the Honorable Peter A. Lynch in Albany County Court. On July 2, 2013, WALKER pleaded guilty to (1) Count of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals, an unclassified felony. A primary condition of the probation term is that WALKER not possess or reside with animals.
Between January 24 and January 26, 2013, WALKER left four pit bull dogs unattended in a trailer for an extended period of time without proper sustenance. As a result of WALKER’s intentional acts, one of the dogs suffered serious physical injury. Additionally, the guilty plea entered by WALKER satisfies the charges that between September 7 and September 8, 2012 in the area of North Pearl Street and Van Woert Street in the City of Albany, WALKER did intentionally abandon three pit bull puppies knowing they were all physically injured.
On March 7, 2013, KHADIJAH HOPKINS, 26, of Troy, was sentenced to 8 years in State Prison to be followed by 5 years of Post Release Supervision before the Honorable Peter A. Lynch in Albany County Court for her role in burglarizing a home and setting a fire that killed a dog who was secured in a crate. On January 17, 2013 HOPKINS pleaded guilty to (1) Count of Burglary in the Second Degree, a Class C Felony, and (1) Count of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals, a Class E Felony. HOPKINS was additionally sentenced to a concurrent 2 years determinate for the animal cruelty charge.
On November 15, 2012, HOPKINS illegally entered a residence of an acquaintance in the Town of Colonie and stole several items from the home. Before leaving, HOPKINS set the house on fire with the victim’s dog locked in a cage in the living room of the home. The dog died as a result of the fire.
On December 10, 2012, COREY SQUIRES, 30, of Albany, was sentenced to 30 days in Albany County Jail, to be followed by a 3 year Probation term, with the conditions that he not own or reside with any animals during his probation term. On October 18, 2012, SQUIRES pleaded guilty to (1) Count of Torturing or Injuring Animals by Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance, a misdemeanor under NYS Agriculture and Markets Law 353.
Between January 1, 2012 and April 30, 2012 in the City of Albany, SQUIRES did intentionally kill a three year old canine with aggravated cruelty by leaving said companion animal in an apartment without food or water, thus causing the animal to die from starvation and dehydration.