AR-News: Trial Begins for Accused Puppy Miller Emma Harter
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Sat Mar 6 18:09:45 EST 2004
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Sent: Saturday, March 06, 2004 6:06 PM
Subject: Trial Begins for Accused Puppy Miller Emma Harter
While justice may not be swift at least in the case of retired miller Emma Harter her day in court has finally arrived. Few will forget the struggle to save the victims of Harter's greed and abuse by Kimi Peck and Chihuahua Rescue who against all odds were able to bring many of these dogs into rescue and place them in loving homes.
>From the onset this case has all the makings of a Hollywood screen play. Over 200 dogs seized from a horrific hell only to end up in a shelter in Burbank whose final solution included sentencing these dogs to death after they failed the Sue Sternberg based temperament evaluation at the shelter.
But thanks to the efforts of rescuer Peck and the help from renowned dog trainer Warren Eckstein and the voice of the rescue community these dogs were eventually liberated and the process of finding loving homes began. Their story of dedication towards saving the life's of these dogs was featured on Animal Planet - "Chihuahua Rescue".
Will society extract punishment out of the elderly Harter for her role in abusing these dogs to fulfill her needs - the saga continues. Let there be hope that there is justice for the poor dogs who did not survive the saga.
Retiree pleads not guilty
By Charles F. Bostwick
Staff Writer LANCASTER -- The trial opened this morning for a 72-year-old retired school cafeteria manager accused of animal cruelty for keeping more than 200 Chihuahuas at her Acton home. Emma Harter has pleaded not guilty to the charges that include animal cruelty, misdemeanor battery on an animal-control officer, running an illegal kennel, animal endangerment, keeping animals in unsanitary conditions and failing to isolate sick animals. The charges include felonies for which the possible punishment is a prison sentence, but prosecutors have said they don't want her sent to prison but instead put on probation and ordered not to keep animals in the future. When they seized the dogs in November 2002, animal-control officers said, they found dead and dying dogs among the packs of half-wild Chihuahuas living inside her house. Feces 2 inches deep covered the house's carpeting, and the dogs had dug burrows in the walls and furniture, officials said. At a preliminary hearing in September, veterinarian Josie Zabala testified that the dogs suffered from tick infestation, multiple types of worms, eye infections, dermatitis and mange and other skin conditions. Zabala said aggressive animals among Harter's dogs had attacked the others. Last August, Antelope Valley Superior Court Judge Lisa Chung gave a Burbank Chihuahua rescue group some 170 Chihuahuas taken from Harter's home. The rescue group promised to try to find good homes for the dogs. A number of dogs seized from Harter died or were euthanized because of their physical condition, officials said. Harter had been convicted in 1995 for operating an illegal kennel, but that conviction was overturned on appeal.Copyright © 2004 Long Beach Press Telegram
Los Angeles Newspaper Group
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