AKC judges Mimi Winkler and Jim Deppen had been charged with a combined total of 60 counts of cruelty and related charges after local authorities found sick and dead dogs at their PA show kennel. Although cleared of most charges, they were found guilty on some of the counts in court yesterday:
District Judge Rod Beck found Winkler, 71, and Deppen, 46, guilty of three cruelty counts against bichons frises, one cruelty count against a border collie and one count of operating an unlicensed kennel. Winkler was also found guilty of making a false statement to a dog warden.
Each guilty count carries with it – brace yourself – a $200 fine.
While the judges’ defense attorney described the entire case as a waste of time over “dogs having a bad hair day”, prosecution witnesses testified otherwise:
Prosecution witnesses included veterinarians, bichon frise experts and the three dog wardens who said the dogs needed veterinary attention, not grooming.
The original police report indicated dogs at the kennel were “living in unsanitary conditions and had heavily matted coats, long nails and open tumors on some of the dogs that were untreated”. The Border Collie was described by police as “emaciated and sickly”.
Do the words “open tumors”, “emaciated” and “sickly” sound like dogs that needed a spit shine and a-little-off-the-top? Maybe the judges should have placed satin bows over the open tumors and hid the Border Collie’s rib cage with a cute sweater.
The defense attorney says he will appeal the convictions.