Case Update: ‘Purple Hearted Puppies’ Owners Forced Dogs to Resort to Cannibalism to Survive, Received Fine

Regular readers may remember the cruelty case against the owners of Purple Hearted Puppies in AL (see the original post, update #1 and update #2).  This was a private “shelter” operated out of the home of mother and daughter Roberta and Sharon Dueitt.  In January 2012, the Dueitts reportedly left town for 2 weeks while 200 animals were left starving on their property.  Having solicited donations from the public, they had the means to care for the animals, they just left them to suffer and die in cages, surrounded by bags of food they could see but not touch.  At the time of their arrest, authorities indicated there would be hundreds of felony and misdemeanor charges filed against the Dueitts.

Yesterday the Dueitts pleaded guilty to one felony and one misdemeanor count of animal cruelty.  They received a year’s probation and a $100,000 fine payable to a local HS.  They have never spent a day in jail and never will, at least for these crimes.  They can start up their “shelter” again in 5 years.

I will never forget the video taken during the raid which showed officers frantically pouring food into the cages and cats desperately reaching their front legs out the bars and mewing.  Purple Hearts are medals awarded to soldiers who are wounded or killed in the line of duty.  The Dueitts wounded or killed many.  They were rewarded with a monetary fine.  Shame on the Baldwin County District Attorney’s Office for agreeing to this unjust plea deal.

13 thoughts on “Case Update: ‘Purple Hearted Puppies’ Owners Forced Dogs to Resort to Cannibalism to Survive, Received Fine

  1. Disgusting. Simply disgusting. The DA’s Office apparently doesn’t take animal cruelty seriously.

  2. holy shit balls these assholes should NEVER be able to ever own an animal again. The laws regarding abusing animals is far to lenient by moral peoples standards. I mean look at Micheal Vick he was slapped on the wrist and now he has at least one dog, he has probably re started his fighting ring again !!!

  3. I haven’t followed this story so I don’t know what happened. Is there any chance they left the animals in charge of someone else who failed to appear and do the job? It seems really strange that people would collect animals and then go off and let them starve so it makes me wonder if there is more to the story than we have heard.

  4. Stories of the refusal of the INjustice system to demonstrate, via meaningful punishment, that animals matter are as common as the epic abuse. But there are degrees of cruelty, there are conditions and intent, considerations, legal restrictions that impact sentences. Here we have not just neglect, not just abandonment and abuse, but NAKED SADISM, conscious, rational and ice-cold. Add to that the masquerade of being a “rescue” and taking people’s money and there is simply no way around the inescapable conclusion that these people are soulless criminals who are also murderers. If severity, jail, is not warranted here, then WHERE? So I ask this: how do we end up with decision makers who consistently lack an iota of compassion for the utterly helpless victims and who fail to prevent potential future horrors by minimizing the crimes they adjudicate? I am left to wonder whether this is actually an epidemic of huge proportions; a society so insulated, so insensitive, so lacking in empathy that what we see in these cases is merely a manifestation of a much larger issue. So debilitating, depressing and, frankly, frightening.

  5. I hope someone will be keeping tabs on them as many times people who are convicted of animal cruelty will move out of state and start up again! It does not appear that anyone in law enforcement or the court system does so it is up to the animal rescue community to do it.

    1. This story is more than a year old. It’s not uncommon for news outlets to remove old stories on their websites. That is what I would guess happened here since the link which used to go directly to the news outlet’s story on this case now redirects to the main page.

      On Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 10:55 PM, YesBiscuit!

  6. I believe it must have been that 12-year-old DA who said on the videotape that a “fair solution” to the situation had been reached. It was rather a travesty. If he thinks those awful women will pay back one cent – let along $100K – then I have a bridge to seIl him. Also, as a newspaper reporter, I have had it with ignorant and callous devils appear in court in wheelchairs. What a joke this resolution was.

  7. This was certainly NOT justice being done!! And only 5 years without contact with animals?! Seriously??!!! They should NEVER be allowed to be responsible for an animal EVER!!! This is why animal abuse is so rampant in this country! We fight like hell for stricter laws, but if they aren’t enforced + there is no threat of real jail time, things will never change!! Shame on that judge for letting them off with just a slap on the wrist + a fine!

  8. Volunteered to help out on this tragic day, and the fact that they haven’t spent any jail time, makes me sick. I think the animals that suffered through that type of neglect needs justice, we are their voice. Words can’t describe what was seen there.

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