A Willoughby man who played Santa Claus at a local mall is heading to jail behind nine counts of various crimes against animals. Neighbors referred to David Taylor as Santa Claus year round, but they had no idea of the secrets he was hiding behind his front door. When police officers responded to an anonymous tip, they were sickened at what they found. They seized three starving and tortured dogs from Mr. Taylor and confiscated two deceased dogs in a trash bag.
Here’s the scoop from The News-Herald:
The animal cruelty convictions for a Willoughby man who was permanently forbidden to own a pet were affirmed this week by the 11th District Court of Appeals.
David Taylor, 69, was convicted in February 2017 in Willoughby Municipal Court, after a nonjury trial, of three second-degree misdemeanor counts of cruelty to companion animals and six second-degree misdemeanor counts of prohibitions concerning companion animals.
Lake Humane Society agents seized three dogs from his home.
The three cruelty counts stem from an Aug. 15, 2016, incident and the six others occurred on Sept. 13, 2016.
Acting Judge Almis J. Stempuzis previously sentenced Taylor to a $750 fine with $500 suspended, 90 days in jail with 45 days suspended and one year probation.
He also was ordered to pay the Humane Society $900, is subject to four inspections of his property per year and permanently barred from owning or caring for any companion animal for life.
“Testimony indicated that Igor had long-lasting health concerns, including fly-strike, whipworm, ear mites, and that he was underweight,” the prosecutor wrote in a statement. “He was living in a yard that several witnesses characterized as cluttered, with feces, nails, and broken glass on the ground. Testimony was presented that Taylor had been urged to provide better care and that he would periodically forget to feed the dogs. Taylor admitted that each of the dogs, including Igor, had suffered from infestations of fleas. Taylor also admitted to never taking the dogs to a veterinarian. Dr. Brown attested to the fact that these treatable conditions caused Igor to suffer and experience pain, weight loss, and chronic diarrhea. The facts demonstrate negligent actions and neglect which could have been relieved by Taylor and resulted in unnecessary suffering for Igor.”
Do you think Santa Claus got off too easy?
How much time should he serve?