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Monday, October 5, 2009

Agricultural Teacher Arraigned in Animal Cruelty Case

Well it appears that Riverside County Animal Control is on a roll as far as charging people with animal cruelty goes. There is a saying ringing in my head....."Don't point your finiger at me unless your hands are clean.." I took this off of the animal control website it was posted on June 24, 2009. I guess there just aren't enough rapists and criminals to procecute in Riverside because the D.A is relying on animal control to bring in as many frivilous cases as possile to keep up the ratings. The trick is to keep it going long enough so the defendants get tired of fighting and give into a plea. Because we all know these cases will never get to trial, and after animal control has ruined the lives of these people (jobs lost, reputations ruined, and beloved animals taken) the evidence just isn't enough to follow through with a case. The magic number in all of these cases is 2 years and running! I would like to speak with this teacher....I wish her well in her fight to prove her innocence. Because in Riverside County, you are guilty until proven innocent and with the lack of know-how inside the public defenders office she will need all of the help she can get! I know that from experience.

A judge arraigned an agricultural teacher from the Alvord Unified School District on Tuesday on charges of animal cruelty. The teacher pleaded not guilty.

Tracy Michele Putnam, 48, an agricultural teacher at Norte Vista High in Riverside, is scheduled to return to Riverside County Superior Court for a felony settlement conference on Aug. 8.

The criminal complaint stems from a series of calls the Riverside County Department of Animal Services received regarding animal care practices in the Norte Vista High School’s Future Farmers of America program. Animal Services is seeking one felony count of crimes against animals – Penal Code Section 597 (b) – and two counts of animal cruelty for allowing injured animals to go without veterinary care.

Animal Services concluded that Ms. Putnam is suspected of allowing animals to live with severe injuries without getting proper and prompt veterinary care. Also, there were not appropriate ways of dealing with emergency situations during the weekends. Animal Services contends in its complaint. The allegations were first submitted to the District Attorney’s Office for review in 2007. The case was filed with the courts in May 2009.

Animal Services Capt. Tammie Belmonte acknowledged that the case took some time to reach the courts, but she said she’s pleased that it is moving forward.

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