This guy was found INNOCENT BY A JURY. When he asked where his dogs were after his acquittal he was told that many were already dead, killed by KILL CRAZY humaniacs! This guy obviously loved his dogs and everyone in his neighborhood talked about what a great pet owner he was. I hope he sues the State for wrongful prosecution and for the value of his dogs that they killed in addition to punitive damages for destroying his dogs and giving them away to other people when he was guilty of NOTHING! Be sure and notice the comment about the State Attorney asking jurors to "wonder" about why he was keeping dogs as though innuendo and supposition was enough to prosecute this innocent man criminally. This is another heartbreaking story of animal and human cruelty committed by those that claim to be acting on behalf of justice and the dogs.
Alva man not guilty of cruelty to animals
By Pat Gillespie
November 09, 2007
Anthony Pew insisted from the beginning he wasn’t guilty of animal abuse and using equipment to train dogs to fight.
After about an hour of deliberating Thursday, a Lee County jury agreed, finding him not guilty of both counts.
Pew, 43, of 16911 First St. in Alva, was approached in May 2006, when a 10-year-old complained one of his 23 dogs had bitten him. When investigators got to Pew’s house, they found separate kennels, dog treadmills and a tetherball pole.
Animal Control investigators concluded the equipment was used for dogfighting and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, five months later, charged him with training the 23 pit bulls to fight. The third-degree felony charge carried a possible five-year prison sentence.
Pew took the stand Thursday and defended himself, professing his love for animals and desire to bring abandoned dogs back to heath. He detailed where and from whom he got each dog and explained why he was giving them protein-rich food and supplements. The treadmills, he explained, were used because he couldn’t walk 23 dogs a day and some needed extra exercise.
No witnesses during the two-day trial testified they had seen dogfighting on Pew’s property.
Pew testified he tried to get the dogs back from Animal Services, but they refused, saying they were evidence against him. But they levied $3,500 in fines because they needed tags and vaccinations, so Pew worked 400 hours of community service to pay off the debt. By end of the service, the dogs had been euthanized or adopted to owners.
‘I don’t understand none of this,‘ he said on the witness stand, breaking into tears.
Defense attorney Sawyer Smith asked Pew whether he had conditioned a dog to fight.
‘No,‘ Pew responded. ‘I’ve conditioned a dog to health.‘
Assistant State Attorney Eric Forte asked jurors to wonder why all the dogs Pew owned were pit bulls and were aggressive toward other animals. In many cases, he said, Pew would take in a dog that had fought and then bring it back to health and return it to its owner.
Fort Myers - A Southwest Florida man accused of training dogs to fight no longer has to fight for his freedom. This came after tearful testimony from the defendant himself. Anthony Pew started sobbing as he told the court how Animal Services put dozens of his dogs to death after accusations he trained the animals to fight. Pew admitted having the conditioning equipment but insisted his intentions were good. In the end, the jury agreed, reaching a not guilty verdict after only an hour of deliberation. Assistant State Attorney Eric Forte said, "We didn't have anyone to say, 'I know Anthony Pew is training these dogs to fight,' and that might have been the problem." Defense attorney Robert Harris said, "It's been what, a year and half now, and they [the state] weren't able to come up with any evidence whatsoever that Anthony was involved with any sort of organized dog fighting." The defense believes what really sealed the deal was the testimony of a man who won several dog show trophies that he credits to Pew's dog training - proving the equipment was not intended for dog fighting.