Justice Served for Two Starving Dogs Who Are Now Safe
Thanks to the calls of a concerned citizen and the efforts of a dedicated rescuer, two dogs have been saved from the slow deaths from starvation they were about to endure in Waynesboro, Mississippi, and are now getting all the love they deserve and their negligent guardian has also been held accountable for their suffering.
In November 2022, Justin Dail contacted Kristie Stokley, Director of Deogies Backyard Rescue, to get help for a group of dogs he witnessed declining from neglect. One of the three dogs he’d initially seen was now missing, one was thin, and one was extremely emaciated and he hadn’t seen any water left out for them. He and his partner gave the dogs water through a fence, and they desperately drank it.
B-Boy and Baby-G before rescue.
Stokley contacted Wayne County deputies regarding the dogs on two separate occasions and told us that both deputies had told her that the Sheriff’s Department “didn’t deal with stuff like that,” and also that one deputy had incorrectly advised that the care was sufficient as long as the dogs were fed once a week! Stokley held her ground and informed the deputies that as law enforcers, it is their duty to respond to all crimes, including illegal animal cruelty.
Despite feeling it was unnecessary, a deputy still went with Stokley on a wellness check for the dogs, at which time they were informed by their guardian’s mother that six other dogs had died. Stokley then called their guardian Gerrica Busby and pledged to provide veterinary care and rehabilitation if she surrendered them.
The veterinarian who saw the two 10-to-12-month-old dogs said they were both severely underweight. The female, now named Baby-G, weighed just a third of what she should have, at 14 pounds. The male, now named B-Boy, was also underweight at 27 pounds. Both should have weighed close to 40 pounds each.
B-Boy recovering at Deogies Backyard Rescue.
Stokley filed an affidavit charging Busby with animal cruelty on November 29.
In court, testimony and photos introduced by Stokley and Dail sealed Busby’s conviction, while Doll Stanley, Senior Justice for Animals Campaigner for In Defense of Animals, attended to support Stokley and provide information on updated state statutes.
Judge Ralph Smith was direct in his condemnation of Busby’s neglect of her dogs and sentenced her to three days of incarceration, a $725 fine, and 25 hours of community service. She was also banned from possessing animals for five years.
Prosecutor Curtis Bates and Judge Smith also agreed to allow Busby, with Stokley’s agreement, to work her community service and fine off performing duties at Deogies Backyard Rescue, where Busby’s two dogs were taken to heal from their shared ordeal.
Judge Smith hesitated to give her this opportunity but advised her that this was an opportunity for her to learn how dogs should be cared for. Prosecutor Bates also addressed the need for education for deputies to learn how cruelty cases can be better addressed, something which Stanley and Stokley offered to assist with.
B-Boy and Baby-G are recovering and relishing their new lives receiving the affection and care that all dogs deserve thanks to Deogies Backyard Rescue.
We appreciate Judge Smith’s actions in court and hope others in his position follow his example. Too many in law enforcement fail to comprehend their duty to enforce all laws, and we will continue to work to help address this issue.
For more on how to help, visit our Justice for Animals campaign.