March 30, 2007

Pit bull owner acquitted of felony charges

Hewitt A. Grant, subject of the St. Petersburg Times story "Kennel Trash", has been convicted of 80 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty and has been sentenced to 364 days in jail, 5 years of probation and 500 hours of community service at the animal shelter that cared for his abused dogs.

Below are two articles from the Times regarding Grant's conviction and sentence.

Read my original article Killing Dogs in Florida about the "Kennel Trash" story.

Oh, and a special (sarcastic) thank you to the Humane Society of the United States, who stuck their Animal Rights nose into the fray and insisted that all 139 dogs had to be killed because they were "bred for fighting". Although this man was clearly neglectful, irresponsible, and way out of his depth, resulting in obvious animal abuse, the court did NOT believe that he was using the dogs for fighting.

Guess that's just too bad for those "fighting dogs". They're still dead.

Pit bull owner acquitted of felony charges

Published January 11, 2007

The pit bull owner featured in a Times story called "Kennel Trash" in July was convicted Tuesday of 80 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty. Polk County jurors, however, acquitted Hewitt A. Grant II of Nichols of 43 counts of felony animal cruelty and one count of possessing equipment for baiting or fighting. Grant's sentencing is scheduled for later this month. Many of the 139 dogs confiscated from his property last January had to be euthanized. "The jury didn't think he was into the dogfighting, and they didn't think he intentionally hurt the dogs," said Julia Williamson, Grant's attorney. "I'm very satisfied with the verdict. Hewitt is very disappointed." To read the "Kennel Trash" story and an interview with Grant, visit


Jail, shelter time in dog cruelty case

By Kelley Benham
Published January 26, 2007

Hewitt A. Grant II, convicted of 80 counts of animal cruelty, will serve time in the place he is most hated - Polk County Animal Control.

A judge on Thursday sentenced the former pit bull owner to 364 days in jail, 5 years of probation and 500 hours of community service at the animal shelter that cared for his abused dogs. Grant's case was profiled in last year's Floridian story "Kennel Trash."

A year ago today, officers from Polk County Animal Control and the Sheriff's Office raided Grant's property in Mulberry. At the sentencing Thursday, officer Mary Kirkland described that scene to the judge: "An ocean of frail bodies covered the property. Pitiful little eyes gazed on with curiosity at the activity surrounding them."

She described heavy chains, battle scars, and puppies that ate "like piranhas" when the officers fed them. Many of Grant's dogs were sick and starving and had to be euthanized immediately.

The jury that found him guilty of the 80 misdemeanors this month acquitted Grant on 43 felony cruelty charges and on a charge of owning equipment for baiting or fighting.

All of his pit bulls, deemed unsuitable for adoption because of their breed and ownership history, were eventually euthanized at animal control.


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