In July 2007, Yvette Warsham, an alleged notorious backyard breeder of boxer dogs in Newnan, Georgia was charged with animal cruelty. Ms. Warsham was allegedly well known to Georgia Department of Natural Resources and animal control agencies in several municipalities and the record of attempts by rescue and humane agencies to bring this abuse to light go back several years. After multiple reports of cruelty were made in July 2007 to Coweta County Animal Control an officer was dispatched to Ms. Warsham's residence, where he found "Sonny" an 11 year old female boxer who was unable to stand or move from her urine and feces soaked mattress in the yard. Sadly, Sonny did not survive after her long misery of being bred for profit and then slowly starved. Join us in asking the elected officials of Georgia, Coweta County and the city of Newnan to prosecute this case vigorously and to impose the most severe penalty possible upon Yvette Warsham. We also ask that the officials we have elected ensure that animal control and care ordinances and laws are upheld to the letter and that animal abuse is no longer ignored!
We the undersigned ask you as the officials we have elected to ensure that this case is vigorously prosecuted and that Yvette Warsham be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We further ask that animal control statutes in Georgia be revised to allow immediate seizure of abused animals and for felony animal cruelty charges to be brought in cases of aggravated animal cruelty such as this.
In early July 2007, following several reports by local humane and rescue organizations, Coweta County Animal Control dispatched an officer to the residence of Yvette Warsham in Newnan, GA. An emaciated 11-year old female boxer named "Sonny" was found at the residence, unable to stand or move from the urine and feces soaked mattess in the yard.
After the resident allegedly stated that she was unable to pay for veterinary care, the officer gave her three days to take the dog to the vet. After enlisting the assistance of a private citizen to pay for the vet visit, Ms. Warsham took the dog to the vet the following day.
Upon examination in the veterinarian's office, the dog weighed a mere 28 pounds and her radiant body temperature was 96 degrees. A typical female boxer weighs 50-60 pounds and a normal radiant temperature for a canine is 101-103 degrees. Need we point out that this dog lived OUTSIDE in Georgia in July. There was no reason other than she was dying that her body temperature was so low. Also, upon examination in the veterinarian's office, the dog was found to have maggots and fly larvae coming from her anus. While at the veterinarian's office, Ms. Warsham was asked about the condition of her dog and she said "I don't want to get in trouble for this." At the time of her arrest, Ms. Warsham is also alleged to have hidden two other pregnant female boxers and an un-neutered male boxer that had been in her custody. Animal control officers were either unable or unwilling to participate in any efforts to rescue these dogs.
We give you this background in order to paint the picture that this woman had full knowledge of the criminal nature of her actions and that this was a money-making proposition to her. Rescue and humane organizations had known of this situation and repeatedly sought to enlist the aid of state and local entities charged with upholding the Animal Protection Act to no avail.
Many times, animal cruelty is not prosecuted vigorously and is not viewed as a case worthy of great effort or resources. It is considered by many to be a "soft crime". However, research shows different:
" Animal abuse has long been recognized as a sign of family violence and a warning sign of future aggression in children and adolescents. As leaders in youth violence prevention, pediatric nurse practitioners need to be aware of the prevalence and types of juvenile animal cruelty and its relationship to human violence. In doing so, they can champion for health care and related policies for this disturbing problem, described by Ascione as an underreported and understudied issue that may add to the understanding and prevention of youth violence."[One of the most dangerous things that can happen to a child] is when the child who kills or tortures [an animal] is not caught, or if caught is not punished." -Anthropologist Margaret Mead" (source: JOURNAL OF PEDIATRIC HEALTH CARE : OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PEDIATRIC NURSE ASSOCIATES & PRACTITIONERS Vol. 18 Issue 1 )
This case is just one of many that go unreported. Please do the right thing and set an example in this case that animal cruelty will not be tolerated in our community.