Circuit Court Judge Wayne Durden sentenced Hewitt Grant II on Thursday; after he had been convicted of 84 counts ofanimal cruelty. In October 2014, authorities discovered 69 injured dogs at a bar located at 122 Martin Luther King Jr. St. SW in Fort Meade and at Grant’s home at 880 S.L.B. Brown Ave. in Bartow. The dogs were found with gruesome injuries, gaping wounds and scars. More than two dozens of the dogs seized could not be saved and had to be euthanized.
Connie Johnson of the ASPCA, who helped to rehabilitate the other dogs, testified in court just before sentencing: “It’s kind of hard to talk about, no matter how many times you do it. I would like for someone to finally show the community that we’re not tolerating this anymore.
” There were 33 puppies born in custody and all were saved, but the real tragedy of the situation was described by Johnson; “When you touched them, their bodies would cringe, stiffen. They’d never had any human socialization at all. They yearned for it, though. You could tell many of them did. And a lot of them made it so that’s a success for me,” Johnson stated as reported by FoxNews.
According to the Lakeland Ledger, Grant had been found guilty of 80 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty in 2007 and sentenced to one year in the Polk County jail. The following year, however an appeals court dropped the charges against him on a legal technicality, although he was banned from ever owning any dogs again.
This time Grant will serve at least 16 years of his sentence; and then will be on probation for the next 30 years; again banned from owning any animals.
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