Attorney for the Evans Family...
Travis Evans was charge under Section 3.2-6570 of the Virginia Code which states, among other things, that a person that deprives any animal of necessary food, drink, shelter or emergency veterinary treatment shall be guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor. We had a trial on this matter before Judge Strickland in Stafford County General District Court on October 7, 2015. Judge Strickland found him guilty of the misdemeanor and imposed a fine.
The Commonwealth Attorney in this case was Jennifer Lindsey, a recently hired member of the Stafford County Commonwealth’s Attorney Office. The Commonwealth contended that Travis was guilty of animal abuse because he did not seek emergency veterinary treatment for his dog, Buxton on or about 4 July 2015.
Buxton had been diagnosed with terminal cancer in early 2015 and was given only a short time to live. Over the 4th of July weekend Buxton had a seizure, which was predicted during his cancer diagnoses. As a result of the seizure the Evan family called their veterinarian for assistance. Due to the holidays their local veterinarian could not handle the situation and referred them to an emergency veterinarian. As the family was preparing to transport Buxton to the animal hospital, his seizures stopped. The family decided not to take Buxton to hospital but rather continued to watch and monitor him. Over the weekend Buxton was obviously dying from the cancer and the family made the difficult decision to euthanize him at the Stafford Animal Shelter. A few days after the holiday weekend, Travis Evans dropped Buxton off at the shelter where he was euthanized. Travis was arrested for animal abuse under Section 3.2-6570.
At the trial the Commonwealth called local veterinarian Christina Del Nero-Johnson who testified that whenever a dog has a seizure it is an emergency situation. Therefore, when Buxton had a seizure and Travis Evans did not transport him to the emergency veterinarian, he was automatically guilty of animal abuse. Based on this testimony the judge found him guilty of animal abuse. We immediately appealed the case and look forward to having a jury trial in February on this same issue.
From the family's GoFundMe campaign: Those of you who have owned a pet, know life is never the same without them.
I first met Buxton when he was a puppy and we made him a part of our family. Through the years, he traveled, he loved the beach, he played, he napped, and most importantly was loved. He was loved by me, my husband, and most importantly our 5 year old daughter. He was her "Buddy." He guarded her crib and slept in her bed. He played dress up. He listened to her stories. He was our companion.
After 9 years of joy, in December 2014, Buxton developed melanoma on his toe. Stafford Animal hospital recommended taking him to Richmond to have his toe amputated, because it was cheaper.
He rallied and recovered well. Then, on July 2, 2015, Buxton had his first seizure. He appeared well, but this made us realize that our time with Buxton was limited. We learned that the stafford animal shelter was able to humanely euthanize for free. We contacted them and they were not able to see him until July 7th. I followed Buxton around, made sure he was comfortable, and cried with him. On the 7th, Buxton had gotten worse. We called SCAC (Stafford County Animal Control) to ask if we could bring him in sooner because his health had deteriorated. I said my goodbyes to Buxton while my husband took him to be euthanized. When my husband arrived at SCAC, he filled out the paper work, bawling his eyes out. ACO Morelli helped Travis get Buxton out of the car. He then started questioning my husband on what was wrong with Buxton , Travis said he had a seizure and has cancer. Morelli asked if he was taken to a vet when Travis replied, "no" , Morelli exclaimed he could be charged with animal neglect/cruelty. Travis was shocked. He told officer Morelli that he would take him right then and there but Morelli said it was too late, you filled out the paper work. Morelli took Travis' information and said he'd be in touch if there's charges, after he ran it by his supervisor, Mr. Null. On July 18, Travis was arrested and charged with animal cruelty, a misdemeanor! We want to tell a jury, Buxtons story. However, it would GREAT if Mr.Olsen would drop the charge, towards Travis.