The former owners of London the pit bull pleaded no contest Friday to animal abuse charges.
Zachary Hinton pleaded no contest to a felony of maliciously and intentionally wounding and maiming a puppy, as originally charged. Hinton faces up to six months in initial jail time, three years probation, and will be prohibited from owning or possessing animals during the course of his probation. He will be sentenced on November 7, 2013.
The defendant Sarah Anderson pleaded no contest to the same count, but as a misdemeanor offense. She was sentenced to three years probation and also cannot own or possess animals while on probation.
London was just a pup when Amanda Giese of Panda Paws Rescue took him into her rescue for special needs dogs in Vancouver, Wash. He had been dropped off at a humane society in Crescent City with severely fractured legs.
London – named after the London Olympics - had been so seriously injured that the California shelter didn’t have resources to care for him.
The pup’s front legs were shattered. At first it was believed that London had fallen out a window, but witnesses said his previous owners had thrown him to the floor because he had chewed on the couch.
After an investigation by the Crescent City Police Department, Hinton and Anderson, both 20 at the time, were arrested. Both initially pleaded not guilty.
In Vancouver, Dr. Brandon Sherman at Animal Care Clinic determined that the best possible option for London’s recovery and long-term quality of life was to remove his two front legs.
Mechanics from a Northwest company called MotoCorsa made London a Ducati-inspired custom dog wheelchair and he hasn't slowed down since.
London now enjoys a happy life in Portland with his new "mom" and several canine buddies.
On Friday, Giese said she was pleased with the outcome of the case.
"Pleading no contest has the same result as pleading guilty & we are pleased that London finally has justice & finality to this part of his life. This is more of a drive for us to press forward on changing laws to better protect the animals!" she said.
"I am ecstatic, still wrapping my head around the no contest and outcome," London's "mom" Frances Gehring said. "I look forward to their sentencing and seeing what the final penalties will be."
"London will celebrate with bison bones tonight!"