Montana Collies

June 7, 2003

Collie owners sentenced

After seven long months, Camp Collie soon will be history. Convicted collie abusers Jon and Athena Harman of Alaska agreed Friday to relinquish almost all of their 191 animals and waive their right to appeal, a process that could have dragged out the case up to 15 more months.

Read the full story at the Great Falls Tribune
Terms of Collie owner's sentence (Great Falls Tribune)

June 2, 2003

Jury returns guilty verdict

A Justice Court jury found Jon and Athena Harman of Alaska guilty of 180 counts each of animal cruelty Saturday for transporting a tractor trailerful of 180 animals, mostly collies, 2,240 miles in filthy and miserable conditions and denying them food and water. The six-person jury deliberated less than two hours before returning the unanimous verdict at 8 p.m.

Read the full story at the Great Falls Tribune

April 23, 2003

High court OKs retrial in dog case
Toole County wants collies moved to Great Falls shelter
Montana's Supreme Court cleared the way Tuesday for a retrial of Alaska couple Jon and Athena Harman, who face 181 charges of animal cruelty in the case of the collies in Shelby.

Read more at the Great Falls Tribune Online

February 5, 2003

Statement from the American Kennel Club on Collie cruelty case
The American Kennel Club was disappointed to learn about the mistrial in the animal cruelty case against defendants Jon Harman and Athena Lethcoe-Harman in Shelby, MT, involving more than 150 Collies. Along with dog lovers across the country, we hope the case will be resolved and that justice will be served in the impending retrial.

The AKC has been involved in the case since we became aware of the incident in early November and we have an ongoing inquiry and interest in this matter. The purpose of the inquiry is to determine if any AKC rules, regulations or policies, including the care and conditions of the dogs, have been violated. If this is the case, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.

The AKC would also like to take this opportunity to extend our sincere appreciation to the many groups and individual volunteers whom for the past few months have helped care for the rescued Collies. Their many efforts, including extremely generous donations of time and money to feed, groom, exercise and socialize these dogs are crucial to ensuring that they go on to become healthy, happy, well-adjusted canine companions.

AKC Contact: Daisy Oaks, Tel. 212-696-8343

February 1, 2003

County will retry collie case
Stymied by a mistrial, Toole County will go to court a second time to try collie owners Jon Harman and Athena Lethcoe-Harman of Alaska on cruelty-to-animal charges, County Attorney Merle Raph announced Friday. Read more at the Great Falls Tribune Online

January 30, 2003

Collie mistrial declared
A mistrial was declared Wednesday night in the animal cruelty case involving a truckload of collies discovered when their Alaska owners tried to cross the Canadian border into Montana last fall. Read more at the Great Falls Tribune Online

January 27, 2003

Witnesses disagree over dogs' transport
The regional head of the Humane Society and a sled dog racer from Seeley Lake disagreed Friday over whether conditions in the tractor-trailer used to transport 181 collies and other animals from Alaska to Montana were cruel and inhumane. Read more at the Great Falls Tribune Online

December 14, 2002

Collies in Crisis
A couple, moving from Alaska to a new home in Arizona, was arrested at the Canadian/US border charged with animal cruelty. The couple was moving over 170+ dogs (mostly Collies) and cats in a tractor-trailer. The immigration and custom officers rescued the animals at the Montana Alberta border. These officials turned the dogs and their owners over to the local sheriff. The scheduled court date is in the first week of December. The charges of animal cruelty stem from the lack of basic care. The animals were dehydrated and starving and in great need of grooming and veterinarian care. This situation has created a rescue situation in the little town of Shelby, MT (population 3,200). Read more...

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