Animal rights protesters demand answers outside Middletown pit bull abuse hearing

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio -- Animal rights protesters made their presence known outside Middletown Municipal Court Monday while a 38-year-old Middletown man pleaded guilty to mistreating his pit bull.

Bert Brashear pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges after the dog, named Dee, was found emaciated and in distress at a home’s backyard on Navaho Street in September, authorities said.

Dee is now in the hands of the Animal Friends Humane Society in Butler County.

"We are here because all of our groups are tired of the animal abuse and everybody getting a slap on the wrist,” said animal rights activist Meg Melampy outside of the courthouse Monday. “The laws are not tough enough and we're tired of them just getting the small fines."

Police say Brashear moved away and left the dog behind.

"(The dog) was to the point of emaciation where it wasn't able to use the restroom. It had water, (but) it was green. It did have some sprinkling of dog food on the ground," said Kurt Merbs, a deputy dog warden who discovered Dee. 

A Butler County Sheriff’s Office’s Criminal Investigations Unit detective later joined the investigation and tracked down family members of Brashear, who was later determined to be the dog’s owner.

Brashear signed Dee over to the Butler County Animal Friends Humane Society. She is currently being rehabilitated.

"It’s just got to stop,” Melampy said. “It’s got to stop. It's gotten out of hand all of this animals not being taken care of in all the abuse."

In court Monday, Brashear said that someone was supposed to be taking care of the dog after he had left.

Brashear told the judge Monday he has faced hardships recently. He said he was in the hospital where his leg was amputated.

Brashear faces up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. His sentencing has been set for Nov. 18.

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