Expert witness testimony

FVI's Dr. Smith-Blackmore provides information on the duration of starvation and suffering of a Presa Canario

"Taz was a large friendly dog who was killed by his family." Prosecutor Adam Lippe, Baltimore County Assistant States Attorney

Terrence Cody and his girlfriend, Kourtney Kelley, were found guilty on November 16, 2015 of multiple counts of animal abuse including cruelly harming, denying necessary food, water, veterinary care and space to their dog, Taz.

Taz died on January 19, 2015 as the result of more than four weeks of abuse.  Taz weighed over 100lbs before his care deteriorated and he weighed less than 50 lbs upon his death. Evidence provided at trial included photographs of the dying Taz taken at Main Street Veterinary Hospital and photographs of the appalling living conditions Taz endured in a small, filthy wire crate in the garage.

Dr. Smith-Blackmore's testimony included information on the rate of weight loss in the starved dog, the concepts of appetite, hunger and suffering and the physiology, pain and behavior of the dog in starvation.  She provided a review of a necropsy performed by Dr. Eddie Molesworth, interpretation of laboratory test results and expressed opinions on why it was evident that Taz did not suffer from any natural or accidental condition that could account for his death by any other cause than starvation.

"Without the help of the forensic expert veterinarian Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore,  Dr.  Eddie Molesworth, and the staff at the Main Street Veterinary Hospital, along with the hard work and dedication of Sgt. Andrew MacLellan of the Baltimore County Police Department and April Doherty, this successful prosecution would not have been possible."  Adam Lippe

Cody is to be sentenced January 5, 2016 and Kelley will be sentenced on February 22, 2016.  Cody is facing over a combined total of 1000 days in jail.