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Mar 30, 2007

NEXT NOAH'S ARK HEARING


APRIL 5, 2007


From:  Yahoo News Alerts


Via:     Long Beach Press Telegram


Long Beach, California


http://www.presstelegram.com/news/ci_5553572


------------------------------------


Alleged animal abuse detailed


Graphic testimony describes reported conditions at Noah's Ark animal
shelter.


By Tomio Geron
Staff writer


Article Launched: 03/29/2007 10:35:58 PM PDT


Long Beach, CA, 3/30/2007


LONG BEACH - A Long Beach Animal Control officer was moved to tears
during a preliminary hearing Thursday as she described one case of
alleged abuse at a Redondo Avenue animal shelter last year.

While on the stand in Long Beach Superior Court, Lt. Michelle Quigley
talked about a cat that was seized from Noah's Ark Animal Rescue on Aug.
23, 2006.


"This specific animal was so severely matted - its mats were caked with
urine and (feces) - it had to be sedated," Quigley said.


"The skin was so urine-burned it was red-thin and literally peeling and
tearing away."


Quigley then took off her glasses and wept.


Quigley's emotional reaction ended an often stomach-churning first day
of the preliminary hearing for Alexia Tiraki-Kyrklund and Gloria Ramos,
each of whom is charged with 13 counts of felony animal cruelty.


Tiraki-Kyrklund owned Noah's Ark and Ramos was a volunteer. The
defendants were joined in the courtroom by several supporters.


After Quigley finished her testimony for the day, one female supporter
who did not want to be identified said of Quigley, "Those were crocodile
tears."


The supporters were members of the so-called Noah's Ark Justice
Committee, an independent group not affiliated with the defendant,
according to Tiraki-Kyrklund.


Quigley also detailed what she first found after being called to the
facility at 1333 Redondo Ave.


"As soon as I approached the warehouse front door, I could smell odors
myself right on the sidewalk," she said.


Then she approached Ramos.


"I said, `Gloria this is really bad,"´ Quigley recalled. "(Ramos)
said, `I know."´


Later, Tiraki-Kyrklund arrived at the site.


"I said, `The odors inside are extremely strong, it´s extremely hot
and the animals are in need of medical care,"´ Quigley said.


Quigley called in more animal control officers as well as the fire
department and environmental health officials, because she was concerned
there could be potential chemical hazards, she told Deputy District
Attorney Lakeri Patankar.


"(Tiraki-Kyrklund) said (the search) was because Gloria was late paying
her traffic ticket at court," Quigley said.


When Quigley went inside the building, she saw cages, floors and walls
covered with urine and defecation, she said.


The majority of the animals also had discharge coming out of their eyes
or noses, she said.


"Initially it was overwhelming. The stench and odor just hit you right
away," Quigley said. "It was extremely hot. There didn't seem to be any
air moving. There were a couple fans, but air was not moving, it was so
thick."


Quigley found 299 live animals, 152 dogs and 147 cats. Some had food and
water, but some did not, she said.


Walking through the facility was difficult, Quigley said.


"The floor was so slick it felt like I was walking on ice," she said.
"There was urine, defecation and some slimy substance on the floor."


In one hallway leading to an isolation area, which is supposed to be the
most sanitary area of the facility, it was particularly difficult to
breathe, Quigley said.


"After we got all the animals out, this room we went into literally
became a wall of flies," Quigley said. "We couldn't open our mouths."


The lieutenant said she waved the flies away and then went to get masks
so the officers could communicate.


In one area labeled as the nursery, Quigley found filthy puppies, she
said.


"We had at least three puppies away from the mother laying in urine and
defecation," she said. "I, in fact, thought they were deceased when I
entered the enclosure.


"They were not moving. They were cast aside from the mother. There was
no water and food in this particular enclosure."


The puppies were found to be alive.
Quigley also detailed how she found animal carcasses, including a puppy,
which she described as "emaciated," inside of a freezer on the premises.


The defense has not cross-examined Quigley yet because the prosecution
has not finished questioning her, but defense attorney Todd Krauss was
allowed to question Quigley on the issue of the dead animals' alleged
emaciation.


Under Krauss' questioning, Quigley said she did not know how the animals
died or how long they were in the freezer.


A veterinarian told Quigley that many of the animals had upper
respiratory illnesses, ear mite infestation, skin infections and hair
loss, she said.


The veterinarian also said the illnesses were caused by overcrowding,
unsanitary housing and neglect, Quigley said.


There were also cats housed right next to dogs, which a veterinarian
said caused the cats stress, weakened their immune systems and caused
further health problems, Quigley said.


Krauss said Thursday's testimony did not tell the full story about his
clients.


"There's nothing much at this point," said Krauss said. "It's truncated.
It's not the complete story, not even close. Once we get to present our
side a very different picture will be shown."


The preliminary hearing is scheduled to continue on April 5.


Tomio Geron can be reached at


tomio.geron@presstelegram.com


OR at


(562) 499-1292.


Visibility: Everyone
Posted: Friday March 30, 2007, 9:55 am
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