Friday, February 8, 2008

Craig Russell Acquitted

Craig Russell, president of the Society for Preservation of Poultry Antiquities, was acquitted of animal cruelty charges in Snyder County, Pennsylvania, Court February 7, 2008.

“I feel the nightmare is ending,” he said.

Above, he demonstrates a Java's wing feathers at the Columbus National Poultry Show, 2007.

The charge of cruelty to animals for failure to provide necessary veterinary care was entered after his dog was seized while under care at the Companion Animal Hospital in Selins Grove, Pennsylvania July 23.

The dog was one of 127 animals that the court ordered the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to return to Mr. Russell after he was found not guilty of 15 charges of animal maltreatment in Snyder County Magisterial Court June 22. SPCA returned the dog, Boss, on June 28. Mr. Russell was convicted of one count involving caged birds. He is appealing that conviction

Mr. Russell found the dog underweight and worm-infested when it was returned from more than three months in SPCA care. Overnight on July 13, Boss and another dog got into a fight. Mr. Russell treated Boss for his injuries at home for three days, but sought veterinary care on July 17, when some of the wounds became infected.

An SPCA official informed Mr. Russell by telephone on Monday, July 23, that the SPCA had seized Boss, who was still in intensive care at the veterinarian’s office.

The foster care person currently having custody of Boss was not present in court. Jim Best, attorney representing Mr. Russell, will pursue a court order for Boss’ return.

“Hopefully, this will end the witch hunt,” Mr. Russell said.

The SPPA is a 501c(3) organization dedicated to protect and preserve, for historical, educational and recreational purposes and in the public interest, standard-bred domesticated poultry, waterfowl, turkeys and guineas. Join by sending $15 to Dr. Charles Everett, 1057 Nick Watts Rd., Lugoff, SC 29078 or online at

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