Ithaca Dog Abuser Atkind Indicted
Thanks to Mike for barking in this update from The Ithaca Journal.
And don't you just want to hug the owner of the wrecker company, Bruce Shindhelm!!!
CU student indicted on charges of felony cruelty
By Raymond Drumsta
ITHACA Alexander Atkind has been indicted on felony animal-cruelty charges, the Tompkins County District Attorney's office announced in a prepared statement Tuesday.
The indictment, handed up by a Tompkins County grand jury Tuesday, accuses Atkind, 23, of one count of aggravated cruelty to animals, the statement said.
Atkind, a Cornell University student from the Boston area, allegedly abused a dog that was in his care on or about March 8. Atkind allegedly beat the dog, a 30-pound Labrador-pit bull mix named Princess, and poured bleach on it, leaving it with diminished eyesight for life.
The prosecution alleges Atkind inflicted injuries on the dog that have caused permanent or long-term injury," the statement read.
He was originally charged with overdriving, torturing and injuring animals" in violation of a section of the state Agriculture and Markets law, a misdemeanor.
On March 17, deputies investigating a car accident in Nichols, Tioga County, found hallucinogenic mushrooms" in Atkind's possession, Tioga County Sheriff's officials said. He was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a Class B felony, and remanded to Tioga County Jail on $5,000 bail.
At Atkind's arraignment on the misdemeanor charge in Ithaca City Court on March 23, Tompkins County District Attorney Gwen Wilkinson was granted a 30-day adjournment to present a charge of aggravated cruelty to animals a Class E felony against Atkind to a grand jury.
Citing the expectation of the felony charge being filed and Atkind's tenuous connection with Ithaca," Judge Judith Rossiter set Atkind's bail at $20,000.
After he posted $5,000 bail in Tioga County on April 5, Atkind was transferred to Tompkins County Jail, where he remains on $20,000 bail.
If convicted, Atkind could face a maximum of two years in the county jail, Wilkinson said.
Princess is continuing her regular visits to the Cornell Veterinary Hospital, and the visits are going well, said Tompkins County SPCA Executive Director Abigail Smith. We saw her last week, and she seems to be getting better," Smith said. No one expects a full recovery, of course, because her injuries were substantial."
The SPCA is continuing to pay for that care through community contributions, Smith said. Individual contributions ranged from $5 to $100, with Bruce Shindhelm, owner of Finger Lakes Wrecker Service, contributing $2,000 at the very beginning, she added.
We've raised over $4,000, and we've spent every penny of it," Smith said.
Princess, like all animals, can't talk or ask for help," Shindhelm said. I wanted to make sure Princess was taken care of."
Shindhelm said he put full-page ads in the Cornell Sun and Pennysaver. The ads featured a picture of Princess and advocated reporting animal abuse.
I don't know Princess, or her owner. I'm just a tow-truck driver. I'm not looking for any recognition. I just wanted to make sure Princess was taken care of," he emphasized.
I happen to like dogs," Shindhelm said. I don't want this to happen again."