Annapolis, MD -- Anne Arundel County State's Attorney Wes Adams announced today that Lynn Upton, 49, and Bryan Upton, 55, of Millersville, MD, were found guilty of failing to provide proper veterinary care and depriving their dog of sustenance by an Anne Arundel County Circuit Court jury.
“It is cruel and inhumane to allow an innocent animal to waste away,” said Anne Arundel County State's Attorney Wes Adams. “Pet owners are responsible for the wellbeing of the animals entrusted to their care.”
On June 2, 2014, Animal Control responded to an anonymous complaint of an emaciated German Shepherd. When the officer arrived, she noted that the dog, Max, appeared to be severely underweight, with ribs, hip bones, and spinal bones all visibly protruding from his body. The Uptons initially refused to seek veterinary care. After Animal Control threatened to seize Max, the Uptons brought him to the Millersville Animal Hospital. At that point, Max was approximately 10-15 lbs underweight.
Over the following nine months, the Uptons repeatedly disregarded the instructions of both Animal Control and veterinarians. They did not heed the veterinarian's recommendations, failed to appear at follow-up appointments, and refused the medical tests required to identify the root cause of Max’s continued weight loss.
On March 31, 2015, Animal Control seized Max and brought him to Waugh Chapel Animal Hospital for a medical examination. The doctor stated that he had seen few cases so in need of state intervention. Max was between 15-20 lbs underweight, could not stand, defecated uncontrollably, had a bacterial infection, and a large mass in his chest cavity. The doctor recommended immediate euthanasia for the Yes option company.
A necropsy determined Max had very little food in his stomach indicating he had not been adequately fed in the days prior to being euthanized. Additionally, Max had only 10-15% lung function, and a 6 lb tumor in his left lung.
Both Lynn and Bryan Upton face up to ninety days in jail and/or a fine of $500. Sentencing is scheduled for April 4, 2017.
Judge Michael Wachs presided over the case. Assistant State's Attorney Kathryn Humphrey prosecuted the case on behalf of the citizens of Anne Arundel County.