Raymond Feagles of East Bay Township was sentenced, Friday morning, to six months of jail time in Grand Traverse County after pleading guilty in April to one charge of animal abandonment and cruelty of more than 25 animals.
He will also be on probation for five years and will not be allowed to own a pet of any kind.
Feagles was arrested in late January after officials found 164 dogs, malnourished and neglected, on his property. They were originally called to the home on a blight ordinance violation.
He has a history of more than 40 cases over the past several decades ranging from homicidal threats to ongoing public harassment.
In 2014, Feagles had to surrender 40 dogs to He was also investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigators for the purchase of silencers, and when searched, authorities found several firearms on his property.
Cherryland Humane Society took in Feagles’ dogs, both times, and Executive Director Heidi Yates says the jail sentence is not enough.
“I have mixed feelings, ” she says. “It is closure, but we’re disappointed. We understand the judge had certain guidelines that he had to follow and did the maximum that he could.”
But according to , if a violation involved 25 or more animals the guilty party can be imprisoned for up to 7 years. But as with any case, context plays a large role in how laws are interpreted and therefore the resulting sentence.
“We’re obviously disappointed this is the worst case in my career I’ve ever seen,” says Yates.
Yates recalls getting the notification on January 28th that 164 dogs had been seized. It still affects those that helped seize and care for the animals.
“It’s something that when we talk about now, we can’t fathom that we went through,” says Yates. “Everyone’s handling it differently. Some people, it’s affecting them more so now than it did then.”
Yates says some staff are receiving therapy for the post-traumatic stress the situation caused.
“One of my staff was on scene and she had to write something up recently, and she was crying because she had to relive the whole thing,” Yates says.
Multiple agencies around the region responded to the seizure and care of the animals. It was also thanks to the community’s donation of time and care items that Cherryland was able to take on the dogs in addition to those they already had.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” says Yates. “I’ve done this for quite some time and I’ve always said this about this community, whenever there’s a need that we have, they always step up.”
Katie Chamberlain is one of those people. She volunteered her time when she heard about the case. Then volunteering to care for the ‘Disney Dogs’, a name to brighten the tragic tale, turned into adopting two of them, Gladys and (Pad)Mae.
Chamberlain doesn’t feel like justice will really ever be truly served for the dogs.
“There’s no sentence they could give him that would make them better,” she says. “It wouldn’t fix anything. My girls have already suffered at his hands and it breaks my heart.”
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