Fayette County Man Accused of Animal Abuse, Sentenced on Wednesday

A Washington CH man was taken into custody on Wednesday after failing to appear for a court hearing on charges related to case of animal cruelty.

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According to Brad Adams, Chief Humane Agent with the Fayette Regional Humane Society, Ernest Vorhees, 35, Washington CH, was arrested on a bench warrant early Wednesday morning and transported to the Fayette County Jail. The warrant was issued after Vorhees failed to appear at a sentencing hearing in Washington C.H. Municipal Court to face charges relating to animal cruelty.

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Humane Agents with the Fayette Regional Humane Society had visited Vorhees' home on July 23rd and discovered an underweight dog who had suffered significant hair loss and was covered with sores and flaky skin. The 9-year-old Pit Bull/Lab mix, named Hershey, was also found to infested with fleas. He was subsequently surrendered to humane agents and transported to the humane society's local clinic for treatment. There, he tested positive for hookworm and weighed in at a mere 32-pounds. However, after nearly two weeks of care, Hershey was able to regain 13-pounds, and has since been adopted into a new home.

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“The dog’s condition didn’t happen overnight and we have helped Mr. Vorhees in the past to resolve similar issues at no charge through our clinic," said Chief Adams. "We have educated him on how to properly care for his dog. He knows our phone number. He knows where we are located to ask for help, but he didn’t. There is no excuse for this.”

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Vorhees was charged with two second-degree misdemeanor charges of prohibitions concerning companion animals. He pleaded no contest at is August 14th arraignment. He was due in court for sentencing on August 21st, but that sentencing date was pushed back to September 12th after Vorhees requested a court appointed attorney to be present at the August 21st hearing. A bench warrant was then issued when Vorhees failed to appear for that hearing.

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As a result of his court no-show, Vorhees has been ordered to pay a $100 fine, complete one day of a 90-day jail sentence. He's also be placed on two year probation and must complete 80 hours of community service. Additionally, Vorhees must pay another $100 in restitution to the Fayette Regional Humane Society for the medical and care expenses accrued during Hershey's treatment. He's also been ordered to not own any animals for a period of five years.

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