Rapper DMX Charged with Animal Cruelty

38 year-old rapper DMX pleaded guilty on 30th December to animal cruelty, drug and theft charges. He will serve at least 90 days in jail for his offenses and has agreed not to own any animals in the future.

DMX, who’s real name is Earl Simmons, was arrested in August 2008 when police raided his home in Maricopa County after someone reported possible animal abuse. On inspection, authorities found the bodies of 3 dead dogs and 12 malnourished Pit Bull Terriers. According to reports, the dogs were left in the Arizona summer heat without food or water. An additional 5 puppies were confiscated when police arrived to take him into custody last week.

During the trial, DMX claimed that the animal cruelty charges should be levied against an employee who he paid to look after the health and well-being of the dogs. This defense was rejected by the judge, who made it clear that responsibility ultimately lies with the owner. DMX has featured some of the dogs involved in his music videos, but the court also considered whether some of the dogs had been used for dog fighting – some of the bodies of the 3 dead dogs reportedly had bite marks.

The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) announced after the case that its premiere ‘Animal CSI’, Dr. Melinda Merck, Senior Director of Veterinary Forensics for the ASPCA, assisted in the case.

"The ASPCA is proud to have had its expert staff be a part of this important case," said ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres. "Dr. Merck’s knowledge and practice of veterinary forensics is truly at the forefront of animal cruelty investigations. With stronger evidence collected by Dr. Merck, law enforcement officials and prosecutors are able to get stronger convictions against those who commit these terrible acts."

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