Puppy Abuser Gets Jail Time!

Paws Up!

To the Winchester, Virginia, General District Court for convicting Michael and Virginia Poling on 11 counts of animal cruelty.

On May 18, former Winchester, VA, residents Michael and Virginia Poling were convicted of 11 counts of animal cruelty for starving female pit bulls Jazzy and Baby as well as Baby’s six puppies. Through a plea agreement, Michael was found guilty of three charges of animal cruelty and must serve 100 hours of community service. He was also sentenced to three years in jail with all time suspended.

Virginia was found guilty of eight counts of animal cruelty and was sentenced to eight years in jail with all but two months suspended. Judge Whitacre denied Virginia’s request of work release while serving jail time. Both Michael and Virginia must pay $1,800 in restitution to the Winchester SPCA and were sentenced to five years of probation, during which time they will not be allowed to own any pets. 

In October 2010, the Winchester Police Department visited the home of Michael and Virginia Poling after receiving a tip that dogs living in their backyard were emaciated and living in filth. The dogs were later taken to the Winchester SPCA where all but Baby found homes. Baby is still under foster care and waiting for her forever home. If you are interested in adopting Baby, contact the Winchester SPCA at 540-662-8616 or spca@winchesterspca.org.

A special thank-you goes out to the Honorable David Shaw Whitacre and City Assistant Common

Baby--when she was first removed from the Poling home

wealth’s Attorney Mike Mullin for making sure these dogs received justice.

Take Action: Write  letters thanking  the Honorable David Shaw Whitacre and City Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Mullin for their hard work with this case.

The Honorable David Shaw Whitacre
Chief Judge
City of Winchester General District Court
5 North Kent Street
Winchester, VA 22601

City Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Mullin
City Joint Judicial Center
5 North Kent St.
Winchester, VA. 22601


2 Responses to “Puppy Abuser Gets Jail Time!”

  1. sandi Says:

    Community Service, Probation? This is just another example of cruel abusers getting nothing but a slap on the wrist. I would feel better if they are both starved to death! This is punishment. People go to jail for much longer for smoking reefer. Our country and it’s animal welfare laws fall way short of being punishment to deterr further abuse. Disgusting and nothing to celebrate with a ‘paws-up” in my opinion.

    • The National Humane Education Society Says:

      Sandi–we at NHES wish that all animal abusers receive the maximum penalties available. Instead of being upset the Polings didn’t receive more jail time, we choose to celebrate this small win because they were proven guilty and received punishment–even a short amount of jail time. We need the public to write their politicians and ask that animal cruelty penalties be increase–that way future animal abusers can be sentenced to more extreme penalties. We hope this small win will start a trend in courthouses across the country.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: