"Wildlife Rehabilitator" Bradshaw Has Been Acquitted of Theft Charge in Raccoon Rescue

Categories: Legal Battles

raccoon_cage2.jpg
You may remember Bonnie Bradshaw, the woman who freed a raccoon she believed was overheated and dying in a live trap at a Richardson apartment complex. On that sweltering June afternoon, she thought she was doing the work of a Good Samaritan when she took the animal home, nursed it back to health and confiscated two traps. Instead, she got a summons for attempted theft when their owner pressed charges.

At a jury trial in Richardson Municipal Court this morning, Bradshaw's attorney, Randy Turner (yes, that Randy Turner) tells Unfair Park the prosecution's heart just wasn't in this one. After pleading its case against his client, Turner made a motion for a directed verdict on the basis that there was no intent on Bradshaw's part to actually steal Critter Catcher owner Lon Menefee's traps. The judge granted the motion, and both Turner and Bradshaw said the supporter-packed audience erupted in cheers and applause like a scene straight out of a bad courtroom drama.

"On the one hand, you could look at this and say it was a tremendous waste of tax dollars and a waste of time and effort," Bradshaw said, referring to the trial. "But it was an incredible opportunity for the general public to see how cruel these traps are. As a wildlife rehabilitator, we see horrible injuries in those traps on a regular basis." Asked if she would do the same thing again if she came across another animal in distress, Bradshaw replied, "You bet."

No word on the animal cruelty charges against Menefee. His pretrial hearing is scheduled for Monday. He didn't respond by the time of this posting, but we'll update when we hear from him.


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27 comments
Capjthomas
Capjthomas

H.P. Morgan, you think lawyers are supposed to “vet” their clients?   Really?  I have a good friend who is an attorney and I can tell you he would go broke in a week if he only took innocent clients.  He told me that he may have represented one or two during his entire career but they are extremely rare.  I live in north Texas and can tell you that Randy Turner fights for animals.  When he saved the pit bull you referred to from being euthanized I doubt he was concerned about the dog owner’s military record.  When he found out that the Army veteran owner had not really been in Iraq as he had initially claimed should Turner have dropped the case and let the dog be euthanized?  You have a bizarre view of “animal advocacy”.  It sounds to me like Turner probably clobbered you in a lawsuit and you are now on an internet vendetta to get even.   Are you also “Guest” at top of the comments?  Interesting how both posts direct people to the same site that slams Randy Turner.

KellyBozeman
KellyBozeman

Congrats Bonnie for doing the right thing!! Randy- you truly are a friend to the animals and an incredible attorney. 

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

I look at it this way: Bonne Bradshaw did the right thing, plain and simple. Ive met a few folks in the past who've been involved in wildlife relocation of smaller creatures such as racoons and opossums. All of the responsible ones do four things w/ their trapping:

A) Makes sure the trap is loaded w/ food and a water sourceB) The traps are placed in shaded areasC) They check their laid traps same dayD) They release in natural areas far away from the inital location

It sounds like Mr. Menefee didnt do any of this.

Capjthomas
Capjthomas

Wow, an innocent woman who did the right thing is exonerated, the animal survived and Joseph L and HP have made this a private crusade about Randy Turner.  Very interesting and very disgruntled for person reasons it would appear.  Wreaks of personal vendettas.

Bachman Turner
Bachman Turner

The prosecution's star witness Peter Cottontail lacked the needed credibility and buckled under cross examination regarding broad leaf lawn weeds.

Mike
Mike

How is the lawyer a topic here?  It's a lawyer's job to spend almost your entire career working with the scum of the world.  99% of people tried are guilty as sin.  If you get an innocent person, a trial lawyer likely leaps for joy.  The lawyer also defended a pit bull owner and probably some drug fealers and maybe a child molester.  So what.

Capjthomas
Capjthomas

H P Morgan sounds like they are on a witch hunt because Randy Turner defends animals and defends those who defend animals.  I say he is a pretty righteous guy.  We need more like him to make this world a better place.  What have you done, HP to make the world a better place?  Because someone was lied to regarding their military status and their dog is no reason to attack the kind hearted, learned individual who tried to help them.  I guess you have never extended a hand to help anyone or you would never have made such a post. 

As for wild animals attacking cats, I would never want to lose my beloved animal to any other animal but then again I would never let them roam free.  A free ranging cat is subject to all kinds of abuse as are the smaller animals that the cats attack.  Food for thought.

I think an extremely big thank you goes to Randy Turner, animal advocate.

LaceyB
LaceyB

A bandit of "bandits"? Dallas says, "Not this time."

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

I'd like Bonnie to know that, thanks to what she's been through, I will be very selective about using any services Lon Menefee is involved with--even if he changes his company name.

I also think her ordeal has made more people realize that allowing any animal to suffer unnecessarily is a form of animal cruelty.

Her ordeal was not in vain.

H.p. Morgan
H.p. Morgan

No one has the right to break the law, period. In this particular case, the "rescuer" had alternatives. If the animal was suffering she could have called Wildlife or Animal Control. She could have called the person who owned the trap. I have had traps stolen before when all I was trying to do was capture an animal in need, sick or injured, for rescue. This type of action makes us all look bad and now Turner has opened the door to people stealing traps and letting animals go that truly are in need of rescuing. He has done us all an injustice. Bad enough he represented Wood, got the dog back for Wood so it would go on to attack again, wasn't the first time this dog was involved in an attack. Seems Turner needs to "vet" his clients a little better, either that or he has no conscience. Here's another fine example of Turner's failure to fully "vet" his client. http://www.indybay.org/newsite...  Wise up Turner, you aren't winning votes from the animal community this way.

BWSanctuary
BWSanctuary

Congratulations to Bonnie Bradshaw and Randy Turner! But not a surprising victory when you take into consideration that Bonnie Bradshaw is a wonderful advocate for all animals - that comes through loud and clear, and that Randy Turner was voted "Top Attorney" in 2009 & 2010,“Texas Super Lawyer” in 2009, 2010 & 2011 and “AV Preeminent” by Martindale Hubble. Just goes to show that when the right people are involved justice prevails, even for raccoons.

scottindallas
scottindallas

In yesterday's thread we learned of a cat mutilation thanks to a wild animal.  In college, my roommate's cat was essentially skinned alive, but survived an attack by raccoons.  So, while some lament the needless suffering of raccoons.  Does it change anyone's opinion that raccoons may be attacking cats? 

I've got little sympathy for rodents.  My dad is a fierce squirrel hunter.  He alerted me that he got one, but didn't think it was dead.  It's brains were squishing out it's head.  I didn't have the heart to kill it, so I took it to an animal rescue person, who said they were gonna kill it. 

My dad always says, squirrels are just rats with bushy tails, they chew on your house, get in your attic, destroy bird feeders--the capital crime that's condemned many a squirrel for pops.  So, does anyone feel different about killing raccoons that attack pets? 

I'm asking, not playing gotcha.  I can understand either answer.  Living stuff dies.  I love plants, and trees, but am not above killing them too, occasionally, for a good reason--especially "junk trees;"  I believe killing a Bradford Pear is a mitzvah.  

Guest
Guest

Randy Turner should also be familiar because of the dog attack case he handled recently. Turner was able to keep his client's dog off death row only for it to attack again. The two vicious dogs were finally euthanized last week. Fort Worth vs Steven Woods

H.p. Morgan
H.p. Morgan

The point, Capjthomas is that Turner doesn't not fully "vet" his clients. He was the one responsible for a dangerous dog being returned to that liar. Didn't he bother to check his own client's story and background? No, he didn't and therefore his actions caused yet another attack on innocent people. There's no witch hunt here, just concern that his actions are causing more problems than need be. I have you know that I have spent 5 decades rescuing and had a sanctuary for dogs when I was a teen. I find what Turner does appalling and a true animal advocate would as well.

Guest
Guest

Randy Turner doesn't just defend animals and those who defend animals. He also defended a man who let his unneutered pitbulls roam the streets and attack two elderly people. His pitbulls also charged police officers who had to use mace on them. They attacked a pregnant couple and their six month old baby. Two years ago he defended someone who stole someone else's dog. Turner is not an animal advocate. He is a Turner advocate. He's in it for the media so he can hopefully one day become a judge because he's not cutting it with pro-bono work and private practice.

DFWAnimalRescue
DFWAnimalRescue

The resident testified yesterday that maintenance told her they had called animal control but they had not responded.  And by the way, there is no Wildlife Control - only Bonnie and Cridder Catchers.  And honestly, from the reactions I'm reading, Randy is redeeming himself on this one.  Not sure who "us" is, but the animal rescuers on my Facebook page are overjoyed at the verdict.

Save Them
Save Them

Bonnie Bradshaw talked to management at the apartment - she left them her business card with her name, phone number and email address on it.  I don't know why that is left out of most of the coverage of this story.  That obviously is not the behavior of someone that is trying to steal anything.  Nor did she have time to contact "the authorities" - - the animal had suffered and deteriorated in misery for over 12 hours in the horrible heat and was dying. 

During the trial - it was established that these traps that were so "essential" to Menefee's livelihood were not picked up by him for three weeks after he was notified that they were with "the authotites."   

Lolotehe
Lolotehe

Actually, in the original story, she had contacted the owner via the apartment complex that hired him. As to if the complex forwarded that information has yet to be seen.

Did not know about the dog issue, however. Looks like this is not a "one size fits all" case.

DFWAnimalRescue
DFWAnimalRescue

Raccoons don't attack cats unless they are provoked.  You might want to do some more research on that one.  Sometimes I don't have the sympathy for inspects some would say I should, but I can't kill them either so I understand your dilemma but in all my years of rescue I don't recall ever hearing of a raccoon attacking a cat - unless the cat had him cornered.

TimCov
TimCov

The difference is, you shoot a squirrel (or any other animal) it will die pretty quickly. You trap an animal in a live trap, they will suffer unless you check on the trap frequently.

cp
cp

What a stupid cat- they tend to stay far away from racoons, that's why they always eat outdoor cat food and stay fat, because cats know better and to try to fight with a racoons.

Also, PS, racoons aren't rodents. They are more closely related to bears, besides rodents eat plants exclusively and racoons don't. Yes, squirrels are indeed rodents.

Montemalone
Montemalone

Killing animals simply because they annoy you is wrong.We all have to share this planet.I don't want rodents sharing my living space, but I don't go out trying to run them over, as do quite a few of our human brethren.Humans infringe on the living space of all the other creatures, it's only to be expected that they may occasionally enter ours.

Save Them
Save Them

Joseph - you are dead wrong.  Randy defends the helpless.  He was lied to about the situation with Mimi, the female dog.  She was subsequently spayed - not neutered - which is the male surgery.  Do you know much about animals?  Has Randy won a case against you - that might explain your bitterness and animosity toward him.  Doesn't matter anyway - plenty of people think he is a great guy - can you say the same? 

scottindallas
scottindallas

don't think there would be much evidence.  What animal is responsible for these fairly frequent cat mutilations?  I have first hand knowledge of a raccoon mutilation.  There were 3 or 4 cats that would get on the back roof of our apt (we lived above the square, the raccoons no doubt feasted on the waste from the restaurants below.)  I saw them with my eyes.  My black&white Am. shorthair, (and had the most perfect tuxedo markings I've seen yet) who was a stray I took in, and was a real charmer--a matter of survival for him actually seemed to hang out with the coons. 

Also, you know you can't make such sweeping statements in times of drought or other environmental distress, as animals will do desperate things.  This was in San Marcos, which was quite a bit wilder area than Dallas--even in downtown, which is just a couple/few blocks from the river, which was teeming with Neurtria and whatever else lived in that blessed spring fed river; especially blessed when we're over a 100 here. 

I have a hard time believing that one cat had 3-4 adolescent raccoons feeling provoked. 

cp
cp

Also, if you really don't want your cat to become a victim of animal-on-animal crime, keep it indoors.

cp
cp

The word "neuter" is gender non-specific. Technically, all animals who have had their reproductive organs altered are considered "neutered". Do you even know where the phrase "spay" was coined? It's not even a scientific word.

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