Men Charged in Separate Animal Abuse Cases

By: Sherene Tagharobi Email
By: Sherene Tagharobi Email

The pitbull mix Mia, known to most as Tatiana, is doing well after recovering from major animal abuse. She was found freezing, bound with electrical tape, and abandoned in a park in January. Two months later 24-year-old Ray Potter of Diamondale has been arrested and charged with animal cruelty.

"I just don't understand why they would go to such extremes when they could simply either turn the animal over, set the animal free, give it to a friend," said Deputy John Good. "Instead they feel the need to abuse, torture, neglect the animal."

Another story of abuse -- the dog fround caged and frozen to death in Ingham Park also in January. 27-year-old Kitayi Hiram Burks faces felony charges of animal killing and torture. He's lived in Lansing and Delta Township but remains at large.

"If Mr. Burks is still in the state he likely has friends and acquantainces who know his whereabouts," said Stuart Dunnings, Ingham County prosecutor.

We couldn't see Tatiana today because she's being cared for by a humane society behaviorist in her home. But we're told her injuries have healed and that for the most part she's doing pretty well.

"I think getting her to the point she feels confident and comfortable with all people is going to be a challenge, maybe for the rest of her life, she may always struggle with some issues, especially fear of men," said Julia Palmer, CEO and president of the Capital Area Humane Society.

The Humane Society will seek a permanent home for her once the case is closed.

"We've certainly been waiting a long time for this result and we're realy hopeful we can get to the bottom of this case," Palmer said.

"Maybe some people will think twice about how they treat their animals if they realize they could be facing serious felony charges," said Dunnings.

The prosecutor's office is asking anyone with any information on Mr. Burks' whereabouts to call the Ingham County Sheriff's Department tip line at (517) 676-2431.

There is a $3,500 reward in this case.


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