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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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Shawn Location: Lansing on Apr 2, 2011 at 09:21 PM
    Oh my goodness... there are a handful of deviant children wreaking havoc in my neighborhood, breaking and entering, vandalising property and stealing items from parked vehicles. According to Jacks warped view perhaps we should consider banning ALL children. Thank you to the ICAC for investigating this case and also Mr. Stuart Dunnings for recognizing the need for people to know animal abuse will not be tolerated.
  • by Steve Location: Lansing on Mar 31, 2011 at 11:10 AM
    It would be nice if the web article also included a decent size photo of this dirtbag. If you expect people to help, it would be nice if they knew who they were looking for.
  • by Drew Location: Grand Ledge on Mar 31, 2011 at 07:42 AM
    First off how does banning pits have any relevance to this story? it is people like you with irrational fears that create fear and panic in this society. And secondly just because you have had a child with someone and he's good with it does NOT mean that he is nice to the animals under his control. They obviously went through an extensive investigation and if he is so innocent you should tell him to turn himself in.
    • reply
      by heather on Mar 31, 2011 at 02:49 PM in reply to Drew
      i was not saying tay would not do this just because he is a nice person and i have a kid with him. if u would read the whole thing our daughter was around his dogs all the time and if u read about people that are mean to there dogs and raise them to fight the are not very nice dogs. and would not interact with a 1 and a half year old. the only thing they have is he said she said.they got the wrong person.
  • by heather Location: lansing on Mar 30, 2011 at 08:56 PM
    first off they should learn how to say kitayis name right and second tay would never do anything like this he is a very nice person and has a hart. we have a child together and he is very good to her and would never do anything to hurts her or anyone else. i think they really have the wrong person. and another thing if they are trying to say that tay did something to the dog in that pic he never had a dog like that so i dont know y he would do something to someone elses dog. his dogs were very nice and our daughter was able to play with both of his dogs. they were not mean at all. i think if tay was mean to his dogs and fought them they would not be very nice to our daughter and they would of barked at her and bit at her when she was over at his house and they never did that...i think the poliece have the wrong person heather
  • by JACK Location: LANSING, MI USA on Mar 30, 2011 at 03:23 PM
    The very best thing to do is: OUTLAW ALL PIT-BULLS in the State of Michigan.
    • reply
      by con on Apr 11, 2011 at 06:49 PM in reply to JACK
      How would this help anything?!?!?
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