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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

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Wirtz man gets $2,500 fine for animal cruelty
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Anthony Eugene Fuller

Monday, February 3, 2014

By K.A. WAGONER - Staff Writer

A Wirtz man has been fined $2,500 for failing to provide medical treatment for his cat.

Anthony Eugene Fuller, 46, pleaded guilty to one count of animal cruelty Thursday in Franklin County Circuit Court for depriving a companion feline of necessary emergency veterinary treatment.

Fuller was also sentenced to 12 months in jail, the maximum sentence, but the time was suspended, contingent upon his paying $200 per month toward the fine.

"I will review this case in six months," Judge W.N. Alexander told Fuller. "If you miss one payment, I will send you to jail."

Fuller is also forbidden to own any cats for two years.

"Poppy," a 13-year-old male cat, was brought by a neighbor to the Franklin County Humane Society on Oct. 22, according to Cindy Brooks, adoption specialist with the county animal shelter. The cat did not have a nose, only a large open hole on the front of his face.

Brooks transported the animal to the Pet Clinic of Rocky Mount, where Dr. Eric Lorens cleaned the animal's wounds and performed a biopsy, Brooks said. By this time, the cancer had spread deep into the animal's sinus cavity and tear glands, so Poppy was euthanized on Oct. 31.

Lorens told Brooks that the cat could have been successfully treated if he had received the proper care, Brooks said.

The neighbor who brought the cat to the Humane Society said the animal had been like that for several months, Brooks said.

Fuller said he did not have the money to seek treatment for the cat, whom he described as "loving," because he was out of work on disability.

"You have a duty to take care of your pet," Alexander told Fuller. "You don't seem like a bad guy....but this is inexcusable."

Fuller's son, Brian Anthony Fuller, 20, was indicted in November on one count of animal cruelty, but the charge was dismissed Thursday.

(Editor's Note: The photos of Poppy are too graphic and disturbing to publish.)

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