James Warren Robbins

Abusive animal owner gets 8-month sentence

Durham, NC Durham County

May, 2005

Robbins, a man with a history of abusing animals, was sentenced to eight months in jail on Wednesday, August 2nd.  Robbins cannot ever again have control over or possession of any animals in the county.

Authorities believe Robbins kept four horses at 7518 Russell Road, in an area with junk, barbed wire and overgrown weeds.  During the several months that the horses were boarded up, it appeared that Robbins did not feed or provide water to them.  One of the horses died from starvation.  The other 3 were described as “walking bones”.  The testimony at his trial was that the animal decomposition was advanced to such a degree that Animal Control could not move the carcass.  Judge James T. Hill stated that the photographic evidence almost made him physically ill.

Health Officials stated that the other three horses were headed for the same fate before they were rescued.  With one year now past, the surviving horses have recovered.

Robbins is going to appeal the conviction.  Judge Hill stated that if he had the power, he would have given Robbins a longer sentence.  He also stated that he wished he had the power to confine Robbins to bread and water.

Robbins has a history of being on the wrong side of the law.  In 1995 and 1996, Robbins was convicted of cruelty to animals; goats and puppies that died.  In July 2003 Robbins was charged with felony conspiracy when 19 people were arrested and charged with 33 felonies and 10 misdemeanors during an undercover operation targeting street-corner drug sales.  In 2003 and 2004 Robbins horses were impounded because of malnourishment.  He had been ordered not to maintain animals in the county.  In March 2005, Robbins, of 2201 Brownlee Place was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and cocaine and cited for driving with an open container of alcohol in the passenger area of his vehicle, according to warrants.

Update 8/13/06:

Deputy Manager Peter Wood of The Humane Society of the United States in Washington, is closely following the case of James Warren Robbins.  Durham County spent more than $8,000 to rehabilitate the surviving horses.

Robbins was convicted of four Class 1 misdemeanors, each carrying a top penalty of 120 days in jail, but state law does not permit more than two such sentences to be imposed back-to-back at the same time, meaning 240 days was as high a the judge could go.  Robbins is appealing.

Under the law, some cases can be prosecuted as low-level felonies ‘if a person maliciously tortures, mutilates, maims, cruelly beats, disfigures, poisons, or kills any animal.  Conducting a dogfight is a low-level felony.

The 3 surviving horses were auctioned off, whereabouts and fate unknown.


The Herald Sun