Thursday, March 26, 2009

Billis Auto Part 4

Eight months later and no charges will be filed thanks to an inept and apathetic Orange County Animal Services and Orange County Sheriff's Dept.

Since this all began eight months ago, we have contacted every county commissioner including the mayor, the head of animal services, the sheriff's dept., and the media. We protested in front of Billis Auto for months. An attorney with Animal Legal Defense Fund and well as many other attorneys have looked at this case and felt it was definitely a viable case under the Florida animal cruelty statutes. Unfortunately, animal services and the sheriff's dept. have interpreted the law differently.

(2) Whoever:
(c) Abandons to die any animal that is maimed, sick, infirm, or diseased, is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 of by a fine of not more than $5,000, or by both imprisonment and a fine.
(3) Any person who is the owner or possessor, or has charge or custody, of any animal who abandons such animal to suffer injury or malnutrition or abandons any animal in a street, road, or public place without providing for the care, sustenance, protection, and shelter of such animal is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or by both imprisonment and a fine.

Apparently, in Orange County, it is legal to enter a veterinary clinic under the false pretense of adopting a family pet, enter into a verbal agreement to take the pet for a trial night and then proceed to put that pet on a car lot with known dog killers...and when the pet is mortally wounded, leave him to die without seeking medical attention. It is also apparently ok for a detective to 'investigate' by phone and then drop the case when the main witness (who happens to rent from the offender) changes his story. So all you criminals out there, just make sure you pressure your witnesses to change their story and you're off the hook in Orange County. Another reason given for dropping the case was that there was no body so therefore no death/injury could be proven. The witness has stated to me and others (and on camera) that Bear was injured and left to die and that Billis knew (see the wftv interview) so why can he change his story? The witness has told me and others that he saw the dog dead and told me it was a very bad scene. According to Detective Kent, there is no proof that the dog was ever injured, much less dead. (So then I want MY dog back!) He also stated that we could not prove that Billis was allowed to leave with the dog for a trial night, yet he never took a statement from my receptionist who spoke directly with Billis. Interestingly, the witness, Mike Falahpour, is also a witness in a fatal street racing case -- I wonder if he will be considered a credible witness in that case?

My whole purpose in pursuing this was simply to get justice for Bear and prevent the same thing from happening over and over again. Remember, a former tenant of Billis has stated that she thinks as many as twenty dogs died on his property during their stay and she is the one who took the pictures of the Rotti that was left to die on a chain...for which Billis was simply fined when he should have been arrested. Since this began, at least one dog on the property is no longer there -- I don't know what happened to her. I periodically go out to check on the remaining two dogs who are actually quite friendly to people, therefore not very good watch dogs. They seem to love the human attention.

I recently sent letters to the following expressing my disappointment:

Detective Ben Kent, Agriculture Unit
Orange County Sheriff's Office
2500 W. Colonial Dr.
Orlando, FL 32804

Sheriff Demings
Orange County Sheriff's Office
2500 W. Colonial Dr.
Orlando, FL 32804

Orange County Commissioners
201 South Rosalind Avenue
PO Box 1393
Orlando, FL 32801

Katherine Lockett
Orange County Animal Services
2769 Conroy Rd.
Orlando, FL 32839

I think that I have done everything that I can possibly do to try to make things right for Bear. Unfortunately, a lot of people went through the motions and talked a good line, but ultimately nothing was done except waste a lot of time. I call these people 'talking heads.' I'm sure they all feel they did great jobs, but if they had, Billis would never be able to own another animal. Any animal that dies on his property in the future will be because the proper authorities did not take action.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I would like to thank all of the warm-hearted people who have expressed their sympathies and anger and all of those people that stood out there protesting every Saturday in the summer heat.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Billis Auto Part 3

These pictures are of the lovely living arrangements made for his dogs. These pictures were taken by a former tenant - I'm guessing about 20 months ago. Not that the conditions are bad enough, but at least three of these dogs were not on the property when I went there. This would suggest to me that these dogs have most likely died or escaped and have been replaced by the ones I saw. Mr. Billis, how many deaths are you responsible for?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Billis Auto part 2

First, thank you to every person who gives a damn! It seems the ball is finally rolling to stop this man's apparent abuse of animals. A former tenant of Billis' contacted me today after watching the piece on Channel 9 (see wftv video links below) and told me of how Mr. Billis' dogs attacked and killed his own dog Teddy(top pictures). When he reported this to animal control, Mr. Billis evicted him. He told me of how Mr. Billis left a Rotti (bottom pictures) chained to die a slow death from a festering fist-sized wound to his shoulder. He said Mr. Billis had covered the wound with a Wal-Mart bag and duct tape and when the dog tried to kick off the bag, he tied his back legs together with twine. The tenant said he called animal control several times, but the dog died before they came. You can read the tenant's statement in the comment section of the blog.

Mr. Billis told me today in a phone conversation that he is in no way responsible for Bear's death and that I am doing all of this for publicity -- I think the pictures speak for themselves -- these animals are the motive. Oh, he also said the Rotti had been bitten by a spider and that he sought medical care -- I guess that explanation excuses Mr. Billis for allowing the Rotti to die what was described as a slow death on a chain. Would it have been too much to hospitalize that poor dog?

Go to the following for wftv coverage and see for yourself how this man refuses to take responsibility. You decide who is deceptive!

My interview with WFTV explaining the course of events.

Mr. Billis' interview with WFTV. Note that he says Bear was only brought to the shop because he was traveling and didn't want Bear home alone, but, in the last video, he states while gesturing to the back cage that Bear was OK on Saturday when he states he last saw Bear at the shop. He goes on to say he traveled on Monday. So why was Bear there at all on Saturday if the only reason he was there was so he wouldn't be alone at home? I guess being caged with three known dog killers is nicer than being at home alone. Also please note, the ad on Craig's List never said anything about euthanasia. It simply said that time was running out for adoption -- we were discussing if it wouldn't be better to get Bear to a rescue group in hopes that he would have a better chance. We did discuss euthanasia among the staff SIX months ago when we first got Bear because of the possible risk to staff and boarders due to his aggression early on.

Mr. Falahpour completely contradicts Mr. Billis

Mr. Billis states Bear was ok at the shop on Saturday and that he traveled on Monday. Gotcha!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

pet adoption deception - Billis Auto Part 1

I have never blogged before and honestly don't know what I'm doing nor where this is going. I just wanted to get the word out that we (Fairbanks Animal Hospital) were scammed by a person wanting to adopt a dog. I had placed an ad on Craig's List to find a loving home for Bear, a mixed breed dog that we had kept at the clinic for about six months. He was a neglected fear aggressive dog when he came to us and he left a sweet boy who only wanted his belly rubbed. A man by the name of Stellios Billis came in to adopt Bear and said he and his son could provide a loving home for him. He was allowed to take the dog for the night as a trial. When he did not return or call the next day, we began to call, but he would not return the calls. One of my employees became suspicious and went to his business, Billis Auto, only to find Bear in a car lot with three other dogs who had obviously bitten him in the face. I started talking to the police to find out my rights and after being told there wasn't much I could do, I decided to go pick the dog up myself. Upon arriving, I learned that Mr. Billis was out of town and Bear had been attacked and killed in a 5'X5' cage that he had been locked up in with the three dogs. He did not deserve to die that way especially having come so far from such a bad life. I feel horrible for allowing Bear to go with this man.

I called animal control only to hear that there wasn't much that could be done about Bear's death, but that they had been called out there before and found a dead Rotti. He was fined.

My purpose in writing this is to:
1) warn people specifically about Stellios Billis at Billis Auto (1710 Forsyth Rd., Orlando, FL 32812) who knowingly deceived us -- it is my belief that he never intended Bear to be a pet and he knowingly placed him with known dog killers. It is my belief that he has absolutely no concern for the well being of animals based on the stories I heard from tenants on his property.
2) advise people who are trying to adopt out animals that they not be trusting as there are hideous evil people out there who look at animals as mere throw away possessions.
3) to get ideas as to how I can hold this man responsible