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Posted November 9, 2012 | comments Leave a comment

Kennel owner faces animal cruelty charges after winning lawsuit

By Joe Beck

A Frederick County kennel owner, who won $30,000 in a defamation lawsuit against a Purcellville woman after she accused him of dog abuse, faces 13 counts of animal cruelty in indictments issued against him Thursday in circuit court.

The indictments against Russell Lee Ebersole form a grim litany of accusations, including hanging dogs from the neck, choking, beating and kicking, hitting with a PVC pipe and electric shocking.

The indictments identify a Doberman and several mixed breed dogs among the victims of the alleged abuse. Some of the indictments also contain the names of the dog owners.

The dates of the alleged offenses range from August 2009 to September 2011, according to the indictments.

Ebersole, 52, of 667 Walters Mill Lane is scheduled to appear in Frederick County Circuit Court on Nov. 28.

Earlier this year, a federal court awarded Ebersole $30,000 at the conclusion of a defamation lawsuit in which he accused Bridget Kline-Perry of Purcellville of spreading falsehoods about him online. The statements included abuse of dogs at his kennel.

Ebersole's lawsuit against Kline-Perry accused her of posting the allegedly false statements on Facebook and other social media outlets around the same time news organizations were reporting that Frederick County law enforcement officials were investigating him for animal abuse.

County animal control officers seized about 30 items from Ebersole's pet grooming, boarding and training facility at 667 Walters Mill Lane on Nov. 21, 2011. A deputy reported there were no "obvious signs of terrible injury" to pets remaining at the facility, but that 20 formal complaints against Ebersole had been filed in the two previous years.

Ebersole had previously spent 63 months in prison after federal officials accused him of providing law enforcement agents with bomb-sniffing dogs that failed to meet performance expectations.

Kline-Perry began posting Facebook messages about Ebersole and his kennel business in early December, according to his lawsuit.

Ebersole also filed a lawsuit in early October against Sharlin Oren, identified in court documents as an associate of Kline-Perry. The suit repeats many of the same allegations made against Kline-Perry and says the two women communicate extensively through Facebook and other social media.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com

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