Pa. man not guilty of drugging husky at Wheaton dog show
BY DAN ROZEK Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org November 9, 2011 2:36PM
A provided photo of 'Pixie' a Siberian husky show dog that was drugged during a dog show in DuPage County.
Updated: December 13, 2011 8:33AM
Ralph Ullum said he didn’t give drugs to Pixie the show dog when he approached her cage, he only gave the prize-winning Siberian husky a little affection.
“I walked over and put my two fingers in there and scratched her on the nose,” the 68-year-old retired U.S. Air Force sergeant said Wednesday.
His denials helped a DuPage County judge acquit him of charges he slipped human drugs to the dog last Dec. 17 to hamper her performance at a kennel club show in Wheaton.
Judge Ronald Sutter said prosecutors had not proved Ullum gave any drugs to Pixie, who competed that day against a husky owned by Ullum’s longtime girlfriend.
The dog was not harmed.
Ullum’s claims that he simply walked up to Pixie’s cage to pet her because he was “a dog lover, an animal lover” also rang true, Sutter said.
“He has raised a reasonable doubt in my mind,” said Sutter, who described himself during the trial as a lifelong dog owner.
Nearly a dozen supporters wept and hugged each other as Ullum was acquitted of animal cruelty and other misdemeanor charges that carried a maximum six-month jail sentence. The Pennsylvania man declined to comment after the verdicts, except to call reporters in the courtroom “parasites.”
Prosecutors argued Ullum fed a Protonix pill and possibly another human drug, Benadryl, to Pixie so a competing husky trained by girlfriend Cheryl French would have a better chance of winning the American Kennel Club-sanctioned show.
But the acquittals showed prosecutors “didn’t have one leg to stand on,” defense attorney Edward Maloney said after the verdicts.