Woman charged with child abuse was out of jail on bond for animal cruelty, a month earlier

(As originally published with bells and whistles, Fri, September 23rd 2022, 4:30 AM EDT)

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — A Boynton Beach police officer responded to a call about “a possible domestic dispute” on the evening of Aug. 25.

According to the arrest report, “The caller stated that [a woman] was hitting the child with a bottle and punching her.” The relationship between the woman and child is unclear.

The officer wrote, “[The victim] appeared to be distraught and missing her clothing, so she was wrapped in a family member’s shirt and a towel that she found in her [relationship’s] vehicle.”

broke free from her clothes and ran naked

She said, “She came home and [relationship] Joanne Maxis, 42, demanded that [the victim] hand Joanne her cell phone. [The victim] declined, due to the fact that she needs to keep her phone nearby to contact her probation officer, when a physical fight ensued between them. [The victim] attempted to leave the home but Joanne grabbed her by her clothes and started pulling [the victim] by her hair as well as punching her in the head and neck multiple times. [The victim] stated that [a witness] broke up the altercation by physically prying Joanne off of [the victim’s] hair. [The victim] then broke free from her clothes and ran naked to [relationship’s] car.”

Then, the officer wrote that a witness confirmed what the victim said.

Then, the arrest report said, Maxis verified “the argument over the cell phone did take place and that she grabbed [the victim] by the clothing on her hips to keep her from leaving the house. Joanne verified that [the witness] did in fact break up the fight, helping [the victim] leave the home. After speaking more with Joanne about whom was present during the incident, she stated that her [entire line blacked out] did witness the fight.”

Finally, somebody else gave the officer a statement about seeing “Joanne pick up a bottle as if she was going to hit [the victim] with it, but stopped before she did.”

The victim didn’t want to be checked out by paramedics but the report said she had “minor scratches on her arms that were captured via body worn camera.”

Joanne Maxis was charged with cruelty to animals on July 25, and child abuse on Aug. 26, 2022. (Palm Beach Co. Sheriff’s Office)

Joanne Maxis is charged with one count of child abuse without great harm.

She was booked on Aug. 26 at 2:15 a.m. and released more than a week later — on Sept. 3 at 1:11 a.m. — in lieu of $15,000 bond.

The bond for child abuse was $5,000 but the bond for being recommitted was $10,000.

Maxis had been booked a month earlier — on July 25 at 11:04 a.m. — on two counts of cruelty to animals.

the dogs/puppies were emaciated and foraging for food on the ground

According to that arrest report, back on March 23, an anonymous caller said he saw “two adult pitbulls and two pitbull puppies running loose,” and that “the dogs/puppies were emaciated and foraging for food on the ground.” The caller also said people who lived there called “for the dogs/puppies and they subsequently ran back to the residence.”

adamantly denied that they were any puppies

The Boynton Beach police officer who went to the home said Maxis “adamantly denied that they were any puppies on the premises” and said about her animals, “they’re fine.”

there was a thick buildup of feces, dirt and miscellaneous trash/debris

The officer wrote about seeing “two adult pitbulls housed together inside a wire crate that was grossly undersized and there was a thick buildup of feces, dirt and miscellaneous trash/debris at the bottom of the crate. The crate was void of food/water and both dogs were emaciated with rib, hip and spine bones visible. There was litter scattered on the back porch’ and a putrid stench of feces and urine permeated the area.”

Then, “I asked Maxis why the dogs were deprived of food/water and she replied, ‘they eat.’”

After that, she “advised Maxis that the physical condition of the dogs and the manner they were confined constitute animal cruelty.” Maxis “willingly relinquish[ed] custody of the dogs stating ‘I don’t have time for this.’ Maxis then hastily left the premises.”

The dogs were taken to Animal Care and Control. They were identified as “a friendly red/white 1-year-old intact female pitbull named ‘Gracie,’ and a friendly black/white 1-year-old intact male pitbull named ‘Max.’”

all ribs, lumbar vertebrae and pelvic bones easily visible

But before leaving, the officer wrote about hearing “multiple dogs (or puppies) barking inside the residence.” The officer texted Maxis “who admitted there were three puppies inside her home. [She] surrender[ed] ownership of the puppies [and they were taken] to Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League for treatment and safekeeping. The puppies were approximately six months old and visibly underweight, but not emaciated.”

On May 11, a veterinarian at Animal Care and Control “noted that ‘Max’ weighed 43 pounds upon intake and was presented with ‘all ribs, lumbar vertebrae and pelvic bones easily visible. [The doctor] noted the dog had ‘muscle loss’ and ‘no palpable fat on his body.’ [Max] was ‘mildly dehydrated’ and it ‘smelled of urine and feces.’ [He] was positive for hookworms. The dog ate well when offered food and it gained 10 pounds within approximately three weeks.”

the dog ‘smelled of urine and feces’

The vet “noted that ‘Gracie’ weighed 34 pounds upon intake and was presented with ‘the tops of the lumbar vertebrae visible and pelvic bones becoming prominent.’ [The doctor] noted the dog’s ribs ‘were easy to palpate and have no fat.’ [She] also noted the dog ‘smelled of urine and feces.’ [Gracie] was positive for hookworms. The dog ate well and offered food and it gained 14 pounds with an approximately three weeks.”

The veterinarian “concluded that both dogs were suffering from ‘starvation’ due to deprivation of adequate nourishment, as well as deprivation of basic medical care (hookworm infestation).”

The arrest report said Maxus was criminally charged because “her inactions resulted in the excessive and repeated inflection of unnecessary pain and suffering to both dogs [that] were confined in extremely unsanitary conditions and deprived of wholesome food and water during their confinement.”

Maxis got out of jail after less than eight hours in lieu of $6,000 bond. That’s $3,000 per charge.

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