Meet 52-year-old longtime educator Pauline Winbush. She started her career in education in 1989 and made her way to her current district, the Palmdale School District, in 1992. Professionally she can be applauded: she worked her way from assistant principal to assistant superintendent of human resources. For a brief period, she was also the interim superintendent. Unfortunately, Winbush’s personal life is allegedly a very different story.
17 Felony Counts of Animal Cruelty
As reported in the Los Angeles Times, Winbush isn’t making headlines for her role in California’s fourth largest elementary school district. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office recently brought “two dozen charges, including 17 felony counts of animal cruelty, four counts of dog fighting and one count of child abuse” against Winbush and her boyfriend, Kevin Ray Williams.
Ironically, Winbush and Williams can thank their own horse for leading authorities to their home. When officials tried to return the wandering horse back to the pair, what they found at the home was far worse than the lost horse. They found dogs trapped in crates covered in feces. Some of the dogs had the telltale signs of fighting with other dogs. All 19 pit bulls recovered from the property were euthanized.
Winbush was put on administrative leave when news of the raid first broke. The district launched its own investigation and is “deeply troubled” by the charges.
Winbush pled not guilty to the animal cruelty and dog fighting charges.
More Women in Dogfighting Rings
Winbush isn’t the first woman allegedly involved in dogfighting. Mainline Media News recently reported how 34-year-old Laura Acampora pled guilty to operating an entire dogfighting ring with her husband from the home they shared with their five children.
26-year-old Jennifer Kelley from Alabama also pled guilty to animal cruelty charges, reports AL. Kelley was part of another dogfighting ring where puppies and dogs were found chained up with no access to clean water or shelter and clear signs they’d been used in dogfighting.
Profiling Animal Cruelty
In dogfighting cases, offenders are commonly male, according to Animal Legal and Historical Center’s database profiling perpetrators. They often have a slew of other criminal offenses under their belts, including: armed robbery, aggravated assault, possession of controlled substances, fleeing from police and domestic violence.
However, as the above stories illustrate, just because women don’t fit the profile, it doesn’t mean they can’t be responsible for these heinous crimes. It’s important to recognize that women can also be perpetrators so that we don’t overlook signs of animal abuse.
Women also commit other types of animal cruelty, specifically hoarding. According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, women make up 72 percent of animal hoarders, and they’re most likely to hoard cats.
Dogfighting is one of the vilest forms of animal exploitainment (exploitation and entertainment), regardless of who is responsible. For more information on how to spot dogfighting and steps you can take to help dogs in need, please visit the Humane Society for more information.