Sacto 9-1-1
October 27, 2011
Maggie the cattle dog case settled in Sierra County

Maggie the cattle dog.jpgThe man accused of running over Maggie the cattle dog has been sentenced.

Justin Phillip Lombardo-Barton, 19, of Camptonville, was sentenced to five years probation and time served. A Sierra County Superior Court judge gave Lombardo-Barton credit for 122 days in county jail.

Lombardo-Barton, who pled no contest to felony animal cruelty and hit and run, also will undergo counseling and faces a fine restitution hearing.

Maggie's owner, Nevada County rancher John Reader, raised the border collie from a pup and called her "one in a thousand as far as her work ability."

On June 19, Maggie was helping Reader and mounted riders herd about 300 head of cattle along Alleghany-Ridge Road in Sierra County en route to summer pasture. Pilot cars were in front and back of the herd.

As the cattle moved along the road, cars stopped to let the herd pass. But a white Jeep Cherokee pushed through instead of waiting. Reader said the driver gunned the car, ran into a calf and cow, and struck Maggie, who was on the road's shoulder.

Maggie suffered a broken right hind leg and a deep cut to her left hind leg, and her liver and stomach were pushed into her chest cavity. She underwent surgery to repair her broken leg with a pin and screws.

A few days later, Sierra County sheriff's deputies arrested Lombardo-Barton.

Sierra County District Attorney Larry Allen said today the judge did not order Lombardo-Barton to perform community service because he wanted the defendant to be working at a job.

"The victims were happy with the disposition," said Allen. "When I called them up and told them what we were thinking of doing, they were happy with that. They want to get it past them. He's 19 years old with no criminal history at all."

Maggie was tended to by Loomis Basin Veterinary Clinic and eventually went back to the Reader ranch. Her story captured the heart of the community, with about more than 100 people donating to help cover her medical costs.

PHOTO CREDIT: Maggie, the injured cattle dog, was released from Loomis Basin Veterinary Hospital with her owner, John Reader, of Nevada City, after surgery and treatment from being hit by a car during a cattle drive. Autumn Cruz, Sacramento Bee.

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