Manassas Journal Messenger | Wolf rescue founder gets additional sentence

The founder of Black Wolf Rescue made his third court appearance of the week Thursday and was slapped with an additional two-year prison sentence for probation violations.

On Tuesday, former Triangle resident Robert Clifton Artois was sentenced in two separate trials to a total of four years and two months in jail on 29 charges of animal abuse and a count of perjury.

The additional two-year sentence handed down Thursday stems from separate charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Starting in 2002, Artois was investigated for allegedly sexually abusing a 15-year-old boy he met on the Internet. He was convicted in 2003 on two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and given probation.

As a result, any use of a computer or additional legal troubles would constitute a violation of his probation, said Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Sandra Sylvester. Artois broke both of those conditions, Sylvester said.

Artois’ current wave of legal trouble began this spring, when he was jailed in Alexandria on a civil matter. From jail, he called an associate to look in on 28 dogs and wolf dogs that he had “rescued” and kept on his property.

The associate went to Artois’ house and found the dogs malnourished, ravaged by parasites and caked in filth. Unable to deal with the situation, she called Animal Control, which came and took the animals. Subsequently, Artois was charged and convicted on 29 counts of animal abuse.

Those convictions — as well as the perjury conviction — are violations of his 2003 parole, Sylvester said. Also, it was revealed during the investigation that Artois had been using a computer.

“We have evidence that (Artois) had viewed pornography on his computer as recently as April of this year,” Sylvester said.

Artois was given a one-year jail sentence for each of his two probation violations Tuesday, bringing his total sentence to six years and two months. Additionally, he will be on supervised probation for four years after he is released, during which time he can’t own any pets. Afterwards, he will be on unsupervised probation for another 29 years.

Staff writer Rob Seal can be reached at (703) 369-5718.

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