Each of the three individuals charged face 30 charges a piece for Animal Abuse.
Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Hillman announced Monday morning that charges have been filed against three individuals in the animal hoarding case from the Swedeborg area.
Deborah Peters, 59, of Swedeborg has the most severe of the charges. She faces 30 counts of Animal Abuse, like the other two individuals, but as a prior offender, according to Hillman, the charges are a Class E felony.
"It was discovered that Ms. Peters previously pled guilty to Animal Abuse for a similar incident in Morgan County and was still on probation for those charges. The Pulaski County Prosecutor's Office has coordinated with the Morgan County Prosecutor's Office, who has filed a motion to revoke her probation of this new conduct," Hillman said.
Missouri Statutes state that for one Class E felony, a person faces a possible sentence of a "term of years not to exceed four years." This statute can be found at http://www.moga.mo.gov/mostatutes/stathtml/55800000111.html.
Michelle Peters, 21, and Anthony Sisto, 24, of Swedeborg both face 30 charges as well, but their charges are Class A misdemeanor Animal Abuse.
Missouri Statutes state that for one Class A misdemeanor, a person faces a possible sentence of a "term not to exceed one year" and that statute can be found at the same location as the sentencing for Class E felonies.
The Daily Guide asked Pulaski County Humane Society's (PCHS) Kim Fuhr, former president and current animal care coordinator for incidents like this one, for a response to the charges. Fuhr said, in a written statement, that the organization is "thrilled" with the charges.
"We, as an organization, are all thrilled that new charges have been filed. Something this severe and large scale should not be taken lightly. Steps need to be taken so that these individuals feel the repercussions of what they have done…and obviously relying on their conscience is not enough. They need to be punished to the fullest extent of the law," Fuhr said.
Fuhr also said that she wasn't "surprised" that Peters had prior charges and that "things like this don't happen over night."
PCHS took care and custody of the animals from the Swedeborg location and has been providing foster homes, veterinary care, and eventual adoption placement for the 30 surviving animals.
"All of the animals that survived continue to improve and thrive. Medically necessary care has been given to include a couple of surgeries. We are anxiously awaiting the go ahead to have all of these precious animals be able to enter their new homes permanently. Most individuals fostering would like to adopt the ones they are caring for," Fuhr said.
Five of the dogs still need foster homes, but the rest are doing well, according to Fuhr.
"Most individuals fostering would like to adopt the ones they are caring for," Fuhr said.
PCHS will continue to care for the animals as the case is prosecuted in Pulaski County court and can still use help from the community in the form of donations and foster homes.
Individuals interested in donating to continue to help the organization care for these animals can donate to their veterinary care at Cross Creek Animal Hospital in Waynesville, visit www.lovingpawsadoptioncenter.com/donate, or drop donations of food and other essentials off at the Loving Paws Adoption Center in Crocker.
Individuals interested in adopting or fostering for the organization can visit www.lovingpawsadoptioncenter.com and click on the links for either of those two destinations.