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Colorado horse and dog hoarder sentenced to three years in prison

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On Friday, Valerie Christine Harris of Pueblo was sentenced to three years in prison plus ten years of probation for 22 counts of animal cruelty, dating back to her arrest in January 2012, when authorities found a dead horse on her property reported the Pueblo Chieftain.

A search warrant was then issued granting permission for authorities to enter her property.

That grisly discovery led to more than 60 animals being seized by the Humane Society of Pikes Peak which included 34 horses, donkeys, and mules, and 31 dogs and cats. A llama was also seized. Many of the animals were emaciated and dehydrated. Authorities stated that some of the dogs were eating remains of dead animals and other dogs just to survive.

In April, a jury found Harris, 58, guilty of 22 counts of animal cruelty.

According to the, Harris was sentenced to three years in prison for seven counts of aggravated animal cruelty, and ten years of probation for 15 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty. Harris is also barred from owning any animals during her probation.

All of the seized animals have since recovered and have been adopted out to new homes.

Harris has a previous record of animal cruelty. In 2007, she was convicted of two counts of animal cruelty in the care of horses, and in 2009, was convicted of a misdemeanor in the neglect of two dogs. She still continued to collect more animals.

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