On Thursday, June 5, the Spokesman Review reported that almost 100 animals will be available for adoption following the conclusion of an Idaho State animal cruelty case. The rescued guinea pigs and rabbits can find new homes on June 14 after four people involved in the case pleaded guilty last week to multiple charges of animal cruelty.
During January of this year, a total of 139 animals were seized from a Kootenai County home in the 17000 block of East Pend Oreille Divide Road. According to the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office, the animals had been housed in "unhealthy and unsanitary" conditions and were in cages filled with feces and with no access to water.
During the seizure, officials took one horse, four miniature horses, nine goats, a goose, and three chickens.
Shawna Marie Denney-Land, 39, and her husband, Wayne Land, 45, were responsible for the animals and each pleaded guilty to five counts of animal cruelty. The Lands received two years probation and they now have limitations on the number of animals they can keep. Additionally, animal control officers will be allowed access to their property for inspection of their animals without prior notice.
Denney-Land’s parents also lived with the couple and they both pleaded guilty to two counts of animal cruelty, as well. They received the same conditions and sentence.
All of the animals are now healthy, and while some of since found homes, the remaining animals will be available on June 14 at 9:00 a.m. at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds.
Idaho has strong animal cruelty laws to protect the animals. Idaho Title 25, Chapter 35 pertains to animal cruelty. It states:
25-3504: Committing cruelty to animals. Every person who is cruel to any animal, or who causes or procures any animal to be cruelly treated, or who, having the charge or custody of any animal either as owner or otherwise, subjects any animal to cruelty shall, upon conviction, be punished in accordance with section 25-3520A, Idaho Code.
Any law enforcement officer or animal care and control officer, subject to the restrictions of section 25-3501A, Idaho Code, may take possession of the animal cruelly treated, and provide care for the same, until final disposition of such animal is determined in accordance with section 25-3520A or 25-3520B, Idaho Code.
KXLY news reported that officials went to the home on January 15, 2014, where they found dozens of goats, rabbits, dogs, cats, guinea pigs, chickens, ducks, and horses on the property. All of the cats and dogs were held in feces-filled cages. On the following day, deputies and animal control officers seized 139 animals. They also took one child from the one. It is unclear at this time where the little girl, aged 8, was placed.
According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), hoarding animals is one of the most egregious forms of animal cruelty and affects tens of thousands of animals every year. Many states do not have a legal definition for animal hoarding and many people are unfamiliar with the level of animal cruelty involved with hoarding situations.
PAWS notes that the Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium uses the following criteria to define animal hoarding:
- More than the typical number of companion animals.
- Inability to provide minimal standards of shelter, nutrition, sanitation, and veterinary care, with neglect often resulting in illness, starvation, and death.
- Denial of the inability to provide minimum care and the impact of that failure on the animals, the household, and human occupants of the dwelling.
Learn more about the Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium here.