Thursday, June 23, 2016

Former Catt. Co. couple avoid jail, but must pay hefty fine in animal abuse case

History: Donald and Bonnie George, formerly of Farmersville, were accused of neglecting about 400 animals on their farm. They had faced three dozen animal abuse charges from earlier this year. Here is a press release issued today by the Cattaraugus County District Attorney:
Lori Pettit Rieman, Cattaraugus County District Attorney, reported the following activity in Farmersville Town Court on Tuesday, June 21, 2016:
Guilty Plea:
Donald and Bonnie George: formerly of Farmersville, New York, entered a plea of guilty to Animal Neglect, a class A misdemeanor, and Failure to Provide Proper Food/Drink to an Impounded Animal, an unclassified misdemeanor, to satisfy all pending charges in Farmersville Town Court. The Defendants were issued appearance tickets for Farmersville Town Court after the execution of a search warrant in February of this year on the property located at 1644 Elton Road in the Town of Farmersville.  The Defendants were sentenced to a one-year conditional discharge during which the Defendants, among other conditions, are to pay restitution to Cattaraugus County SPCA in the amount of $19,869.23, attend at least one session of the Animal Abuse Awareness course offered by the Erie County SPCA and follow any recommendation made, formerly surrender all rights to the animals that were seized as a result of the execution of the warrant, and register with the Cattaraugus County Animal Abuse Registry. The Defendants will also be prohibited from owning or caring for animals in any jurisdiction for the term of one year. The plea followed three months of negotiations between defense counsel for the Georges and Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Ensell. During that time, representatives of the Cattaraugus County SPCA were consulted and were agreeable to the final disposition reached by the parties and the Court. Thanks to the Cattaraugus County SPCA and several volunteers, arrangements are being made to adopt out the animals involved in this case.