Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Hanson's Found Guilty Of Animal Cruelty

William and Tammy Hanson were found guilty on 20 out of 28 counts of cruelty to animals Monday in Baxter County District Court.

The sentencing phase of the trial is set for 11 a.m. Feb. 23.

Gearhart eventually ordered that the more than 450 dogs be removed from the premises.

Local veterinarian James Snodgrass stated in court that he had been to many similar situations, but this was the worst he had ever seen after he entered the compound when the warrant was served.

"My initial assessment was the conditions were unspeakable," Snodgrass said. "Some dogs needed, not immediate, but needed medical attention. The overall sanitary conditions were deplorable. There were open bags of dog food which was rained on and moldy."

Snodgrass described the scene as something beyond what he had ever seen and the worst he had ever seen in his 35 years of being a veterinarian.

Tammy Hawley of the Humane Society of the United States, who served as incident commander at the compound after it was seized by the Baxter County Sheriff, told Gearhart she had an average of 38 volunteers there each day to help with the care and feeding of the dogs. She arrived at the compound on Oct. 24 and was there for two months.

She testified in court about some of the animals that were found at EDNAH. One dog, Della, had ear trouble and a tumor between her toes, as well as overgrown toenails which were imbedded in her paws. There were other dogs that had ingrown toenails; some had mange; others had matted fur; and one, Grandpa, had stones which made it difficult for him to urinate.

I heard about this case a while ago, before it went to court. The pictures I received showed deplorable conditions.

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