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Donnie R. Cannon, 50, of Worthville appeared in Carroll County District Court, Thursday, Jan. 28, to face 109 counts of second-degree cruelty to animals in connection with a Sept. 30 raid at a garage located on Cemetery Lane in Worthville.
Judge Thomas M. Funk merged the 109 counts into a guilty plea on one count of second-degree cruelty to animals and sentenced Cannon to 180 days in jail, which was probated for two years, according to Carroll County Attorney Jim Monk. Cannon was ordered to make restitution to the county, have no further offenses and pay court costs.
“Misdemeanor cases run together,” Monk said, explaining why Cannon pleaded guilty to one count.
Itemized statements of expenses incurred were turned over to the county attorney’s office following the raid, Carroll County Animal Support Executive Director Tammie Crawford said. Expenses included veterinary bills that were near $12,000, “some feed and the cost to the county of disposing of the dead animals,” Crawford added. “The county has asked me to see if the veterinarians will lower their bills.”
Monk said the restitution amount will be determined after Crawford gets final figures to his office for actual expenses incurred by the county.
Funk also ordered that Cannon cannot be involved in the buying or selling of animals. He must forfeit all animals and animal miscellaneous items. At the time of his arrest Cannon bought and sold chickens, rabbits and other animals at auctions around the area.
“He was ordered to forfeit all cages and equipment” which had been used to buy and sell animals, Monk said. “The main thing was to get him out of the animal business.”
Law enforcement officers who went to the Worthville site in September to investigate complaints about an odor found 27 dead animals. Crawford found another four animals deceased when she arrived to confiscate the animals the following day. More than 200 animals were confiscated following the raid. Veterinarians had to euthanize another 37 animals which could not be saved. Another eight died during the week following the raid. Most of the remaining animals were relocated to sanctuaries in Shepherdsville and Rockcastle County, according to Crawford.
“Altogether, there were 253 animals dead and alive,” she said.
The animals were being kept in conditions such that they could barely breathe, Crawford said. A number of the chickens were underweight. Many had sinus infections and were missing feathers. Several of the birds had maggots under their wings and mold on their feet. There were wasps nests in water dishes.
Monk said no dogs had been abused. Of the animals included in the 109 counts against Cannon, “most were chickens and ducks and a few rabbits.”