MARYLAND -- A Westminster woman is charged with 15 counts of animal cruelty for allegedly failing to provide adequate living conditions for more than a dozen dogs and a goose.
Lorraine Arlean Gibson, 67, of the 3000 block of Bird View Road, was released from the Carroll County Detention Center on Thursday on $6,000 unsecured bond, according to electronic court files.
The case began on June 2nd after Gibson was found guilty of two counts of failure to license a dog, according to court records. She received a 30-day suspended sentence and was placed on probation, a condition of which was allowing inspections of her home by Animal Control.
Animal Control went to her house on July 7th do conduct an inspection and, based on the conditions seen, four adult dogs, nine puppies and a goose were seized.
The animals were found lying in urine and fecal matter, in crates that had not been cleaned, according to charging documents.
Gibson filed an action in the District Court of Maryland to have the animals returned, claiming they were taken without notice, according to court records.
Gibson consented to inspections when she took that plea deal. When the officers were permitted to come onto her property to inspect the animals, exigent circumstances existed which required their immediate removal.
The animals seized were taken to the Humane Society of Carroll County.
Charles Brown, director of the organization, said he couldn't speak specifically about Gibson's case because of pending legal action but said that, typically, removing animals from a home is a last resort.
"In general, it is our mission here to work with folks to try to improve conditions that we find them and their animals in," he said.
Animals are rarely seized, according to Brown, and only when conditions are so deplorable that doing so is in the best interest of the animals.
"When we do it, it's something that has to be done," he said.
When an animal owner files to get animals back, the animals are held until a judge rules, Brown said. If a judge denies the action, the Humane Society then takes ownership of the animals and places them up for adoption.
"It's a no-win situation for pretty much everyone involved," he said.
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Lorraine Gibson is listed as a rescue on this page
Maryland Association of Rescues and Equine Sanctuaries (MARES)
Birdview Horse Rescue
3046 Birdview Rd.
Carroll County Zoning Administration held a public hearing on September 4, 2013. One of the issues they were covering were:
Case ZA-1456 for a private kennel for the keeping of more than 3 dogs as personal pets, at 3046 Birdview Road, Westminster, MD, in Election District 04, by Lorraine Gibson, according to the Carroll County Code of Public Local Laws and Ordinances, Chapters 223-12, and 223.181.
(Carroll County Times - July 17, 2015)