Neither Kevin Roberts nor his mother, Sharon Gail Bath, both of whom earlier entered a plea to animal cruelty charges, chose to speak prior to sentencing, but the judge had plenty to say as she addressed Roberts.
“I’m going to try to be especially clear to you today,” Judge Miriam Cavanaugh said Tuesday, hinting at Roberts’ prior bond violation by continuing to care for feral cats on his property on Dutcher Road despite another judge’s order to stop.
“If there are further violations, you’re essentially going to tie the court’s hands,” the judge added. “I’m going to sentence you accordingly, and your guidelines dictate a sentence in the area between 10 and 34 months. Not only could that possibly be Livingston County Jail, that could be prison. … You and your mom have created a mess out there that’s become a menace to the community where you live.”
Bath was sentenced to two years of probation and Roberts to five years of probation. Both were ordered to actively live-trap the feral cats and call Livingston County Animal Control in an effort to “clear up” the problem they created.
That order caused Bath to bury her face in her hands and cry.
Animal control officers estimated that at least 20 feral cats are still roaming the area.
The mother and son also were ordered not to own, possess, feed or shelter any animals “of any kind” and not to possess animal paraphernalia such as food, cages, litter or toys.
Cavanaugh made an exception to allow tuna to be placed in the traps as an enticement to trap the feral cats still roaming the area.
Animal control officers took about 77 cats from Roberts’ home in the 2800 block of Dutcher Road in August. Authorities said one of the cats died.
Roberts told the Livingston Daily in an earlier interview that the colony of cats on his property “are from around the neighborhood” or from those who drop them off because they know Roberts and his 72-year-old mother, who lives in the same home, will give the cats food and water.
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