Sunday, March 26, 2017

Nevada: Tamala Williams, 48, pleads no contest to animal cruelty after starving horses seized

NEVADA -- A Nevada County woman facing accusations that her horses were malnourished pleaded no contest this month to three counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty, prosecutors said.

Tamala Williams, 48, was ordered to serve 90 days, though work release is allowed. She'll also serve three years' probation. Additionally, she can have no animals for five years, District Attorney Cliff Newell said.

"I think it was a fair resolution," Newell said. "I think we got the person's attention. If you're going to have agricultural animals or pets, you have to take care of them."

The case stemmed from someone in April 2015 asking for an animal welfare check of Williams' horses at her Rough and Ready home, leading animal control officers to the scene, Newell said.

"The horses were determined to be extremely emaciated by the animal control officer," he added.

The case proceeded through court, and Williams pleaded no contest on March 10, Newell said.

Contacted Wednesday, defense attorney Greg Klein's office, which represented Williams, declined comment.

Stefanie Geckler, senior animal control officer, said her office prefers to educate people instead of enforcing the law and seizing their animals.

In this case, Williams failed to comply. Authorities obtained a search warrant and took the three horses, all of which have made a full recovery and are with new owners.

"And they're beautiful," Geckler added.

(The Union - March 22, 2017)