Woman sentenced in animal cruelty case

ELKINS — A Randolph County woman who was facing nearly 50 charges after allegedly being found with dogs, cats and birds in unsanitary conditions, has been sentenced after entering into a plea agreement.

Deborah Kay Jones, 57, of Mill Creek, was sentenced to one-and-a-half years in jail. That sentence was suspended for one-and-a-half years on probation. She must also pay restitution in the amount of $652.56 to the Appalachian Animal Hospital and in the amount of $440 to the Randolph County Humane Society in addition to fines and court costs.

She is prohibited from owning, possessing or residing with any animal for a period of five years, according to state code.

Jones pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty, as part of a plea agreement. The prosecution dismissed 41 misdemeanor counts of the same charge.

Randolph County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Leckta Poling represented the state while Jones appeared with Brent Easton as defense counsel. Randolph County Magistrate Rob Elbon presided.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Randolph County Magistrate Court, on June 13, Randolph County Sheriff’s Office Senior Deputy M.P. Dyer traveled to a Valley Bend residence with Charles Ramsey, Randolph County Humane Officer, to check on the welfare on some animals he had received information on.

Once on scene, Dyer and Ramsey observed several great dane dogs in outside kennels with “no protection from the sun or any elements over top of the kennels,” police said.

Dyer noted in the report that the kennels were dirty and another dog was living inside a building in a “small swimming pool with a fence around it,” the complaint states.

The bottom of the swimming pool was “covered in feces” with no clean spot for the dog to lay down. Also in the outbuilding, officers found three small cages with four cats inside. The cages were “small and cramped and feces were piled up in the cages leaving little room for the cats to move around,” court documents indicate.

Inside the building there were also birds in cages that had not appeared to be cleaned in “some time.” Officers also located a cage hanging above the ground with three small kittens in it. The bottom of the cage was wire with no places for the kittens to lay down, police said.

Inside the residence, officers found two great danes with several puppies, police said. Also inside the residence were birds in cages that appeared dirty and “did not appear to have been cleaned recently.”

Twenty adult dogs, six puppies, seven cats and 11 birds were seized from the residence, according to the complaint.