More cruelty charges for Suffolk woman

Published 9:31 pm Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Suffolk woman who already faced charges of cruelty to animals in connection with five horses that had been found starving and in otherwise poor condition in a wooded area along Wilroy Road has had fresh charges lodged against her for poor treatment of other animals.

Jennifer Eileen Harrell, 33, of Deer Path Road, was issued 13 summonses on Monday for charges of animal cruelty, inadequate care of an animal and missing rabies vaccinations, according to Suffolk spokeswoman Debbie George.

George said on Tuesday that animal control officers had received a call Monday regarding two horses at a home on Deer Path Road. The horses were standing in the mud, she said the caller had reported, and they didn’t seem to have adequate shelter.

When animal control officers responded, they found they shared the caller’s concerns about the horses, but the state veterinarian — whose recommendation is necessary in order to impound livestock — suggested the woman be given an opportunity to correct the deficiencies.

During their investigation, though, officers found problems with rabbits and dogs being kept on the property, George said.

They issued summonses for four charges of animal cruelty, for rabbits that had no access to water; six charges of providing inadequate care, for dogs that had no water and lacked adequate shelter; and three charges of failing to obtain a rabies vaccination for dogs.

Harrell is scheduled for a Dec. 4 hearing on two charges of cruelty to animals, as well as a Dec. 7 court appearance on five other charges. Monday’s charges will be taken up in court on Dec. 17.

Harrell was arrested in October when five horses were found suffering in a field near Wilroy Road. Two of those animals were found tied to a tree with dog leashes. All five of the horses were undernourished and suffering from skin problems.

One of those horses had to be euthanized the following day.

A judge ordered the remaining four horses forfeited, and Suffolk animal control officers are still looking for appropriate homes for those animals.