Animal abuser sentencedPublished 12:02am Thursday, July 26, 2007
VIDALIA — The Vidalia woman who has been in and out of court for the last year on various animal cruelty charges will be spending some time behind bars.possibilities
Judge Leo Boothe sentenced Debbie Palmer, 930 Eagle Road, to serve a sentence of almost eight months in prison after she violated special conditions of her probation.
Palmer, who was convicted of animal cruelty charges last November and was arrested on similar charges in June, pleaded not guilty to charges of three counts of animal cruelty stemming from a June arrest Wednesday.
The June charges came after two horses were reportedly found by animal welfare officers to be in neglected conditions.
Palmer was already on probation for her earlier conviction, and on June 13 Judge Leo Boothe placed special conditions on her probation and bond.
The conditions included she not own, possess or be responsible for the care of any animals.
At Wednesday’s hearing, Assistant District Attorney Brad Burget called for a review and revocation of Palmer’s probation and bond, stating he believed there was sufficient evidence she was in possession of animals.
Palmer’s mother Katherine McGlothin testified Palmer transferred ownership and care of her horses to McGlothin and McGlothin’s grandson Michael McGlothin as soon as they left court June 13, and Palmer has not had anything to do with the horses since then.
The supposed sale of horses to her close family members was a way for Palmer to snub the court’s order to not own any animals, Burget said.
Witnesses testified animals were on Palmer’s property after June 13, but they had access to food and water, and the majority of Palmer’s horses were healthy.
One witness, veterinarian Debbie Guillory, said some of Palmer’s horses were sick at the time, but that was not due to neglect, and medication was on the site as evidence the horses were being treated.
“Debbie has expressed concern and care about her horses to me for years,” she said.
Guillory said she believed Palmer accidentally transferred an unknown parasite to one of her pastures when she rescued a horse from the Sicily Island area.
That parasite could have been the source of the horses’ sickness, Guillory said.
“There have certainly been horses that suffered and died because they could have had greater and faster care, but Debbie loves a horse and wants to rescue them all,” Guillory said.
Palmer will return to court Nov. 14.