The animal cruelty case that’s taken Lawrence County by storm for years finally wrapped up Tuesday.
The judge sentenced former Lawrence County Animal Shelter Director Bobbie Taylor to two years of probation. If she breaks it she’ll go to jail for nine months.
In February Taylor was found guilty on six of the 15 charges of animal cruelty against her. They were second degree charges, which means there was no intent to cause harm.
Moments after hearing the judge’s sentence, 84-year old Taylor’s knees apparently gave out and she collapsed. However, walking out of the building her head was held high.
“I’m not guilty of any animal cruelty and I plan to appeal this and I want the truth to come out about who set this up and why it happened,” Taylor told reporters outside.
Taylor maintains her 2015 arrest and the shelter raid by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals were part of a scheme by local government officials and the ASPCA. Officials said they found animals living in deplorable conditions, most of them emaciated or suffering from medical problems.
“The witnesses were consistent and Ms.Taylor is 84 years old, she’s been taking care of animals here entire life,” said her attorney, Tony Hughes. “He said that she was overwhelmed at times and there were so many animals but she was the only one doing that.”
The prosecution believes Taylor’s intentions were good, but said she’s disturbed that Taylor has no remorse and refuses to see her role.
There was much discussion over whether or not she should be allowed to have animals. The judge ruled she can have ten.
While the prosecution believes letting Taylor care for more animals would lead them all to court again, her supporters said it will be the animals in need who will suffer from this sentence.
“I just want the truth to come out and I want the best for the animals of Lawrence County,” Taylor said.
Some of Taylor’s supporters, including a woman who was making a documentary about her life, told WZDX News they’re just glad the days in the court room are over.