Animal cruelty suspect may face more charges
A woman scheduled for sentencing this Thursday in Seligman on charges of cruel neglect of animals could face more charges for similar situations Animal Control officers allegedly found on her property in the past month.
This past Wednesday, a judge moved the sentencing of Ann Seymour, 60, of Paulden, on charges of 13 counts of cruel neglect of animals, 49 counts of failure to license animals, and 11 counts of animals' excessive barking to 9:30 a.m. this Thursday in Seligman Justice Court.
Seligman Justice Court Judge Mary Hamm found Seymour guilty of all 73 counts at her trial May 21 stemming from incidents on Seymour's property in the 2000 block of Loba Lane in Seligman that began Oct. 25, 2009, and continued until Feb. 3, 2010, said Chris Brown, clerk of the court for the Seligman Justice Court.
One of Seymour's neighbors said he kept hourly logs of animals barking and crying there that he later gave to Yavapai County Sheriff's deputies.
"My bedroom window is just 300 feet away from her property, and I hear dogs barking and crying day and night," Frank Rowbottom said, according to reports. "When the wind blows, the stink of feces is so bad that we can't go outside to barbecue when guests come over."
When Seymour moved in eight months ago, Rowbottom said he went over and saw 12 dogs in cages. "Within a month, she had 60 dogs and 40 cats," Rowbottom said, adding that he has seen many dogs and cats injured, ill, and left without water on her property.
"Animal Control officers have been going out of their way to do everything they can to help the animals," Rowbottom said. "The Sheriff's Office has helped as well."
The Sheriff's Office has been responding to calls from the neighbors since mid-May, said Dwight D'Evelyn, spokesman for the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office.
"Animal Control has been up there frequently," D'Evelyn said.
Judge Hamm asked Animal Control to go out on May 20 and check on the condition of the animals, D'Evelyn said. "The Animal Control sergeant and an Animal Control officer found the animals living in deplorable conditions," he said.
At that time, Animal Control found 18 dogs and six cats on the property with no water. Some were loose, while others were tied to trees, and more were locked in unventilated structures, according to YCSO reports.
After talking with a neighbor, the Animal Control sergeant and officer drove a bit away from the main property and found more than 30 more cats inside a motor home with no food or water and litter boxes with feces running over the top, according to reports.
The Animal Control sergeant and officer stated in their reports that the stench of urine and feces was unbearable.
On June 7, the Animal Control-appointed caretaker of Seymour's animals called the Sheriff's Office to say she had found a severely injured dog in a trailer on the property.
When the Animal Control sergeant and another deputy took the dog with a head wound to a veterinarian for treatment, the doctor said the week-old wound was too severe and the dog so aggressive that she had to put down the animal.
Whether new charges will be filed against Seymour for what Animal Control officers found in May will depend on the outcome of her sentencing this week and what the court orders her to do, D'Evelyn said.
Rowbottom said he and nine other neighbors have attended all of Seymour's hearings, testified at her trial May 21, and were there May 25 for her original sentencing date when she failed to appear in court.
On Sunday, June 6, a deputy arrested Seymour at her home in Paulden on a warrant for failure to appear in court for her original sentencing date of May 25, Brown said.
The deputy booked Seymour into the Yavapai County Jail in Camp Verde, D'Evelyn said.
Because of events that occurred since Seymour's trial, Judge Hamm recused herself and asked Mayer Justice Court Judge John Kennedy to take over Seymour's sentencing, said Tina Tecklenburg, clerk of the court for the Seligman Justice Court.
On Wednesday, Kennedy reduced Seymour's bail from $10,000 to $1,000 cash and set sentencing for Thursday, Brown said.
Seymour bonded out of the county jail this past Thursday, D'Evelyn said.
Meanwhile, the Animal Control-appointed caretaker is providing for the more than 30 cats and more than 30 dogs found on Seymour's property, D'Evelyn said.
"Right now no other assistance for the animals is required," D'Evelyn said. "We just want to see them properly cared for."
Recently, some of the dogs strayed off the property, and animal control picked them up and took them to impound, D'Evelyn said.
The Yavapai Humane Society is caring for some cats that escaped from the property as well. "We only have five of the cats right now. They're the ones who escaped from animal control on the property," said Kayanne Riley, director of marketing and development for the Yavapai Humane Society. "We are already full with 200 cats, and we don't have enough room to hold more of the animals found on the property for the full 30 days required by law."