At a hearing held today in Baxter County Circuit Court before Judge John Putman, the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office was awarded ownership and possession of ten (10) horses that were seized on June 30, 2011 on Baxter CR 213 in the Iuka area from ROY C. PARKER and BRENDA L. PARKER. Both of the Parkers have each been charged with four (4) felony counts of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals and six (6) misdemeanor counts of Cruelty to Animals following investigation of a citizen complaint involving the condition and treatment of the horses and other animals on their property.
During today’s hearing, both of the Parkers waived any objection to the forfeiture proceedings, and Judge Putman then divested the Parkers of ownership and ordered the horses turned over to the Sheriff’s Office. Ownership will ultimately be transferred to the Humane Society of the United States at a later time. These horses remain under veterinary care at the Double S Oaks Ranch in Baxter County.
These charges against the Parkers are the first Felony Aggravated Cruelty to Animals charges filed in Baxter County since the passage of Act 33 of 2009. This act also established the procedures under which abused or neglected animals can be seized by law enforcement or animal control wardens and ownership of the animals later forfeited by court order after a fifteen day waiting period has lapsed.
Two others persons were in court claiming an interest in three of the horses, but after speaking with the Prosecuting Attorney and learning of the restitution that was due for the treatment and care of the horses following their seizure, these persons dropped and waived their potential claim.
Both ROY PARKER and BRENDA PARKER remain free on bond awaiting their trial in Circuit Court on those animal cruelty charges.
/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff