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Humane Society of Tulsa disappointed with outcome of animal cruelty case

Posted at 5:48 PM, Mar 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-04 19:23:56-05

TULSA, Okla. — An animal cruelty case that involved more than 100 animals ended in a plea deal that Tulsa’s Humane Society calls extremely disappointing.

Two people accused in the crime received deferred sentences this week.

A board member for the Humane Society of Tulsa says the deferred sentences are disheartening. However, the First Assistant District Attorney says they tried their best to find a middle ground.

In December, Tulsa County deputies searched a home in Collinsville after receiving a tip about neglected animals.

Law enforcement ended up calling the humane society to help them after they say they found more than 120 animals, including chickens, goats, a pigeon, and a donkey — many of them weak and hungry in unsanitary conditions.

They say at least 14 animals were already dead and despite their best efforts others died in the days following including a goat too weak to stand or eat.

The District Attorney's Office charged Samual Smith and Nadine Garrett with 20 counts of animal cruelty, but in a plea deal 15 of those charges were dropped and the couple received deferred sentences.

The humane society says that upset them after spending hundreds of hours working on the case, gathering evidence and spending thousands on lab reports and experts.

“There is nothing stopping from them getting more animals and this happening again," says Shelby Limburg, a board member for Humane Society of Tulsa.

The DA's office says there were several reasons why they accepted their plea deal and gave them deferred sentences.

“When looking at all the factors that we talked about, poverty, divorce, the lack of maiming or anything like that, we determined since they were first time in the system, they needed to have a probationary sentence. We have other people on the other side arguing we put too many people in prison,” says Erik Grayless, First Assistant District Attorney.

The DA’s office also says they walk a fine line between those that want someone to spend the rest of their life in prison and those that think someone shouldn’t even be prosecuted, but the Humane Society says they want to see change in how these cases are prosecuted.

Smith was offered a three-year deferred sentence, Nadine Garrett was offered 18 months deferred. If they successfully complete probation, they won’t go to prison.

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