Animal hoarders sentenced for abuse of more than 40 animals

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KIOWA, Colo. — Two people were sentenced to probation Monday after nearly 50 animals on their property were found to have been mistreated.

Elbert County residents Christie Ann O’Rourke, 56; and David E. St. Antoine, 60, were sentenced to five years of probation for two charges of Second Degree Cruelty To Animals.

On Feb. 13, 2013, the Elbert County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call reporting a dead llama on the defendants’ property. The defendants claimed that they did not know how the llama died.

Soon after seeing the llama, one of the officers saw a dog running with the lower half of a horse’s leg in its mouth, he reported. The defendants told law enforcement that the horse’s name was Roy and that he had died and been fed to the dogs.

Investigators found the following animals on the property: two miniature horses, two donkeys, 15 full-grown dogs, seven puppies; six cats one potbellied pig, two birds (an African Grey parrot and a cockatoo), numerous goats and numerous poultry.

Officers determined that most of the horses were malnourished. They also found two goats with fatal injuries and two dead kittens stuffed into a freezer. Another puppy and kitten were on the verge of death, but survived.

Both defendants were already on probation for a 2012 animal cruelty case. At that time, the defendants were ordered not to commit any new criminal offenses and that neither could acquire any additional animals beyond those they already owned.

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8 comments

  • Brenda Callaway

    why would any judge and i say that lightly, allow these people who have already been busted for cruelty to again go on probation. this is juducial incompetence at its highest. its like allowing a known child abuser to keep custoder of his victim and promise not to beat them anymore.

  • Linnea Tobias

    So sad for these animals. There must be a special kind of &&&$ for these people. They deserve prison time, perhaps we need to look at sentencing laws further…..

  • Colfrrr

    This is shameful proof, yet again, that the Colorado courts never prosecute to the full extent of the law for animal cruelty cases. And it’s time they start. The district attorney should be ashamed.

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