On Nov. 25, 2013, animal hoarder Rhonda Bernard accepted a plea arrangement offered by the District Attorney in Fremont County of one count animal cruelty and one count child abuse. Both counts are misdemeanors. For that plea deal, the judge ordered 12 months probation, restitution to the agencies responsible for caring for Bernard’s animals once they were removed from her care, periodic and unannounced welfare inspections of the animals she currently owns, and continued mental health assistance. Additionally, the judge stated that Bernard shall not have more than four pets at any time. Further restitution, fines and fees, along with a deferred jail sentence, will be imposed if the sentence is not met.
Judge Norman C. Cooling addressed Bernard, stating, “I do not believe you are a mean person, someone who would beat or torture an animal, but exactly the opposite. You just took in everything with four legs and fur.”
In August, agents from The Colorado Humane Society & SPCA (CHS) and the Dumb Friends League assisted the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office in removing 26 cats, two chinchillas and a ferret from Bernard’s vacant residence in the 200 block of Garden Drive, Penrose, Colo. She relinquished all of the animals, some of which had medical concerns, to CHS. Previously, Bernard voluntarily transported 23 Chihuahuas to the Fremont County Humane Society.
The Department of Human Services was also involved with the investigation
If you suspect animal abuse or neglect in your community, contact your local law enforcement agency or file an anonymous report with Crime Stoppers, (720) 913-STOP (7867). Anonymous tips also can be reported online at http://metrodenvercrimestoppers.com/animal-cruelty/ or texted to CRIMES (274637).
ABOUT THE COLORADO HUMANE SOCIETY & SPCA
The Colorado Humane Society & SPCA is an independent, Colorado-based nonprofit organization. We operate entirely on donations and are not affiliated with any national advocacy group or government agency, such as the Humane Society of the United States or American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. We work with local law enforcement and government agencies to investigate and prevent the cruelty and neglect of companion animals and horses – NOT livestock – in numerous Colorado counties and to educate the public about humane animal care. For more information, to donate or to report animal cruelty or neglect, contact The Colorado Humane Society & SPCA at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 249-5121.
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