Kiowa, Colo. – Owners of a former animal rescue facility in Elbert County, Christie O'Rourke and David Stantoine, have pled guilty to 20 counts of animal cruelty and an Elbert County judge sentenced them with a Class 1 misdemeanor for animal abuse under Colorado Statute 18-9-202.1A Cruelty to Animals. Additionally, the judge ordered a $275 fine, 24 months of unsupervised probation, restitution, and unannounced inspections of the remaining animals on the property by deputies from the Elbert County Sheriff’s Office or agents from the Colorado Humane Society.
In July, 50 animals were rescued from the residence and taken to appropriate facilities for rehabilitation. Many animals remained at the residence. Those animals had shown improvement through the 4-month animal abuse and endangerment investigation, conducted by the Elbert County Sheriff’s Office and the Colorado Humane Society.
“We are pleased with the outcome of this case,” says Sheriff Shayne Heap. “Many of the animals rescued from the site in July have had significant medical needs addressed and have been adopted to new homes. The remaining animals on site showed significant improvement at last inspection and we are hopeful that those animals will live a healthy life now.”
Sheriff Heap went on to say, “The Colorado Humane Society & SPCA partnership with the sheriff’s office has been instrumental in this and many other animal abuse cases; they are a professional organization and the sheriff’s office is thankful for their tireless efforts.”
O’Rourke and Stantoine will be able to care for the remaining animals in their possession, but as those animals leave the property either through adoption or death, they cannot be replaced during the probation period.
Additionally, O’Rourke and Stantoine surrendered their license as a pet animal facility under the Pet Animal Care Facility Act (PACFA), a licensing and inspection program through the Colorado Department of Agriculture.