According to a November 20 report by WSPA7 News, an Anderson County jury found Golden S Rescue owner Debra Lynne Sheridan guilty of some charges stemming from a March 2015 arrest and not guilty of other charges. A total of 53 dogs and seven cats were seized from Sheridan’s property in March of 2015.
A November 21 report by WYFF4 News stated Sheridan was charged with was charged with 60 counts of ill treatment of animals. Some of those charges were later dropped, and she was found not guilty of the remaining 32 charges. Sheridan was also found guilty of two counts of rabies violations and methamphetamine possession.
Sheridan was sentenced to three years suspended to five years probation. All of her animals were ordered by the judge to be surrendered to Anderson County PAWS, the county shelter located in Upstate South Carolina. Anderson County Administrator Rusty Burns told WYFF4 that officials plan to place as many of the animals as possible up for adoption as soon as the judge’s order comes in.
Burns stated Sheridan has had animals seized from her property three times now, twice in 2014 and the latest seizure back in March. She had signed over the rights to the ones from the first two seizures but not the seizure made this year. Eleven critically ill dogs were seized during Sheridan’s first arrest. Two weeks later, more than 100 animals were seized from her rescue, and Sheridan was charged again.
Burns also stated Anderson County taxpayers have spent $450,000 to care for Sheridan’s animals since the first ones were seized. Sheridan spoke to WYFF4 following the verdict stating
“I feel vindicated. We will appeal the others — the other charges, and we’ll take it from there. The competition is gone for the moment, I was relieved. I didn’t think they’d find me guilty on (ill treatment of animals) simply because the truth usually comes out, so I was thrilled.”
Despite several authorities testifying some of the animals were sick, dehydrated and malnourished, the judge made the ruling after Dr. Kyle Powell, a veterinarian for Anderson’s animal shelter, testified that based upon her examination of the seized animals, some of them got enough sustenance. Others did not, but are now doing well since being seized and taken into the care of Anderson County PAWS>
Anderson County Solicitor Chrissy Adams said
“While we are disappointed in the verdict, we respect the jury’s decision, the defendant’s continued lack of proper care for these helpless animals is inexcusable. We are thankful that the judge saw fit to relinquish the custody of the animals to PAWS where they can now be adopted into loving homes.”
Sheridan plans to appeal the judge’s decision. Sheridan has also been ordered not to have animals in her care during the five years of probation, where she must also perform 100 hours of community service and is subject to drug and alcohol testing.
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