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Gazette Premium Content Woman gets 3 years in prison for animal cruelty

The Associated Press Updated: June 14, 2014 at 6:08 pm

PUEBLO, Colo. (AP) — A 58-year-old woman convicted of 22 counts of animal cruelty after authorities seized more than 60 animals from her farm east of Pueblo has been sentenced to three years in prison.

The Pueblo Chieftain reports (http://bit.ly/UCitok ) District Judge William Alexander sentenced Valerie Christine Harris, of Boone, on Friday, saying her explanation for why the dozens of animals on her property appeared dehydrated and why some starved to death "had no merit."

Animal control officers raided her farm in January 2012 and seized nearly 30 horses, donkeys and mules, and more than 30 dogs.

Officers obtained a warrant after viewing a dead horse on her property. Harris was arrested again a few weeks later after a neighbor reported seeing more dead horses on his property and on hers.

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