Lacey woman pleads guilty to animal cruelty

Lacey woman pleads guilty to animal cruelty

Credit: KING

The seized cats were heavily sedated as their fur was cut. In some cases, veterinarians removed more than a pound of fur.

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by KING Staff and Associated Press

NWCN.com

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 1:33 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 24 at 12:37 PM

OLYMPIA, Wash. - A Lacey-area woman has pleaded guilty in Thurston County Superior Court to 22 misdemeanor counts of second-degree animal cruelty.

In June, Thurston County Animal Services seized 22 malnourished and neglected Persian cats from Judith Lawson's home.

The cats - all purebred Himalayans - were locked in cages in a non-ventilated garage and in a bedroom, with feces piled up more than 6 inches. The cats' hair was matted and caked with feces and urine.

Because of the exposure to the amonia fumes, many of the cats had eye, nose and lung damage.

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Animal Services Director Susanne Beauregard said two of the cats died and the other 20 were placed in adoptive homes.

Lawson's guilty plea Monday was part of a plea deal in which felony animal cruelty counts against her were dismissed. The deal recommends no jail time for Lawson, but it does require her to pay more than $12,000 in fines.

Lawson is scheduled to be sentenced in December.

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