Guilty plea in Kennewick puppy mill case

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by KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on August 9, 2010 at 2:56 PM

KENNEWICK, Wash. – A Kennewick dog breeder has pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges.

The Tri-City Herald reports that Ella Stewart, 67, pleaded guilty in Benton County Superior Court to one count of first-degree animal cruelty, a felony, and nine counts of second-degree animal cruelty, gross misdemeanors.

Last May, Benton County sheriff's deputies seized nearly 400 American Eskimo dogs from Stewart's home. They were found with a variety of conditions, ranging from open wounds to rotting teeth. Shelters around the state took the dogs in, gave them medical care and put them up for adoption.

Stewart was set to stand trial at the end of the month but she unexpectedly pleaded guilty as charged.

Sentencing is expected Aug. 12. The prosecutor said he plans to recommend a 90-day sentence.

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