Jasper Co. man pleads guilty to animal cruelty - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Jasper County man pleads guilty to animal cruelty

By Kevin Wheeler - bio | email 

JASPER COUNTY, MS (WDMA) - A Jasper County man who was cited for 45 counts of animal cruelty pleaded guilty Wednesday in Jasper County Justice Court.

Richard Stockman was cited last October for running a puppy mill in which many of the dogs were found injured, sick and starving.

Twelve dogs were put down because of illnesses. The rest of the dogs were sent to the Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society in Oxford for adoption.

The plea deal calls for Stockman to pay a $1,000 fine. It also says Stockman will not be allowed to own or care for dogs that are used for breeding. The case prosecutor said the case was too risky to push for jail time.

"There was a question whether this statue that was filed was constitutional or not," said Jasper County Prosecutor Ashley Lewis. "I did not want to lose the case and him continue to have breeding facilities out at their home. We got a conviction on all 45 counts, we got a fine, and we just didn't get jail time. This is a misdemeanor count and I just wanted to get the conviction."

"Our main goal was to make sure he wasn't allowed to own anymore animals there period and to make sure the kennels were taken down so there wouldn't be any chance of picking up dogs and maybe starting a kennel and begin the process all over," said Sally Davidson, an animal cruelty investigator with the Jasper County Sheriff's Office. "We're very happy that he's not allowed to have anymore".

Stockman and his attorney declined comment. Stockman has 90 days to pay the fine or he faces jail time.

Copyright 2009 WDAM. All rights reserved.

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