Tom Morton, Townsquare Media
Tom Morton, Townsquare Media

"They said it smelled like death."

The three-woman, three-man jury in Natrona County Circuit Court heard this among the summary of evidence and testimony from Assistant District Attorney Alan Dees, who gave his closing argument Wednesday about Georgia Moody, who was charged with 39 counts of animal abuse and neglect.

Dees' argument made its point, as the jury returned a verdict of guilty on 13 counts of animal cruelty after two-and-a-half hours of deliberation in the second day of the two-day trial.

Moody, seated next to her defense attorney Jared Holbrook, shook her head "no" slightly as Circuit Court Judge Michael Huber read the verdict, and mentioned each of the 11 huskies by the names given by Metro Animal Control. Each conviction was punishable by up to six months in jail and a $750 fine.

The jury acquitted her of 13 counts of failure to license, and failure to immunize the animals found in her trailer and vehicle in east Casper on Feb. 13. These misdemeanors were punishable by fines only.

Huber then sentenced Moody to four months of time served, and 78 months of probation. "I can't see where justice would be served by imposing any more of a sentence than that."

The judge prohibited her from ever owning an animal again.

"The facts in this case have demonstrated that you are completely incapable ... of taking care of animals like this," Huber said.

Moody no doubt felt some affinity for the animals, he said. "But frankly, ma'm, listening to your version of the facts here, I seriously question your contact with reality."

Dees asked Huber to order Moody to pay $39,000 in restitution for the care Metro Animal Control provided to the 11 huskies.because she has no assets.

But Huber declined because Moody has been homeless. The Jeep Cherokee she was driving was crushed while she was in jail.

He also ordered the animals to be forfeited to Metro Animal Control for adoption.

After the hearing, Metro manager Tory Cutrell said the huskies are healthy, and one recently had four pups. Adoption probably won't be a problem because people are calling and visiting daily to ask about the dogs and the prospects for adoption, she said.

Casper Police Officer Richie Randel said he was pleased with the verdict and the sentence, especially the part about prohibiting Moody from ever having animals.

He was the first officer on the scene after an employee at Fitness One, 5050 E. Second St., reported a liquid dripping from a U-Haul-type trailer in the parking lot.

Dees said during his closing argument that Randal approached the trailer, smelled the liquid which was urine, lifted the trailer door, and saw legs and heard whimpering.

Three other officers responded, and they found four stacked kennels, Dees said. "They said it smelled like death."

When the officers tried to move the kennels, which were latched together, feces and urine spilled on them, he said. The food was so mixed with feces that the dogs wouldn't touch it.

The dogs were severely malnourished and sick. One puppy looked like it had a broken neck with its head at a contorted angle. Its breathing was shallow and couldn't move. Randal took it out of the truck and killed it to end its suffering.

A cat was found in Moody's Jeep. The cat also smelled of urine, but it was not as in bad shape.

The dogs were taken to Metro Animal Control where they were given water and food, had their blood tested, and were de-wormed.

However, Holbrook told the jury that Moody was doing the best she could with what she had. She recently moved to Wyoming from Colorado and was trying to get a fresh start in life, he said. (In Larimer County, Colo., Moody had been charged with 61 counts of animal neglect. A warrant was issued for her arrest after she failed to appear in court in January. The Colorado issues were not allowed as evidence in her trial in Casper.)

Moody, Holbrook said, would let the dogs out daily, feed them, and clean their kennels. "She loved her animals."

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