Convicted Puppy Mill Owner Faces New Charges Based on New State Law
Posted on May 13, 2008
Updated on February 23, 2009
Lanzie Horton Jr. now faces a new set of charges, made possible by a Virginia law which went into effect on January 1, 2009. The law addresses commercial dog breeding populations, making it illegal for operators to keep more than 50 adult dogs.
Convicted of animal cruelty in 2008, his initial appeal on that case was denied by the Circuit Court. He then took his appeal to the Virginia Court of Appeals where it remains pending.
Here is a news article on the new charges against Horton:
Convicted Animal abuser appeals case – again
WSLS.com, September 9, 2008
Puppy mill appeal denied
WSLS.com, July 29, 2008
(Carroll County, VA) Charged with 14 counts of animal cruelty
and 25 counts of animal neglect, "Junior" Horton stood trial and was
convicted on May 16, 2008. In a shockingly disappointing sentence
served by Judge Edward Turner in General District Court, an entire
12-year jail term was suspended as well as a portion of applicable
fines. Rather than prohibiting the defendant from repeating the abuse
and neglect he had just been convicted of by prohibiting him from
having future contact with animals for a significant period of time,
Judge Turner reportedly chose to enable Horton to continue breeding
dogs, allowing him to possess up to 250 dogs at a time.
Furthermore, even the probation and fines which were ordered are effectively suspended as Mr. Horton appeals his conviction.
Authorities raided Lanzie Carroll Horton Jr.’s "Horton’s Pups" in November 2007 and discovered more than 1000 suffering dogs on the property – approximately 980 dogs were surrendered to authorities at that time. The rescue was so overwhelming that the state's Department of Emergency Management was called in by local authorities. Any restitution order compensating the humane agencies which have provided ample and significant veterinary care for the seized dogs are also on hold pending the defendant’s appeal to the Virginia Court of Appeals.
Here is a news article on the conviction and sentencing which quotes Judge Turner:
Dog Breeder Guilty on All Counts
The Roanoke Times, May 17, 2008
Here are two early news articles on the case:
Puppy Mill 'Emergency' in Virginia
WJLA-TV, November 6, 2007
Puppy Mill Owner Facing Animal Cruelty Charges
The Roanoke Times, February 2, 2008
The Honorable Judge Edward M. Turner III
Carroll County General District Court
605 Pine Street
Hillsville, VA 24343
Case Numbers were GC08000813-00 thru GC08000852-00
Court of Appeals of Virginia
Clerk of the Court
109 North Eighth Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Case # 2084 08 3