2 Years After 70 Animals Were Seized From Farm, Woman Sentenced For Animal Cruelty

A southern Colorado woman will spend three years in prison for animal cruelty.

A new day for Harley the horse, one of 70 animals rehabilitated and rehomed after suffering through "deplorable" conditions at a Boone farm. (Credit: HSPPR)

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A southern Colorado woman will spend three years in prison for animal cruelty.

Seventy animals were rescued from a farm in Boone in 2012, living in what animal law enforcement officers called some of the most deplorable conditions they had seen.

“There were starving and emaciated animals around the property living in unimaginable circumstances,” Director of Animal Law Enforcement Joe Stafford said at the time.

Friday, the woman owning the farm, Valerie Harris, was sentenced to three years behind bars on seven counts of aggravated animal cruelty and 10 years of probation for 15 counts of animal cruelty.

“I hope this case sends a very strong message,” Stafford said in a statement. “We are here to protect those that can't protect themselves. Whether it takes one day or 10 years, we will not rest until the perpetrators of animal cruelty are held fully accountable for their actions.

It's not Harris' first time being accused or convicted of animal cruelty; authorities say she was investigated in 2004, then three years later 19 horses were seized from her property. Harris was later convicted for animal cruelty after two neglected dogs were taken from her in 2009.

The Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region says all of the animals rescued in 2012 have been rehabilitated and are living in new homes.

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