WINONA, Texas (KETK) – Two people who were arrested in Winona for animal cruelty at their property, which was initially a rescue, have been sentenced to probation.
Tina Loper and Eric Morris were initially arrested on Jan. 21 after 38 dogs were seized from the property.
Loper pleaded guilty to multiple charges of animal cruelty in October and received a probated sentence of one year in state jail. The court has set a term of probation at 15 months with 200 hours of community service.
Morris also pleaded guilty to similar misdemeanor charges and was sentenced to 12 months deferred adjudication with 100 hours of community service.
According to an affidavit, the property was originally a rescue called Dog Days Ranch and Rescue that turned into a hoarding situation, and officials were called to perform a welfare check on the dogs.
The affidavit said upon arrival, majority of the dogs were found to have no no water, empty food bowls and were living with large amounts of feces in their enclosures.
When meeting with Smith County Constable Josh Joplin at a follow-up visit, Loper reportedly told him “we made a lot of mistakes.”
“If you don’t want to take care of your animals, don’t have one,” Joplin said at the time. “We are not going to have that in this county.”
The dogs were surrendered to the Humane Society of the United States and taken to Maryland.