Puppy Mill Owner Pleads Guilty to 43 Counts of Animal Cruelty
On January 20, the trial of Jasper County, MS, puppy mill operator Richard Stockman came to a victorious close. Charged with 43 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty, Stockman pled guilty to all charges in a Jasper County Justice Court.
Stockman was cited last October after 46 severely emaciated dogs, most suffering from a range of ailments including skin disease, rotted teeth, fur matted with urine and feces and various infections, were found on his property. Members of the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team assisted the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department with the investigation and the rescue of animals.
Under terms of his plea agreement, Stockman must destroy his Bay Springs, MS, kennels and find homes for the remaining dogs within 30 days, or the animals will be seized by authorities. He is also banned from ever owning or caring for dogs used for breeding again. Furthermore, Stockman has 90 days to pay the courts a $1,000 fine.
The rescued dogs were sent to the Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society where they have since been adopted.
“Our team of investigators collected evidence for the prosecution of this case and provided for the animals’ immediate needs," says ASPCA Senior Vice President of Anti-Cruelty, Matt Bershadker. "Animal cruelty is unacceptable, and we did everything we could to lend our support to this critical operation. We applaud the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department for pursuing this case and recognizing the severity of the complaint."