Toledo dog breeder gets 100 days for animal cruelty

A Toledo dog breeder was found guilty today in Lewis County District Court on 10 misdemeanor counts of second-degree animal cruelty.

Judge R.W. Buzzard sentenced Theresa Hahn, 27, to 100 days in jail but converted 50 of those days to 400 hours of community service. If Hahn fails to fulfill that agreement within two years, she’ll be remanded to jail and serve another 50 days. Hahn began serving her sentence today.

Hahn sobbed in court when Buzzard prohibited her from owning or caring for dogs for the rest of her life.

Buzzard also fined Hahn $2,000 – $200 for each count of animal cruelty – and ordered her to reimburse the Lewis County Animal Shelter for expenses spent on caring for 20 of her dogs. The dogs were found emaciated and parasite-ridden in October 2009. One of them died.

Animal shelter manager Amy Hanson said $3,700 was spent in providing medical attention to the dogs alone. She and prosecutors will have 60 days to calculate the total cost of the animal shelter’s expenses, including food and hours spent providing care, before referring the full amount to court.

Hahn had 157 Pomeranians and Labradors on her property in the 100 block of Rockridge Lane when the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report that Hahn and her family were growing marijuana. Instead of cultivation, deputies witnessed animal cruelty and came back to her property with a warrant.

Six of the dogs seized were adopted from the local shelter. The rest were adopted out of the Oregon Humane Society in Portland.

Hanson said in court that when she and a code enforcement officer from Public Health and Social Services responded to Hahn’s property, dogs were everywhere, even in the bathrooms; feces was spread around; and the dogs were there as a “commodity to be sold for financial gain.”