The court has given an elderly woman a break, relieving her of having to pay court costs after she was placed on probation for operating what prosecutors say was a major puppy mill at her home.
The woman, Wilma Jones, 75, asked, and was granted by Circuit Court Judge Bart Stanley, freedom from the $1,010 she owed the state in court costs in her case concerning 124 dogs that were seized from her property in March 2011.
Jones is on the second year of her five-year probationary sentence for animal neglect. Officers raided her home and found 124 dogs and some other animals, some of which they believed were malnourished. Jones was accused of running a puppy mill and the animals were seized and sent to various animal rescues.
Jones eventually signed away most of the animals as part of an agreement with prosecutors. She then entered a no-contest plea and accepted five years on probation as her punishment. She continues to insist she did the best she could to take care of her animals, many of which she said were abandoned on her doorstep.
As for being relieved of her financial obligations to the state, Jones maintained in a motion before the judge that she simply couldn’t afford to pay and faced violating her probation for not having the money to pay court costs.
“I have several medical problems and am not able to pay for them like I am supposed to,” Jones said in her motion before the court. “I have a lot of work that needs to be done around the house that I am unable to do myself and can’t afford to pay anyone to do it with me.”
While relieved of paying costs, she will still have to abide by the other terms of her probation.