RAPID CITY, S.D. — A woman charged with neglecting dozens of animals at her breeding facility near Rapid City has been sentenced to nearly 20 years of probation.

The Rapid City Journal (http://bit.ly/2rf5rRa ) reported that 46-year-old Janell Gibson pleaded guilty to 20 counts of animal neglect Tuesday at the Pennington County Courthouse. Under a plea agreement, Gibson was also ordered to pay a $55,000 fine to the local animal shelter and sentenced to 90 days of electronic monitoring.

Gibson won’t be allowed to have domestic animals on her property or operate an animal-breeding facility or rescue center during her probation.

Law enforcement in December found three dead puppies and 76 live animals in various conditions of neglect at Gibson’s facility in Creighton, a community about 70 miles (113 kilometers) east of Rapid City. The Humane Society of the Black Hills later gained ownership of the 48 dogs, 15 rabbits, 12 cats and one hen pheasant that were seized from the facility.

Deputy State’s Attorney Carolyn Olson told Magistrate Judge Scott Bogue that the conditions of the animals were “really quite appalling.”

In a statement to the court, Gibson admitted to failing to provide the animals with adequate sanitation and facilities.

Defense attorney Matthew Rappold said Gibson’s permits to operate the kennel were revoked in February 2016. However, authorities allowed her to continue running the facility for another 11 months, Rappold said.

Authorities did not immediately shut down the facility because they wanted to give Gibson the chance to comply with regulations because she had a history of doing so, Olson said.


This version of the story corrects the 2nd paragraph to say Pennington County Courthouse and the 4th paragraph to say The Humane Society of the Black Hills.


Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com