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Woman gets probation in animal cruelty case

ALPENA, Mich. — A northern Michigan woman has been sentenced to three years of probation in an animal cruelty case involving dogs and miniature horses.

The Alpena News reports Jennifer Elen Tucker-Richard, 35, was sentenced Monday on charges including animal cruelty or abandonment. She also was ordered to perform 250 hours community service and is forbidden from owning or possessing animals.

Tucker-Richard earlier pleaded guilty in a deal with prosecutors.

Defense lawyer James Schmier says Tucker-Richard didn’t deliberately harm the animals. He’s says she was selling the dogs to make money.

Montmorency County sheriff’s deputies in January confiscated 37 dogs and six miniature horses from her property near Hillman, about 85 miles northeast of Traverse City. Officials say the animals lacked basic care and didn’t have food, drinkable water or proper shelter.

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