Woman charged with abuse of 23 dogs

SHELLEY BYRNE/The Mayfield Messenger

Police charged a Pryorsburg woman with 23 counts of cruelty to animals and 23 counts of having dogs unvaccinated for rabies living at this vacant house she owns on Ky. 1748 East. The woman, Bonnie J. Parm, contends she took good care of all the dogs, although some new mothers were anemic and one had birthing complications and died, along with two puppies.

State police charged a Pryorsburg woman with 23 counts of animal cruelty after they said they found malnourished dogs, including three dead ones, at her home.

The woman, Bonnie J. Parm, 53, disputes information contained in the police citation, however, saying most of the dogs were healthy and that they were all well tended.

Parm voluntarily surrendered the dogs, which she said are being cared for at the Mayfield-Graves County Animal Shelter.

State police were called to Parm's home on Ky. 1748 East, near Pryorsburg, at 2:26 p.m. Thursday, March 28.

The police citation, part of the public court file, reads in part, "Troopers dispatched to above address in reference to animal neglect and cruelty. Upon arrival, troopers observed a dead dog on the front porch. Troopers observed numerous dogs in different living situations, some without food or water. Living conditions were inhabitable in neglect of all animals on property. Neighbors advised the dogs are not cared for properly and roam onto other people's property at will. The residence is vacant."

The citation continues, saying that Parm spoke to them and said she comes two or three times a week to feed the dogs and that she owns the dogs and the property. She told them they do not have rabies tags or paperwork as required by law. In addition to 23 counts of second-degree cruelty to animals, troopers also charged her with 23 counts of dogs to be vaccinated against rabies. Her arraignment is scheduled for 9 a.m. May 15 in Graves District Court.

Speaking of Parm, the citation continues, "The above accompanied troopers inside of residence, where there were two dead puppies. There were 23 dogs and two cats on property."

Parm said the citation leaves out key details, and she said some of the information provided is incorrect. She intends to speak to a lawyer about representing her.

"My dogs were all fat," she said. "There were only two that were anemic, and they had just had puppies. They were all in good health."

The deceased dog on the front porch had had puppies two days previously and had complications that, unfortunately, led to her passing. The two dead puppies were hers, Parm said.

"A lot of times first time moms have issues," she said.

Parm said she was on her way to buy food and feed the dogs when she got a call that the police were at her home. She now lives with her boyfriend in Marshall County, she said, but they are renovating the home and plan to return to it.

Parm said she always puts down 50 pounds of food at a time.

"My dogs ate when I didn't eat," she said.

Parm believes a neighbor who didn't like dogs occasionally wandering onto nearby property complained to the police and may have mischaracterized the situation. She said she had already voluntarily cut down on the number of animals at the home, giving one recently to a rescue in Tennessee. Another rescue was supposed to be coming to take custody of two Doberman Pinschers and possibly also a bloodhound the next weekend, she said.

"They got there before the rescue could come," she said.

Parm's boyfriend, Justin Rollf, said Parm raised dachshunds. He estimated that the puppies were worth $300 each and indicated he thought the shelter had a financial interest in having them.

"They're just going to sell them anyway," he said.

Many of the dogs were dropped off by their owners for Parm to keep temporarily, but the owners never came back, Rollf said.

"It's just her helping people, people who can't have dogs," he said. "I think she just got overwhelmed."

He noted that Parm works three jobs.

"The only dogs we were responsible for were the dachshunds," Rollf said. "The rest of them just kept being dropped off."

He said sometimes Parm would show up to feed the dogs and find new ones there.

"Everybody loves dogs when they're little, but when they get older," he said, "they want to give them the boot."