Woman pleads not guilty in dog abuse case

SHELLEY BYRNE/The Mayfield Messenger

Bonnie Parm listens to information from District Judge Deborah Hawkins Crooks during her arraignment Wednesday on animal cruelty charges.

A woman police say hoarded dogs entered a not guilty plea Wednesday to animal cruelty charges.

Bonnie J. Parm, 53, of Pryorsburg was arraigned Wednesday morning in Graves District Court. She entered not guilty pleas to 23 counts of second-degree cruelty to animals and 23 counts of dogs to be vaccinated against rabies.

Parm told District Judge Deborah Hawkins Crooks that she understood the charges but not what the possible penalties are if she is convicted. Crooks explained that the cruelty to animals charges are misdemeanors, with each punishable by up to 12 months in the county jail and/or a fine of up to $500 fine each. The other charges are violations, punishable by a fine of $10 to $100 per offense per day she was found to be in violation.

Parm also said she was in need of an attorney and could not afford one, so Crooks appointed the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy to represent her. She scheduled a pre-trial conference in Parm's case for 9 a.m. May 29 in district court.

State police were called to Parm's home on Ky. 1748 East on 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." The report indicated that living conditions were uninhabitable and in neglect of all animals on the property. The house was vacant.

Neighbors told the trooper that the dogs were not cared for properly and roam onto other people's property at will.

The citation continues, saying that Parm spoke to police 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.

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 has said the animals were in good health, except for two that had just had puppies, and that a rescue was about to pick up some of the dogs. Some of the dogs had been dropped off at the home, and their owners never returned, she said. She said a neighbor who didn't like dogs sometimes wandering onto her property has mischaracterized the situation.