By Nick Lough & KULR Staff
As part of a plea deal, Linda Kapsa was sentence to serve 20 years in the Department of Health and Human services with all time suspended. She will spend no time in jail.
Judge Susan Watters also ordered that she keep no more than three spayed or neutered dogs as companions during that twenty years and a probation officer will be able to visit the property at anytime to check on the welfare of the animals.
Yellowstone Deputy County Attorney Ingrid Rosenquist says, "I think this is an appropriate sentence and actually and ironically it is eight months to the day since we did the initial seizure on December 11, 2008.”
Kapsa will also be able to keep several goats, chickens, horses, and cockateels. She was ordered to pay $120,000 dollars in restitution. A payment plan of $50 dollars every month for the next 20 years was set up.
More than 200 dogs have been under the care of the county since they were taken last December. A private rescue group is now helping those animals find new homes..." More & video
Montana, Great Falls Tribune - By CAROL BRADLEY
Toole County officials courageously stepped forward and charged the couple with multiple counts of animal cruelty.
That was just the beginning. A couple of years later Cascade County spent more than $100,000 feeding and housing 138 dogs, 18 horses and 17 cats taken from the property of notorious hoarder Pam Polejewski. The discovery of 100 sled dogs in an old bus near Butte last year has cost the Humane Society $150,000. And last month, authorities seized 199 live dogs and two dozen dead ones from Linda Kapsa's Shady Lane Kennels near Billings.
They're being held at the county fairgrounds, unable to be adopted out until the case is resolved in court.
For starters, the proposed law would recognize companion animal hoarding as a form of animal cruelty. And it would provide that, in addition to being fined, a convicted hoarder may be required to undergo a psychological evaluation and/or treatment.
This marks the fourth time a hoarding bill has been introduced in Helena. Last time around, the House passed the bill by 68 votes, but it died in the Senate Judiciary Committee. This time it has broad-based support, not just among animal welfare supporters. Sheriffs and prosecutors who've had to grapple with hoarders' handiwork have signed on, too.