By BILL BRAUN
More than a year after a previous animal-cruelty case was dismissed, Tulsa County prosecutors refiled a scaled-down charge against a former Owasso animal rescue operator.
Penny Joanne Clark, 45, recently was charged with one count of cruelty to an animal — a schnauzer named Gracie.
Clark was booked into the Tulsa Jail on Tuesday and was released later that day on $5,000 bond.
A police affidavit asserts that Gracie was healthy when she was taken to Clark on April 28, 2007, and that the dog was left in her care until Aug. 5, 2007. A veterinarian then diagnosed Gracie as severely malnourished and maintained that the dog had experienced severe hair loss resulting from malnutrition, the affidavit states.
Attorney Keith Ward, representing Clark, said Wednesday that his client did not neglect the dog and did not do what is alleged in the charge. Gracie "was provided an adequate supply of food and water," he said. Ward described Clark as "the biggest animal lover" in Tulsa County.
She no longer runs an animal rescue operation, he said. In February 2008, the District Attorney's Office dismissed for further investigation a seven-count animal cruelty charge that was filed in 2007 against Clark and her husband, Fernon Clark III, records show. At that time, First Assistant District Attorney Doug Drummond said he expected that the case would be refiled.
Those dismissed counts stemmed from an August 2007 seizure of animals by law enforcement officers from Penny Clark's New Hope Animal Rescue at 13017 E. 105th St. North in Owasso.