Mom and Dad Living in Barn, Charged With Animal Cruelty

Posted on November 24, 2011


Wisconsin (Cassandra Colson-LaCrosse Tribune)- A town of Melrose couple has been charged after nearly 70 malnourished and underweight animals were rescued from their property.

Authorities say Tarry Smithey, 52, and Renee Smithey, 58, were living with the animals in a barn-like structure with no plumbing but a bed, a computer and a satellite TV.

They each were charged last week in Jackson County Circuit Court with five counts of misdemeanor animal mistreatment.

The dogs, horses, mules, cats, sheep, goats, turkeys, chickens, rabbits, ducks and a pig had been receiving little to no water, and many of the animals were kept in small cages or tied to walls on the property on Blackberry Road, according to criminal complaints.

Authorities observed horses standing in manure so high that their backs nearly touched the roof of the barn, according to the complaints.

Two adult children who also lived at the property were not arrested.

The adult children told authorities they wanted to move from the property but did not want to leave their parents without financial assistance through the end of the month, according to the complaints.

Tarry Smithey is next scheduled to appear in court Monday. Renee Smithey has a pretrial conference set for Dec. 6.

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