January 10, 2013
PRESTONSBURG —A Prestonsburg woman who was arrested for 30 counts of second-degree cruelty two months ago was charged this week with threatening a witness in that case.
According to court records, Vanessa Howard, 45, of Prestonsburg “called and threatened Animal Control Officer, who is a witness against her in (the case), that she would see to it that he would ‘get his’ attempting to influence his testimony.”
Howard was arrested and charged with 30 counts of animal cruelty after Floyd County Animal Control and sheriff’s deputies found dozens of maltreated, barely alive dogs, as well as garbage bags full of dead dogs in Howard’s home.
In the original complaint, Howard had seven dead dogs inside a garbage bag on her front porch and two other dogs were found dead inside her home at Abbott Creek. Twelve dogs were found inside the home.
Animals were also found in Howard’s Front Street address, where authorities found nine cats living in small area decked in feces.
Second-degree cruelty to animals is a Class A misdemeanor and carries with it a possible maximum sentence of 12 months in jail.
Howard is charged with intimidating a participant in the legal process, a felony. If found guilty, she could receive 1-to-5 years in prison, and as much as $10,000 in fines.