Case Snapshot
Case ID: 19221
Classification: Hoarding
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Thursday, Jan 26, 2012

County: Bonneville

Disposition: Alleged

» Robert Huffman
» Michelle Huffman

Idaho Falls Animal Services officers on Thursday confiscated several animals from a home they said has a lot of history with calls regarding abuse.

Over the last few years, animal services have been called to the Idaho Falls home several times. The residents there have both been previously convicted on animal cruelty charges.

But on Monday night, there is still an injured dog living in the house.

Officers have been called to the 17th Street home multiple times on animal abuse calls. Robert and Michelle Huffman are the residents there. On Jan. 20, Michelle Huffman was convicted in a jury trial on cruel and inhumane treatment charges.

"One of the animals we weren't sure was even going to live through the night," said Idaho Falls Animal Services manager Irene Brown.

The windows of the house are almost all barricaded with cardboard and sheets.

"They really don't believe that what they're doing isn't okay," said Brown.

Brown knows the house and the Huffmans too well. Michelle Huffman's sentencing is coming up and Robert Huffman is already serving probation on a similar conviction.

"One of them is on probation for cruel and inhumane treatment, the other one just was found guilty in a jury trial and her sentencing isn't until the end of February," said Brown.

When our station tried to talk to him on Monday, he told us to get off the property. When a search warrant was served on Thursday for the home, officers found three cats living in horrible conditions. One wasn't expected to make it through the night. A dog was also found with a puncture wound, but officers left the dog behind.

"That animal did need some medical care but they had an appointment to have that taken care of," said Brown.

Animal services said they will follow up, but for area animal rights advocate Julia Townsend, that isn't nearly enough. Townsend runs the Helping Animals Rescue Team, an Idaho Falls based advocacy group for animal rights.

"My reaction to that is outrage, really," said Townsend. "How many animals have to suffer and die at the hands of these people before they're finally stopped?"

Animal services said, on one visit to the house, they found more than a dozen cats and dogs.

Brown said she can't release a lot of information on this case because it is ongoing. She said after Michelle Huffman's sentencing at the end of February, everything will be released.


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