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Thursday, Jun 30, 2011County: Broomfield
Defendant/Suspect: Marilyn Moreland
Case Updates: 2 update(s) available
Colorado Department of Agriculture officials are now revisiting a policy that allows pet care facility licensees to keep their licenses even after a misdemeanor animal cruelty conviction, CALL7 Investigators have found.
The change comes as a Broomfield pet store owner is scheduled to face felony animal cruelty charges in Jefferson County on March 27. Marilyn Moreland, who runs MJM Caviary and Rabbitry and M & M's Labradors, was arrested on aggravated felony animal cruelty counts in July after she cut the feathers and trimmed the beak of a parrot that the owner said was there only for a nail trimming, court records show.
Moreland pleaded guilty to misdemeanor animal cruelty in 2000, according to court records. But state Department of Agriculture Pet Animal Care Facilities Act officials allowed her to keep her license despite the plea.
CALL7 Investigators also found a series of violations in Moreland's PACFA file dating back to 1997, including selling dogs without a license. Moreland has repeatedly checked "no" on her license applications in the place where the state asks if she has ever pleaded guilty to animal cruelty or neglect even after her guilty plea in 2000, PACFA records show.
"I'm extremely appalled to know that she is still operating. That makes me angry," said Christel Conklin, who said Moreland mutilated her parrot, Abbie. "If had known those charges were there, Abbie wouldn't never have been there."
PACFA must revoke licenses if someone is convicted of a felony animal cruelty conviction but not if it is a misdemeanor conviction.
Holly Tarry, Colorado director for The Humane Society of the United States, said anyone convicted of animal cruelty is more likely to abuse animals again.
"It's clear that someone who has been convicted of criminal animal cruelty and has animal care violations within PACFA shouldn't have a license," she said. "I think the PACFA law and rules are strong and the enforcement has not been effective. I don't think we have the results we need when we're looking at inspectors bringing people into compliance."
CALL7 Investigators found that of a half dozen people allowed to keep their licenses after animal cruelty convictions, two have been found guilty again and the third, Moreland, is charged in another animal cruelty case.
State Veterinarian Keith Roehr conceded that the department might have made a mistake allowing people with cruelty convictions to keep their licenses.
"Knowing what we know now, we intend to look at licenses differently," Roehr said. "Our goal is to prohibit persons who have been convicted of animal cruelty from operating pet care facilities. We're taking a very different view of this than we had in the past. We are committed to proper animal care."
Conklin said the change is overdue.
"They should never own another animal again, not even as a pet," she said.
The state's decision to let Moreland keep her license is even more questionable considering her actions detailed in law enforcement records and the PACFA file.
Court and police records indicate Moreland repeatedly operated on animals without a veterinarian's license or training, including suturing a dog who was in a fight and cutting a tumor on a hedgehog's throat. She has not been charged in those alleged incidents. In the 2000 incident, police reports say Moreland cutting the teeth out of ferrets who nipped her.
Her PACFA file has violations dating back to 1997, including several instances of her selling dogs without the proper license.
"Operating without a license, selling dogs without a license," CALL7 Investigators John Ferrugia said, reading from PACFA documents.
"If they're without a license, they're in violation of our statute," Roehr said.
"You've told her that about five times and you gave her a license to breed dogs again?" Ferrugia asked.
"I'm not aware of that particular case," Roehr said.
PACFA records show in 2000 Moreland agreed not to sell dogs from other breeders, but in 2007 and in 2008 inspectors found dogs for sale.
The state fined her a few hundred dollars, but then issued her a small breeding facility license in 2010 despite her violating the 2000 agreement, records show.
"Why wouldn't I, as a taxpayer, expect you to say enough, she's done?" Ferrugia asked.
"That may well happen," Roehr said.
"Fifteen years later," Ferrugia said.
"I can't speak to issues of the past but we're actively involved in an investigation that may result in the revocation of that license," said Roehr, who headed PACFA in 2000. "Is it a perfect program? No, it's not. Have we administered in a way that isn't perfect? Yes."
Ferrugia visited Moreland's business to ask her about the charges, her criminal and PACFA record, but she declined comment.
"I won't talk to you," she said. "My attorney told me to say nothing to anyone."
Roehr said PACFA is undergoing a sunset review this summer with the legislature. Any changes in legislation to make it easier to remove licenses would likely happen in the 2013 session, he said.
This issue around Moreland is just latest the questionable enforcement by the state agriculture department uncovered by CALL7 Investigators.
|A Broomfield pet store owner will have to shut her doors after a CALL7 Investigation into why the state did not discipline her for repeated animal cruelty charges.|
Marilyn Moreland, owner of MJM Caviary and Rabbitry, was told by the Colorado Department of Agriculture that her renewal application was being denied because she failed to let them know about her March 29 animal cruelty conviction.
Moreland was charged with mutilating a parrot in 2011 and faced a felony for the crime, but she was found guilty by a jury on a lesser misdemeanor charge on March 29. She is scheduled to be sentenced June 7.
CALL7 asked questions in March about why Moreland was able to keep her license to breed dogs, birds and care for animals despite a different 2000 guilty plea for animal cruelty and subsequent problems at her facility.
In a letter from the Colorado Department of Agriculture to Moreland dated April 3, it states Moreland failed to let the state know about her 2000 animal cruelty conviction on her renewal applications from 2002 to 2010.
The state sent her a cease and desist order from operating a pet care facility by the end of the month. They have asked her to stop all operation in her store and from selling online.
Moreland declined comment Friday afternoon.
|Source: thedenverchannel.com - Apr 6, 2012|
Update posted on Apr 6, 2012 - 5:42PM
|A Broomfield pet store owner was found guilty of mutilating a pet parrot and now could face up to 18 months in county jail at her sentencing in June.|
On Thursday, a jury in Jefferson County found Marilyn Moreland, owner of MJM Caviary and Rabbitry, guilty of misdemeanor animal cruelty charges, according to the Jefferson County District Attorney's office.
CALL7 Investigators learned the jury found her not guilty on a more serious felony charge of animal cruelty, but the judge in the case, could change it to a felony at sentencing if the district attorney's office can prove aggravating factors in the case.
Moreland was charged in July 2011 after she cut the feathers and trimmed the beak of a parrot that the owner said was there only for a nail trimming, court records showed.
Moreland will be sentenced at 8 a.m. on June 7.
|Source: thedenverchannel.com - Mar 29, 2012|
Update posted on Mar 29, 2012 - 10:59PM
- thedenverchannel.com - Mar 15, 2012
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