Case Snapshot
Case ID: 5793
Classification: Hoarding
Animal: dog (non pit-bull), dog (pit-bull)
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Animal was offleash or loose
Person(s) in animal care
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Friday, Oct 21, 2005

County: Baxter

Charges: Misdemeanor, Felony CTA
Disposition: Convicted
Case Images: 34 files available

Defendants/Suspects:
» William Hanson
» Tammy Hanson

Case Updates: 23 update(s) available

Two owners of an animal rescue operation were arrested after hundreds of dogs, some rescued from Hurricane Katrina, were found on the couple's property groveling for food among urine and feces, authorities said.

Among the stench, sheriff's deputies found one dead dog, another with a broken leg, and many with sores, Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery said.

Between 400 and 500 dogs were on the two-acre lot, including 50 pit bulls rescued from Louisiana after the hurricane, Montgomery said. About 75 dogs were running loose, he said.

Some of the dogs appeared to be aggressive; others sat nervously in small metal cages.

"It's very sad that people depend on this shelter to take care of their animals and you get here and see that the conditions are just unbelievable," Montgomery said.

William Hanson, 41, and his wife Tammy Hanson, 38, were charged Oct 21 with animal cruelty and released on $1,000 bond each.

Volunteers and a veterinarian were tending to the animals at E.D.N.A.H. Animal Rescue and Sanctuary, or Every Dog Needs A Home. Montgomery said the dogs might be sent to other shelters or rescue groups.


Case Updates

Tammy Christine Hanson is to leave Baxter County today, her sentences for animal cruelty and failing to appear for sentencing on those charges now complete. However, she leaves here facing felony charges of theft of animals and failure to appear in Lawrence County, Mo.

Thursday afternoon In Baxter County Circuit Court, Hanson, 43, dropped the appeal of her local misdemeanor convictions in an agreement that gets her out of jail here and into jail in Missouri, where she will be under a $25,000 bond.

"This has been a long, drawn-out process," Sheriff John Montgomery told The Bulletin after court, saying that for Baxter County the case is finally finished.

Montgomery, who made tracking down the fugitive Hanson a priority for his department, said he was pleased with the outcome. "Justice was served," he said, noting the Hanson case helped change Arkansas' animal cruelty law.

Thursday's action ends a saga that began in October 2005 when about 500 dogs â€" many of them refugees from Hurricane Katrina â€" were discovered living in what were called gruesome conditions at Every Dog Needs A Home (EDNAH), the Gamaliel animal sanctuary operated by Hanson and her husband, William Henry Hanson. As one of the country's biggest animal abuse cases, it made national headlines.

In January 2006, the Hansons were convicted in Baxter County District Court of 20 counts of animal cruelty, which then was a misdemeanor. However, before the couple could be sentenced they fled the area and remained fugitives until July 2009 when they were arrested in Vermont. After an extradition fight, Hanson was returned to Baxter County to face sentencing in the cruelty case and the new charge of failure to appear.

Hanson netted a one-year sentence in the Baxter County Detention Center, the maximum sentence allowed on the animal cruelty charges then received a concurrent one-year jail term for failing to appear. She appealed both convictions to circuit court.

Since Hanson filed her appeals, there have been hearings on various motions, the most recent ones dealing with what she contended were health issues. Thursday's court appearance was slated as a hearing on more motions.

However, prosecutor Ron Kincade told the court he and public defender Lou Marczuk had been in discussions and reached an agreement. Prior to the start of Hanson's hearing, Marczuk was busy moving from the prosecutor's office to hushed conversations with Hanson in the courtroom and on to conversations with Hanson's family.

Kincade said Hanson agreed to dismiss her appeals, which meant her district court convictions would stand. As a result, according to the prosecutor, Hanson would have completed her sentence with a tentative release date of July 18.

The prosecutor said the state agreed to give her "good time" credit, which would make her eligible for release today, on the condition she waive transfer to Lawrence County. Kincade said the sheriff's department would transport Hanson to Missouri.

Marczuk concurred with Kincade on the agreement.

Circuit Judge Gordon Webb asked Hanson if she agreed to the arrangement and several other questions regarding the negotiated settlement. "Yes, your honor," replied Hanson to each question. She made no other statements to the court and was returned to jail after court.

Montgomery said after Hanson signs an extradition waiver, his department would transfer her to Missouri today. There, Hanson faces a charge of stealing approximately 20 dogs and failing to appear for court.

At the time of Hanson's original arrest, animal cruelty was only a misdemeanor in Arkansas. However, Montgomery said the case became one of the catalysts that led to the Legislature enacting a felony animal cruelty law last year for Arkansas.

Montgomery said he didn't know the financial cost of the five-year-old case, of tracking down Hanson and keeping her in jail, but indicated it was worth it. As for why he and his department devoted so much time and effort to Hanson, Montgomery said, "It's very simple."

"If you were there, if you were at the EDNAH compound and saw the conditions ...," said the sheriff. "The reason we put this much effort in it is it was the right thing to do."
Source: baxterbulletin.com - Feb 23, 2012
Update posted on Feb 24, 2012 - 10:08PM 
A man convicted of one of the largest animal cruelty cases in the United States is extradited to Arkansas.

William Henry Hanson was brought from Johnson County, Missouri to the Baxter County Sheriff's Office Friday night.

Hanson and his wife Tammy were convicted of animal cruelty in January, 2006.

They became fugitives when they fled from Arkansas before sentencing.

The Humane Society spent more than $110,000 and used hundreds of volunteer hours to care for more than 500 animals who were kept in deplorable conditions.

William Hanson is scheduled to be in court for sentencing next week.
Source: Ozarks First - Nov 14, 2009
Update posted on Nov 15, 2009 - 2:15AM 
Tammy Hanson was sentenced in Baxter County District Court on Wednesday afternoon for 20 misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals. Baxter County District Judge Van Gearhart imposed a 1-year sentence in the county jail and $10,000 in fines.

Hanson was convicted of those charges following trial in early 2006. She then fled from Arkansas prior to her sentencing.

Law officers finally arrested Hanson last July. She was living in Vermont under a false name.

Following her protracted efforts to avoid being extradited to Arkansas, Hanson was finally returned to Baxter County on Sept. 25. She's been in the Baxter County jail awaiting sentencing since then, as well as being held on a charge of failure to appear, for which she has yet to be tried.

Gearhart heard testimony on Wednesday from several witnesses relating to the sentencing of Hanson, including testimony on the condition of the animals that authorities found at the EDNAH (Every Dog Needs a Home) compound, as well as extensive testimony as to the amount of restitution that is owed to the Humane Society of the United States.

The Humane Society spent a lot of money to care for all animals found at Hanson's EDNAH compound near Gamaliel, Ark., following its seizure by the Baxter County Sheriff's Department in late 2005 during the execution of a search warrant. The State Director of Arkansas for the U. S. Humane Society testified that in excess of $100,000 was spent by that organization for the care and maintenance of the animals, as well as their subsequent placement, over a period of several weeks following Hanson's arrest.

Hanson also testified in her own behalf during the sentencing hearing.

Following testimony, Gearhart ordered Hanson to pay a fine of $500 and court costs on each of the 20 charges. Gearhart said the conditions of the animals and the EDNAH compound were appalling. He ordered Hanson to serve the maximum sentence in the county jail, which under Arkansas law is one year, but said he feels the sentence is insufficient and should be longer.

Hanson will be given credit for the 41 days she has already been held in custody. In addition to the jail sentence, fines, and court costs, Tammy Hanson was ordered to pay restitution to the Humane Society of the United States in the amount of $5,000, which is the maximum amount of restitution that the judge can order under Arkansas Law.

After serving her jail sentence, Hanson will be on supervised probation. After her release from jail, Gearhart ordered Hanson to not own, possess, or be in contact with any animal.

Gearhart found Hanson is a flight risk and ordered an appeal bond of $5,000 cash only on each of the 20 counts, thereby requiring her to post an aggregate $100,000 cash bond in order to appeal her convictions and sentencing to Baxter County Circuit Court. Should Hanson appeal, all further orders concerning her bond and continued custody would be at the discretion of a circuit judge.

In addition to the 20 counts on which she was convicted and sentenced, Hanson continues to await trial on seven additional misdemeanor charges, including the failure to appear in court charge. Gearhart set bond at an additional $5,000 cash on each of these seven charges, thereby requiring her to post an additional aggregate $35,000 cash bond on those pre-trial charges.

Hanson's husband, William Hanson, continues to be in jail in Missouri on a Baxter County warrant for failure to appear in court. He continues to fight extradition to Arkansas.
Source: KY3 - Nov 4, 2009
Update posted on Nov 5, 2009 - 9:56AM 
More than three and a half years after being convicted on numerous animal cruelty charges, an Arkansas woman will be sentenced.

Tammy Hanson fled before she could be sentenced, but early this morning she was extradited from Vermont to Arkansas.

She's being held without bond tonight in the Baxter County Detention Center.

Hanson and her husband, William, were convicted in 2006.

In late 2005, investigators found nearly 600 abused dogs on their property near Mountain Home.

It was considered the worst case of animal cruelty in the nation at the time.

After skipping their sentencing, the couple moved to Vermont and were living under assumed names.

Tammy was arrested in mid-July and had been fighting extradition. William was taken into custody earlier this week in Johnson County, Missouri.
Source: Ozarks First - Sept 25, 2009
Update posted on Sep 28, 2009 - 10:51AM 
An extradition hearing is set for tomorrow for a Baxter County man convicted of animal cruelty three-and-a-half years ago. William Hanson and his wife, Tammy took off while out on bail.

Their sanctuary known as Every Dog Needs a Home at one point had more than 600 dogs.

At the time it was described as the worst animal abuse case in the nation.

Tammy Hanson was arrested in Vermont in July, where the couple had fled and assumed another identity.

William Hanson was picked up last week in Johnson County, Missouri.
Source: KY3 - Sept 28, 2009
Update posted on Sep 28, 2009 - 10:43AM 
After more than 3 1/2 years since she was convicted in Baxter County District Court of numerous counts of cruelty to animals, then having fled the jurisdiction of the court to in an attempt to escape from her punishment, Tammy Christine Hanson, 42 years of age, has finally been returned to Baxter County, Arkansas to face sentencing on those charges. Tammy Christine Hanson and her husband, William Hanson, were operating the EDNAH (Every Dog Needs A Home) pet sanctuary in Gamaliel, Arkansas in late 2005 when Baxter County Sheriff’s deputies executed a search warrant there and founds hundreds of dogs in deplorable, unsanitary, and cruel conditions. A lengthy follow-up that included an investigation and prolonged care for the animals was undertaken. At the time it was believed to be the largest animal cruelty case in the United States.

After Hanson’s disappearance, the Sheriff’s Office received and followed up on many citizen tips as to her whereabouts. Tammy Hanson was finally located and arrested in Caledonia County, Vermont on July 18, 2009 on outstanding failure to appear warrants from both Baxter County, Arkansas and Lawrence County, Missouri. She had been held in custody since then without bond while she attempted to fight extradition to prevent her return to Arkansas. Immediately following Tammy Hanson’s arrest in Vermont, the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office and Prosecuting Attorney Ron Kincade began taking steps to secure a Governor’s Requisition Warrant from Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe, even though the Baxter County warrant was only for a misdemeanor offense. Arkansas authorities began coordinating and working closely with Sheriff Michael Bergeron of Caledonia County, Vermont and Vermont State’s Attorney Ben Luna to secure the return of Hanson to Arkansas. While it is a rare occurrence for a person to be extradited from out of state on misdemeanor charges, such action is allowed and permitted under the law. William Hanson was present with Tammy Hanson at the time of her arrest, but he was not taken into custody at that time.

The Arkansas Governor’s Warrant was issued on July 31, 2009 and delivered to Vermont Governor Jim Douglas. Tammy Hanson was subsequently served with the Governor’s Warrant, but she continued her struggle to prevent extradition by filing various motions and petitions for writs of habeas corpus in Vermont. On September 21, 2009, Vermont Judge Kathleen M. Manley issued orders that permitted Tammy Hanson to be picked up by Baxter County authorities and returned to Arkansas.

Although there was a slight possibility that Hanson could possibly be granted yet another reprieve if she filed additional motions, Sheriff Montgomery decided on September 23rd to make arrangements to send a deputy to Vermont to take custody of Tammy Hanson. Arrangements were made for Deputy Sheriff Julie Tilley to fly out of St. Louis, Missouri into Burlington, Vermont by commercial air service, then pick up Tammy Hanson and return to Arkansas with her.

Deputy Tilley took custody of Tammy Hanson at approximately 3:30 AM this morning from her place of detention at the Northwest State Correctional Facility in Franklin County, Vermont and was successful in returning her to Arkansas. Deputy Tilley and Tammy Hanson flew out of Burlington, Vermont at approximately 6:00 AM this morning on Delta Airlines en route back to Arkansas. Tammy Hanson was delivered to the Baxter County Detention Center at approximately 7:30 PM this evening, where she is incarcerated and is being held without bond pending further appearances before Baxter County District Judge Van Gearhart. When Tammy Hanson appears for sentencing at a yet to be determined date, she faces being confined in the Detention Center for up to one (1) year in addition to fines and restitution relating to expenses involved with the clean-up of the EDNAH compound, care of the animals found there, as well as travel and extradition expenses.

Tammy Hanson’s husband, William Hanson, currently remains in custody in Johnson County, Missouri on an outstanding misdemeanor failure to appear warrant from Baxter County District Court. He was arrested there on September 22, 2009 after citizen tips again lead law enforcement to his whereabouts. William Hanson has refused to waive extradition, and Baxter County authorities are prepared to begin formal extradition proceedings against him as well.

The Baxter County Sheriff’s Office wants to extend its sincere thanks and appreciation to all persons, officials, and organizations that were involved in the original situation at the EDNAH compound and who have contributed throughout the last 3 1/2 years to our efforts to locate Tammy Hanson and William Hanson and bring them back to Baxter County to face justice.
Source: Baxter County Sheriff's Office - Sept 25, 2009
Update posted on Sep 26, 2009 - 12:23PM 
A man facing animal cruelty charges in Caledonia County has gone AWOL, and it's not the first time.

Forty-four-year-old William Hanson and his wife Tammy are accused of keeping 30 dogs in unsanitary conditions at their home in Sutton. Both were previously convicted on similar charges in Arkansas in a case that involved hundreds of dogs. Tammy Hanson is being held in Vermont as a fugitive from justice, but an arrest warrant is out in Arkansas for William since he failed to appear for sentencing there.

On Monday, he once again failed to appear in Caledonia County Court to answer the new charges. Officers say they visited the couple's Sutton home only to find it vacant. The Caledonia County Sheriff's Office has now issued an arrest warrant for William Hanson.

Officials say he may be operating a silver Ford Expedition with Montana registration 3C-5751G or a large tan and white motor home bearing Montana registration 3C-9341H. He may be towing a black Roadmaster trailer bearing Montana registration 3A4466. Anyone who sees Hanson or knows where he may be is asked to contact the Caledonia County Sheriffs Department at (802) 748-6666 or their local police department.
Source: WCAX - Sept 16, 2009
Update posted on Sep 17, 2009 - 10:14AM 
A woman on the run from an animal cruelty conviction in Arkansas is now facing new charges in Vermont, and now her husband has also been charged.

Tammy Hanson was arraigned in July as a fugitive from justice. Police say she took off from Arkansas after being convicted in an animal cruelty case that involved hundreds of starving, diseased and dead dogs.

A further investigation by the Caledonia County Sheriff's department found Hanson and her husband were also keeping 30 dogs in unsanitary conditions at their home in Sutton.

44-year-old William Hanson was cited into court for animal cruelty.

And Tammy Hanson is now facing a felony charge of false personation. Investigators say she claimed to be a lawyer and a doctor who ran an animal rescue clinic in order to gain possession of some animals.
Source: WCAX - Aug 31, 2009
Update posted on Aug 31, 2009 - 12:18PM 
Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery announced Friday afternoon that a governor's warrant has been issued to extradite Tammy Christine Hanson from Vermont to Arkansas. Hanson, a fugitive for 3 1/2 years after being convicted of animal cruelty in 2006, was captured in Vermont two weeks ago on warrants from Arkansas and Missouri.

Montgomery said Gov. Mike Beebe signed the governor's requisition warrant Friday morning. The warrant asks Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas to order Hanson's release to Baxter County authorities so she can be returned to Arkansas and sentenced in Baxter County District Court.

"Although the case is far from over, it is certainly one giant step closer to bringing Tammy Hanson to justice," said Montgomery.

Hanson's conviction was on misdemeanor charges, and although extradition procedures are rare on misdemeanors, Montgomery said Prosecutor Ron Kincade "worked diligently" to have the 42-year-old Hanson brought back to Baxter County.

Hanson and her husband William Hanson, 44, had been fugitives from Baxter County since they failed to appear for sentencing in Baxter County District Court Feb. 23, 2006, after the District Judge Van Gearhart convicted them on multiple charges of cruelty to animals, theft and tampering.

William Hanson was not arrested with his wife because he did not have an outstanding felony warrant, according to Montgomery. However, he said there is a coordinated effort under way between prosecutors in Baxter County and Caledonia County, Vt., "to hopefully work out the legalities to arrest and extradite William Hanson as well."

The animal cruelty charges stemmed from the Hansons' operation of a facility they called Every Dog Needs a Home at Gamaliel. It was there that sheriff's investigators found more than 400 dogs in small pens or cages that were unsanitary, four dead dogs, and many animals in need of veterinary care in October 2005.

The case received national attention because many of the animals at the Gamaliel facility had been rescued from the Hurricane Katrina disaster. During the weeks that followed Hansons' arrest in Baxter County, rescue workers from the Humane Society of the United States and their affiliates and many volunteers took charge of the EDNAH compound under the supervision of the sheriff's office and began to care for the animals.

Hanson was arrested July 18 at Sutton, Vt., after authorities there received a citizen's tip. Along with the Baxter County warrant, Lawrence County, Mo., has an outstanding theft warrant for her. She and her husband had been living under assumed names in Vermont for about a year
Source: BaxterBulletin.com - Aug 1, 2009
Update posted on Aug 6, 2009 - 2:30PM 
A fugitive from the Ozarks is arrested in Vermont. Tammy Hanson was wanted in Baxter County, Arkansas and Lawrence County, Missouri on animal cruelty charges.

Back in 2006, authorities found nearly 600 abused dogs on Hanson's property near Mountain Home. The animals had been rescued during Hurricane Katrina, but were neglected by Hanson.

It was considered the worst case of animal cruelty in the nation at the time.

Hanson and her husband, William, have been on the run since their conviction three years ago. A concerned citizen tipped authorities they were living in Vermont under fake names.

Tammy Hanson is due in court in Vermont on Monday. Local authorities have traveled there to testify in the case.
Source: Ozarks First - July 19, 2009
Update posted on Jul 19, 2009 - 7:54PM 
The Humane Society of the United States renewed its reward of up to $2500 for information leading to the arrest of Tammy and William Hanson, convicted two years ago on 20 misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals in Arkansas. The Baxter County (Ark.) Sheriff's Office seized almost 500 dogs from what the Hansons purported was an animal sanctuary in Gamaliel, Ark. named Every Dog Needs a Home (EDNAH). The couple failed to appear for sentencing and warrants were issued for their arrest.

"We've received and followed up on dozens of leads for the couple and are hopeful this renewed attention will bring fresh information of their whereabouts," remarked Sheriff John Montgomery. Both Tammy and William Hanson are listed on the Baxter County Sherriff's Most Wanted list (to view, click here).

It is believed the couple may be currently living outside Arkansas.

The HSUS notes that, had the Arkansas penalties been commensurate with those in other states, it would have empowered law enforcement authorities to pursue the Hansons elsewhere.

The couple operated the facility Every Dog Needs a Home. In October 2005, the Baxter County Sheriff's Department raided the facility and found 477 neglected dogs kept in unhealthy and inhumane conditions on the two-acre property.

The facility lacked proper shelter for the animals resulting in filth, overcrowding and fighting. Many of the animals were injured and at least five had died. The Humane Society of the United States and United Animal Nations responded and provided care for the dogs as the criminal case against the Hansons advanced. These groups also found homes or appropriate shelter for the dogs, including more than 100 pit bulls rescued from hurricane-stricken areas of Louisiana who were placed at the facility by an animal rescue group not associated with The HSUS' rescue efforts in Louisiana.

In Arkansas, animal cruelty is a misdemeanor with penalties including $1000 in fines and up to 1 year in jail per count. The Hansons face 20 misdemeanor counts.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Tammy or William Hanson, please contact the Baxter County Sherriff's office at (870) 424-4636, (870) 425-7000 or by email to: sheriff@baxtercountysheriff.com.
Source: Baxter County Sheriff/HSUS Press Release Oct 30, 2007
Update posted on Nov 1, 2007 - 12:59AM 
Law enforcement officials continue their search for William and Tammy Hanson, who failed to appear in court last month for the sentencing phase after being found guilty of 20 counts of cruelty to animals.

Failure-to-appear warrants were issued for the couple by Baxter County District Court Judge Van Gearhart.

Prosecutor Emily Reed said Friday her office had received information they may be in Missouri.

"We anticipate them showing up for her felony case in Missouri," Reed said.

After the Hansons were found guilty in December, a felony warrant from Lawrence County, Mo., and six misdemeanor warrants from Baxter County were issued to Tammy Hanson in connection with the theft of dogs which the couple had at EDNAH (Every Dog Needs A Home), which they operated as an animal sanctuary in Gamaliel.

The sanctuary was seized in October by the Baxter County Sheriff's Office after a search warrant was served. Officers entered and found 477 dogs in what were called deplorable conditions on the two-acre property. Deputies and volunteers from the Humane Society of North Central Arkansas found dogs lying in their own feces and urine in small cages. Some of the dogs were injured, others were dead.

Gearhart gave the BCSO and Humane Society of the United States control over the dogs, which eventually were taken to other shelters across the country.

Reed said a local animal group had contacted her office Thursday. They are trying to raise additional funds to add to the $2,500 reward the HSUS is offering for information leading to the capture and arrest of the Hansons.

"The prosecutor's office position is we will be here anytime she is brought back, and we will deal with her accordingly," Reed said. "Our position on that has not changed."

Tammy Hanson still has to be arraigned on the six misdemeanor charges, three counts of tampering with evidence and three counts of theft of property. The prosecutor's office was planning to arraign Hanson on those charges at the same time she was scheduled to appear for the sentencing phase.
Source: Baxter Bulletin - March 4, 2006
Update posted on Mar 5, 2006 - 11:25PM 

The Humane Society of the United States is offering $2,500 for information leading to the capture and arrest of a Gamaliel couple convicted of animal cruelty. Tammy and William Hanson failed to appear in Baxter County District Court for sentencing on 20 counts of animal cruelty last week. Tammy Hanson also was scheduled to be arraigned on three counts of tampering with evidence and three counts of theft of property in Baxter County, stemming from accusations that Hanson took dogs that were in the custody of the Baxter County Sheriff's Department.
Source: The Baxter Bulletin - February 28, 2006
Update posted on Feb 28, 2006 - 4:37PM 
Tammy and William Hanson, convicted in January on 20 counts of cruelty to animals in Baxter County District Court, failed to show up in court Thursday morning for the sentencing phase, scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.

Tammy Hanson also was scheduled to be arraigned on three theft of property charges and three tampering with evidence charges, all misdemeanors.

After court was adjourned, Prosecutor Emily Reed said the couple's flight from justice would be only temporary and she also was concerned Tammy Hanson might have other dogs in her possession.

As Judge Van Gearhart called out the cases against the Hansons, their attorney, Paul Ford, stood alone at the defense table, looking a bit uncomfortable.

Gearhart asked Ford when he last had contact with the couple, and Ford replied he had been in phone conversations with them almost daily this week, in anticipation of seeing them in court this morning.

"I am surprised. Yes sir, I am," Ford replied to Gearhart's question on whether he expected to see them today.

About 30 people were in the courtroom, and a loud gasp could be heard.

Ford told Gearhart he had called his office while waiting for the case to be called and told his secretary that if the Hansons called, to tell them he was waiting at the courts complex.

Ford said normally he meets with the Hansons in a restaurant briefly before coming to court on the days they appeared in court, and he notified his office in case the couple did go to the restaurant this morning.

Shortly after 11 a.m., Gearhart said the court would go into a short recess and if the Hansons did not appear by 11:20 a.m., failure to appear warrants would be issued for both, with no bond.

At 1:20 p.m., Gearhart re-entered the courtroom.

"All right, the District Court of Baxter County is back in session," he said. "The court calls the case of the State of Arkansas versus Tammy Hanson, is Tammy Hanson present in the courtroom? The State of Arkansas versus William H. Hanson. Is William H. Hanson in the courtroom?"

He asked Ford if Ford had learned anything during the recess, and Ford said he had been unable to make contact with the couple.

"There will be a failure to appear warrant issued on each one of them," Gearhart said. "That will be without bond until such time we can have a sentencing hearing."

Gearhart told Ford that Tammy Hanson also would be arraigned on the six misdemeanor counts after she is found.

"They will be found," Gearhart said.

"It is 2006. I think with modern technology and as many people as we have interested in this case, I think her flight from justice will be temporary," Reed said after court was adjourned. "It is unfortunate that she is not here today so we can achieve some closure on this pending any appeal. But we cannot do anything to her if she is not here, and the judge has issued a failure to appear warrant with no bond, which means that once she is found, she will not be released until we deal with her."

Reed said the Hansons' failure to appear in court was not what she expected.

"Not really. We knew all along that there would be an appeal process that would cause us to have to try this all over again in circuit court, but I thought that we would get through this leg of it, finally, and then move forward. But it appears that this will be delayed even longer. I am thankful that we did what we did in the time with the dogs that were taken care of. We have concerns about whether she has dogs now; but, hopefully, if somebody sees a woman with 40 dogs, they will let us know."

As last month's trial ended, Tammy Hanson was arrested on a felony warrant from Lawrence County, Mo., and six outstanding misdemeanor warrants from Baxter County that included three counts of tampering with evidence and three counts of theft of property.

In one theft of property affidavit, a man who volunteered with the Humane Society to take care of the dogs at the Hansons' animal sanctuary EDNAH (Every Dog Needs A Home) in Gamaliel saw his two beagles, which went missing a year before, on the property. Both were registered with the American Kennel Club. He told authorities he kept asking Hanson if she had seen his dogs, and she always denied seeing them, according to the affidavit.

In the other theft affidavits, Tammy Hanson is alleged to have stolen two dogs from the front yard of a woman's house in August 2004. They later were found among the dogs at EDNAH. In the third, she is alleged to have taken a dog in December 2004 from a woman who paid her to transport the animal to Washington, and she failed to take it. It also was located at EDNAH.

According to the tampering with evidence affidavits, Tammy Hanson is accused of taking EDNAH dogs that were in the custody of the Baxter County Sheriff's Office and Humane Society of the United States.

The couple were arrested Oct. 21 and charged with 28 counts of animal cruelty. Eight charges were thrown out during the trial, because there were no photographs submitted as evidence on those counts.

After the January trial, Hanson attorney Paul Ford said the Hansons planned to appeal.

In finding the couple guilty, Judge Van Gearhart said there was overwhelming evidence the Hansons were guilty. As part of his ruling, Gearhart ordered the Hansons not to own any pets.

The pair were arrested when the BCSO served a search warrant at EDNAH and their property was seized.

Gearhart eventually ordered the more than 450 dogs to be removed from the property.
Source: Baxter Bulletin - Feb 24, 2006
Update posted on Feb 25, 2006 - 8:50PM 

William and Tammy Hanson were found guilty on 20 out of 28 counts of cruelty to animals. The sentencing phase of the trial is set for 11 a.m. Feb. 23, 2006.
As the trial ended, Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery arrested Tammy Hanson on an outstanding felony warrant from Lawrence County, Mo., for stealing animals and six outstanding misdemeanor warrants from Baxter County District Court ranging from theft of property to tampering with evidence to theft of mislaid property. Applause broke out from those still present in the courtroom as Montgomery read Hanson the warrants and placed her in handcuffs. Tammy Hanson, 38, was taken immediately to the Baxter County Detention Center. "The bond on the six misdemeanor warrants, the current bond she is under will go ahead and take care of those six; and the felony warrant that was just served, she will have to deal with Lawrence County as far as being able to make bond on that," Montgomery said.

William Hanson, 41, remains free on bond pending sentencing. Hanson attorney Paul Ford indicated the Hansons plan to appeal their convictions. Prosecutor Ron Kincade said he will request the maximum sentence allowed by law, which would be one year in jail. There was some confusion as to how much restitution and fines could be ordered in the misdemeanor convictions which will be discussed during the sentencing phase.

Judge Van Gearhart, in finding the couple guilty, said there was overwhelming evidence the Hansons were guilty. As part of his ruling, he ordered that the Hansons' not own any pets. Asked by Ford if that meant anywhere, Gearhart replied "anywhere in the world," as the crowd laughed and applauded. Gearhart threw out eight counts of cruelty to animals because there were no photographs submitted as evidence on those counts.

Tammy Hawley of the Humane Society of the United States, who served as incident commander at the compound after it was seized by the Baxter County Sheriff, told Gearhart she had an average of 38 volunteers there each day to help with the care and feeding of the dogs. She arrived at the compound on Oct. 24, 2005 and was there for two months. She testified in court about some of the animals that were found at EDNAH. One dog, Della, had ear trouble and a tumor between her toes, as well as overgrown toenails which were imbedded in her paws. There were other dogs that had ingrown toenails; some had mange; others had matted fur; and one, Grandpa, had stones which made it difficult for him to urinate.
Max, a three-legged dog, had maggots in his ears. Another dog, Said, had a torn tendon which caused him pain when he tried to walk or run. Brandon, another dog, had his left eye out of the socket, which eventually was removed.

All eventually were treated. One dog, which was found with a broken back, was taken to a local veterinarian and was euthanized.
Investigator Randy Murray described to the court the condition of the place when he arrived. He and Deputy Benny Magness had flown over the compound while on a marijuana eradication project, and Murray observed a large number of dogs running loose, others in travel cages, and some that remained lying on the ground as the helicopter flew over. There was trash and debris all around the property, as well as a standing pool of stagnant water.

As Gearhart found the Hansons guilty, the courtroom, which had been packed, broke out in applause. "I am relieved that the court came to the conclusion that it did," Deputy Prosecutor Emily Reed said after the trial. "I think it was a fair decision based on the evidence that was presented and the testimony. "Dr. Snodgrass had previously testified that this is the worst case of animal cruelty he had ever seen in his 35 years of veterinary experience," Reed said. "I think that speaks for itself."

"I thank Emily for taking care of this," Kincade said. "This is in her jurisdiction, and she handled it just like she does everything and did a great job. We are relieved that we have this part behind us. We are not naive - I am sure there is going to be an appeal, and we have all those things to deal with in circuit court, and we are prepared to do that." "We are pleased with the verdict and hope what this does is get her some counseling and let her lead a better life," Hawley said. "I know the animals are leading a better life. Also, to bring some attention to future legislative efforts so that people can maybe make some laws on the books that will make it stronger and easier for this county to deal with this type of situation. Hopefully they won't ever have to; but in the event that they do, that the law will be there to support it."
Source: The Baxter Bulletin - January 17, 2006
Update posted on Jan 19, 2006 - 12:35AM 
A couple from Gamaliel were found guilty January 16, 2006 on 20 counts of animal cruelty for mistreating hundreds of dogs, including some rescued from Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina.
Tammy Hanson and her husband William Hanson own a shelter called Every Dog Needs a Home.

They pleaded innocent after police found between 400 and 500 dogs at their two-acre lot in the rural Baxter County town of Gamaliel, including 50 pit bulls recently rescued from Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Sheriff's deputies found one dog dead, another with a broken leg, and many sickly dogs.

Most of the dogs have since been removed and taken in by animal care agencies and groups.
Source: WREG News - January 16, 2006
Update posted on Jan 16, 2006 - 8:57PM 
The trial for Tammy Hanson, 38, and her husband, William Hanson, 41, owners of Every Dog Needs A Home (EDNAH) in Gamaliel, is set to begin at 1 p.m. in Baxter County District Court on January 16, 2006.
A flurry of court papers was filed this week in the case. Motions to suppress a search warrant by the defense and a response by the prosecutor were filed in last-minute action as both sides prepare for the trial.

Paul Ford filed a brief for the Hansons January 11, 206 in support of the motion which claims deputies seized property and evidence illegally pursuant to a faulty search warrant and asks that the evidence be suppressed. Deputy Prosecutor Emily Reed filed a response January 13, 2006 asking the court to dismiss the defense motion.

The Hansons entered pleas of not guilty to one charge each of cruelty to animals in October 2005. The charge later was amended to include 28 misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals.
Source: The Baxter Bulletin - January 14, 2006
Update posted on Jan 16, 2006 - 4:47AM 
Approximately 100 cats and dogs have been removed from a Kansas animal shelter where 15 dogs from Gamaliel animal sanctuary EDNAH (Every Dog Needs A Home) were sent. Another 20 dogs identified as coming from EDNAH and three other dogs reported stolen in Kansas were seized in Greene County, Mo., according to the Baxter County Sheriff's Office.

Kansas City, Mo., television station KMBC reported that animal control officers removed 100 of approximately 200 animals November 30, 2005 from Sheila Jones' Paola, Kans., shelter - the Humane Society of Miami County in Kansas. It is not known if any of the 15 EDNAH dogs were seized by Kansas authorities. A KMBC reporter said most of the animals appeared to be healthy, but some dead cats were found on the property. A court order Nov. 21, 2005 from Baxter County District Judge Van Gearhart authorized Jones to take 37 dogs from EDNAH, which she claimed had come from her shelter originally.

Tammy Hawley with the Humane Society of the United States said after Jones left with the dogs last week, she returned 22 of them. She said Jones cited feeling threatened by EDNAH owners William and Tammy Hanson as the reason for giving the dogs back. Hawley said Jones did leave for Kansas with 15 dogs from EDNAH. Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery appointed the HSUS to coordinate placement of the dogs. Hawley said she did not inspect Jones' property, but did request records that showed Jones failed several inspections. She said she was concerned about letting Jones take the dogs, but the court order forced her to release them. "I had spoken with her (Jones), and she said she had intentions to partner with other agencies to reduce the number of animals she had," Hawley said.

Baxter County Prosecutor Ron Kincade said Gearhart already had issued his order before HSUS representatives said they were not comfortable giving the dogs to Jones. "It was too late to go back and redo the order," he said. Kincade said no efforts would be made by the county to get the 15 dogs back from Kansas. Kansas authorities are reviewing the case to decide if animal cruelty charges will be filed against Jones.

In the Greene County incident, Baxter County Sheriff's Investigator Brad Lewis reported he received information November 29, 2005 that 17 dogs from EDNAH were at a residence owned by Helen Wheeler in Greene County, Mo. The BCSO asked the Greene County Sheriff's Department to check the residence. Greene County authorities notified the BCSO a three-legged black dog, matching the description of one of the missing canines, was seen at the residence. Greene County investigators went to the residence and weren't allowed to search the residence and kennels.

According to Lewis, he, Lt. Terry Johnson and Sandy Wheeler with the Humane Society left Mountain Home to meet with Greene County investigators and got a search warrant for the residence. They found 20 dogs identified as coming from EDNAH and three reported stolen in Kansas, Lewis stated. All 23 dogs were seized and taken by the Humane Society of Missouri. Helen Wheeler, owner of the residence, stated Tammy Hanson had dropped the dogs off, according to Lewis.

In October 2005, Baxter County authorities discovered approximately 477 dogs living in what they called deplorable conditions at EDNAH. Hawley said six dogs remained at the now-defunct Gamaliel shelter as of December 1, 2005. Four are to be adopted by volunteers who have been working on the property. Two other dogs will be placed with a local agency
Source: Ozark Dog News - December 2, 2005
Update posted on Dec 20, 2005 - 5:27PM 
Approximately 200 dogs left the grounds Tuesday with the Humane Society of Missouri out of St. Louis and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals out of Texas. The dogs are bound for shelters across the country.

Curt Ransom with HSUS said the last few dogs at EDNAH are scheduled to be relocated today.

Debbie Hill, director of rescue investigations with the Humane Society of Missouri, said the dogs will be checked out by veterinarians and behaviorists after they arrive in St. Louis.

"Most of the dogs are social," she said. "I think there is a good chance for adoptions."

Hill said the St. Louis facility can hold between 400 and 500 dogs. The organization had three trailers at the site Tuesday to haul approximately 150 dogs to different animal shelters in Missouri, including its own facility.
Source: Baxter Bulletin - Nov 30, 2005
Update posted on Nov 30, 2005 - 10:32PM 
Baxter County District Judge Van Gearhart ruled today that 327 animals found in filthy conditions at a so-called sanctuary can be relocated and adopted into new homes. Judge Gearhart denied the owners' request to regain custody of the animals, mostly dogs, and charged William and Tammy Hanson with 27 additional counts of animal cruelty.

Through its volunteer-based Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS), United Animal Nations (UAN) has been working with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and local animal rescue organizations since late October to clean up the Every Dog Needs a Home facility in Gamaliel and to care for the animals while authorities investigated the case.

Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery said conditions on the property were "horrific" and he is relieved with the ruling. "For the safety and well being of the animals we must be able to move them out as quickly as possible," he said. "We are very appreciative of all the volunteers who have cared for the animals in the interim - their help has been tremendous."

When authorities arrived on the scene last month, they found nearly 500 animals -- some rescued from coastal areas after Hurricane Katrina -- living in deplorable conditions. On October 21, the Hansons were arrested, charged with one count each of animal cruelty and banned from the property.

EARS National Director Kay Mayfield, who was in the courtroom today, said the ruling is a major victory for the animals and the volunteers who have worked tirelessly to improve their living conditions.

"These animals were living in filth, and their basic needs for food, water and veterinary care had gone unmet for too long," Mayfield said. "With winter coming, we are so thankful the judge gave the animals' welfare top priority."

In addition to providing basic animal care for the past three weeks, nearly 50 UAN volunteers have helped to remove 18 dumpsters of waste and debris, erect new kennels and establish a maternity ward for the many pregnant dogs. Veterinarians treated infections, parasites, ammonia burns, mange, fighting injuries, abscessed wounds and other serious medical conditions.

The court order will take effect in seven days, at which time the HSUS will relocate the animals to shelters throughout the country where they can be made available for adoption. The Hansons' trial is scheduled to start Jan. 16, 2006.
Source: United Animal Nations Press Release - Nov 21, 2005
Update posted on Nov 27, 2005 - 5:53PM 
Prosecutors in Baxter County hope to receive court permission to intervene and let animal rescuers remove 370 dogs, some rescued after Hurricane Katrina, from a Gamaliel couple's property.

Last month, a local judge ordered that 104 dogs could be removed from the Hanson's property. Kincade estimated 370 dogs remain. The 104 dogs were taken to shelters, photographed and posted on Web sites in an attempt to find their owners.

The sheriff's office is in control of the dogs and the U.S. Humane Society is caring for the animals. Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery would like to find homes for the remaining dogs.
Source: News Channel 3 - Nov 20, 2005
Update posted on Nov 21, 2005 - 1:29PM 
The Judge in Baxter County has agreed to give the 104 Hurricane Katrina rescue animals back to Pasados Safe Haven.

The other 370 animals are to remain on the premises for the next 3 weeks and in the control of Tammy Hawley, with HSUS Southwest office.

Tammy has been deputized by Sheriff Montgomery and placed in charge of caring for the animals and also working with the former operator of EDNA, Tammy Hanson, to get her to release as many as possible during the 3 week period.

Sheriff Montgomery has donated their disaster relief trailer with a large generator to be used as an office and will also provide security.

Lou Guyton is coordinating volunteers and needs primarily skilled shelter workers who can handle fractious animals. She has several good managers willing to come in and help run the operation with Tammy.
Source: ASPCA - Oct 28, 2005
Update posted on Oct 28, 2005 - 10:17AM 
A deal struck Thursday between Tammy Hanson and local prosecutors gives the Baxter County sheriff's office custody of the 470-plus dogs on Hanson's property for the next three weeks, while both sides continue talks to determine the future of the animals. The judge set a trial date for the Hansons on the animal-cruelty charges for Jan. 16, 2006. If convicted, each could draw a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - Oct 28, 2005
Update posted on Oct 28, 2005 - 7:29AM 

References


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