Woman gets $100 fine after dogs are found in ‘deplorable’ conditions
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IDAHO FALLS — After striking a plea deal with prosecutors, an Idaho Falls woman will pay a $100 fine for having more than two dogs at her home.
Initially, Idaho Falls City prosecutors charged 37-year-old Jeanette Diane Covert with three counts of animal cruelty, one count of operating a kennel without a license, one count of failure to obtain or maintain rabies vaccination and a dog license violation.
In a plea agreement obtained by EastIdahoNews.com, prosecutors dropped all charges except the misdemeanor operating a kennel without a license. An Idaho Falls city ordinance prohibits residents from having more than two dogs without a permit.
The plea agreement stipulated that Covert would not be given any jail time or probation. She would simply pay a $100 fine.
At a virtual sentencing Friday, Magistrate Judge Kent W. Gauchay ordered Covert to pay the fine along with $157.50 in court costs and $50 for the public defender.
On June 3, 2019, animal control officers with the Idaho Falls Police Department searched Covert’s home after receiving a call from someone claiming to have seen several dogs inside the house in “deplorable conditions with no food or water,” according to court documents.
The person told officers that in 2015, he pulled two badly decomposed dogs out of Covert’s house.
At that time, Covert was charged with allowing animals to go without care. Judge Stephen J. Clark placed her on two years of unsupervised probation and she was unable to own dogs for two years. Her probation ended in January 2018.
Animal control officers who entered the home in 2019 reported “the smell of urine and feces was horrific,” documents say. Inside the home, officers found some dog food and little to no water accessible to the animals. One dog reportedly had feces caked into his paws and back legs.
Officers also found a dog recently buried in the back yard with a collar still around its neck. A man came up to the house and told officers the puppy died after eating drywall and becoming sick.
Veterinarian exams of the dogs show at least one had a tense stomach from lack of food, according to court documents.
Covert’s daughter, Amber Fox, was also charged in the incident. She is expected to enter a plea agreement with prosecutors on July 30.