PARMA, Ohio -- A Parma woman accused of running a puppy mill inside her home has negotiated a deal that would allow her to keep a few pets and her freedom too.
Dolores Buckley, 63, smiled as Parma Municipal Judge Timothy Gilligan concluded a lecture threatening jail time if she acquired any more animals.
“It’s got to end here, I’m telling you I do not want to put you in jail,” said Gilligan, “Will I? In a heartbeat if you violate any of the terms of my probation.”
Buckley agreed to a deal that allowed her to keep three of her favorite dogs out of the 34 confiscated by the Parma Dog Warden. Hundreds of animals already have new homes, including 250 birds, six cats and a few rabbits.
The petite woman, described by her attorney as widowed and a resident of Parma since 1977, pled guilty to failing to have her animals vaccinated and registered with the city. She also admitted to creating a public nuisance and to failing to maintain her trash.
Parma’s Dog Warden told Fox 8 the dogs taken from Buckley’s home were covered in feces. Their nails were overgrown and one had to be shaved due to severe matting. However, Buckley was credited with having kept the dogs well fed and socialized.
Authorities said she claimed the dogs were rescues but they didn’t believe her.
“As much as I said I don’t look at you as a criminal we have to protect the integrity of the neighborhood that surrounds you,” said the Judge as he explained why Buckley could not own any more animals, “Don’t come to me and say I have five dogs, feel sorry for me, I won’t.”
Gilligan waived jail time for Buckley and she will pay $650 in fines. The city has allowed her to return to her home, which until last week, had been declared uninhabitable. Buckley will spend the next two years on probation.