GILMER ‑‑ An Upshur County justice of the peace's decision to award custody of 71 seized animals to the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is being appealed to the county court by one of the two women who owned them, the judge confirmed Thursday night.
Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace W.V. Ray said Carol Pearson Pinckert filed a pauper's oath to appeal the case after he had ruled at a hearing last Friday that appealing it would cost her and the other woman, Linda Luker, more than $50,000. Ray said the appeal was filed Thursday after he denied a new trial.
Ray awarded custody of 64 dogs, six cats, and a horse to the SPCA after the organization and law officers seized the animals from a site in the Union Grove area near Gladewater May 8.
According to testimony at last Friday's hearing, the horse was seriously underweight, many of the dogs were underweight and ill, and the animals were being kept in garbage-cluttered conditions.
The appeal would go to County Judge Dean Fowler's court.