Woman charged for second
time with cruelty to animals

By Abby Morris
Star Staff
A City woman has been arrested and charged for the second time with cruelty to animals.
Tammy J. Hughes, 36, 726 S. Watauga Ave., was arrested late Wednesday night by Carter County Sheriff's Department Deputy Charlotte Walker on warrants charging her with four counts of animal cruelty. According to her arrest report, the warrants were taken out against her by a representative with the Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Rescue organization.
On Dec. 29, 2003, officers of the Elizabethton Police Department responded to Hughes' residence where they met with a representative of ECCAR who provided officers with information that Hughes was in violation of a court order which stated that she was not to be in possession of more than three dogs. According to reports, the court order was the result of a prior conviction on the charge of cruelty to animals.
Officers who responded to the scene observed two dogs to be inside the residence and four dogs outside the residence. "The outside dogs were in poor health," states EPD Ptl. Patrick White in his report on the incident. "They were not fed, chained to a house and an old car. Their shelter was a piece of wood and a blanket. They were malnourished, had matted hair and some were so skinny their ribs were showing."
Later on that same day, officers were dispatched to that same location to stand by as volunteers from ECCAR attempted to remove the four malnourished animals from the residence.
According to records, Hughes was previously arrested in the fall of 2002 and charged with 10 counts of cruelty to animals at that time.
Records from the Carter County General Sessions Court show that eight of the 10 counts of cruelty to animals were later dismissed against Hughes and she was convicted of the remaining two charges on July 28, 2003. At that time, she was sentenced to 11 months and 29 days in jail, which was suspended. She was also fined $10 and ordered to pay court costs.
In addition to the suspended jail time and fine, she was placed on probation for a period of six months, which was set to expire at the end of January 2004.
Hughes appeared in General Sessions Court on Friday and was released from jail. Her case was continued until Jan. 8.