W.Va. dog breeder pleads guilty to cruelty charges, judge bars her from working with animals


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NEW CUMBERLAND, West Virginia — A West Virginia dog breeder has been barred from working with animals after pleading guilty to animal cruelty charges.

Media outlets report that Elizabeth Tustin pleaded guilty to five misdemeanor counts on Wednesday in Hancock County Circuit Court.

Under a plea agreement, Tustin can't be employed at any animal facility. She also can't own animals for five years, except her two cats.

She also must serve five years' probation and pay $35,000 in restitution for the care of dogs seized from her kennel.

The Hancock County Sheriff's Department seized 82 dogs from Destiny Havanese Kennel in Weirton in November 2014. Police said they found dogs with matted fur, dental problems and other health issues. The kennel operated by Tustin at her home also was overcrowded in areas.

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