Settlement Reached in Animal Cruelty Case

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A deal is reached between Martha Crosley and several animal rescue groups and shelters involving more than 20 dogs seized during an animal cruelty case.

Crosley will give up control of 16 of the 21 dogs that were initially returned to her after her guilty plea. She will now keep control of five of them.

Crosley is still prohibited from adopting more dogs for another 16 months and still goes through inspections from Evansville Animal Care and Control.

Crosley pleaded guilty to animal cruelty earlier this year after 68 dogs were seized from her.

It was standing room only at the Vanderburgh County courtroom where the settlement was announced. When it was done, attorneys and some animal advocates, supported it.

“We would’ve loved to save them all,” says animal advocate and Evansville City Council President Missy Mosby

“We are happy about the settlement,” says Susan Odoyo, one of the attorneys for a group of rescue groups and animal shelters who filed an injunction against Crosley earlier this year.

Mosby says most of those have foster families and adoption papers filed. Odoyo says the other five lacked legal adoption contracts or had health problems. 

“We weren’t able to assert claims. Instead of holding up all 21 dogs, we decided that, in the best interest of all the dogs involved that it would be best to agree to allow them to return,” Odoyo says.

Crosley still must complete 100 hours of community service, isn’t allowed to adopt animals for another 16 months, and is still subject to inspections from Evansville Animal Care and Control. Mosby says the settlement’s better than having the dogs wait as long as two years to learn who will take care of them.

“We’d love to be able to get them all, but it wasn’t possible, and mediation needed to happen and take place so that we’re not tied up, and the dogs are not tied up in the court system for the next two years,” says Mosby.

Mosby also says she plans to meet with lawmakers about stricter animal abuse laws. We reached out to Crosley’s attorney for comment, but our request was turned down.

(This story was originally published on September 29, 2017)

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