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Animals returned to Erland's Point woman
"Some went east, some went west, but none flew over the cuckoo's nest last week when a judge returned several animals seized from an Erland's Point woman accused of second degree animal cruelty.District Court Judge Marilyn Paja approved return of the animals after Sherilyn Peterson-Wilson met several conditions, including farming certain animals out to family and friends.Peterson-Wilson agreed to get a hobby breeder's kennel license for the 10 dogs she was allowed to keep. She also had to agree not to breed, sell or consign any of the animals returned to her except for those already placed.She returned to court yesterday for a pretrial hearing on one count of second-degree animal cruelty, for allegedly having her pets and livestock in unhealthy living conditions.It sounds like a settlement, it sounds like an agreement to me, Paja said as Kitsap County deputy prosecutor Jeffrey Jahns and Peterson-Wilson's attorney, Steve Tyner, dickered over the number of animals and terms for their return in court Friday, Feb. 23.Animals returned included 32 rabbits, 10 of 13 pygmy goats, two Welsh ponies and 10 of 16 remaining dogs. The judge allowed the return of a couple of pregnant dogs due to give birth, and one with a litter of new puppies, for medical attention on Feb. 9.Twelve of the rabbits went to one of Peterson-Wilson's daughters, and three of the goats were sent to a friend's farm.No less than 11 people want to take care of the additional animals, Tyner told Paja. Releasing the goats to Peterson-Wilson posed a problem because of a zoning ordinance that allows only a certain number of hooved animals per acre, said Kitsap County Animal Control Officer Rance McIntyre. He didn't have the exact ratio of animals per acre available.Because of the restriction on breeding and selling the animals, deputy prosecutor Jahns was concerned about the return of the rabbits.Things got way out of control for the animals, whom animal control officers said they found in cages full of fecal material.Jahns said the thought of the Kitsap Humane Society is being rabbits, They're probably going to breed again anyway ... (but) will it get out of control once more?He and McIntyre commended Peterson-Wilson for her efforts to bring her facilities into compliance with KHS's requirements for return of her animals.She should be given credit ... she's done a lot to clean up the place, Jahns said.She's one of the very few who will try that hard, McIntyre said.More than 300 animals, including the dogs, goats, ponies, rabbits and Guinea pigs were seized earlier this month after the two animal control officers reported seeing rabbits and beagles living in unsanitary conditions in cages on the property.McIntyre said they found more animals than they expected, such as the goats, when they went out to seize them.Tyner told the judge at an earlier court appearance that the animals' living conditions got out of hand because Peterson-Wilson had been sick for a couple weeks.Peterson-Wilson pled guilty to one charge of second-degree animal cruelty at the Feb. 9 hearing.Friday's resolution was bittersweet for her and her family.It's a little bit of justice, said her husband, who declined to give his name, saying, I'm staying out of it. I'm just here to support her.Peterson-Wilson cried as she went over the list of animals she released to KHS to be adopted, including some of her beloved beagles.She bred and sold them for years, she supplied pet stores, said animal control officer Michael Bratcher.Peterson-Wilson signed over a total of 15 dogs - three poodles, three Schnauzers and nine beagles, among others, to be adopted.We worked day and night to come into compliance with KHS requirements, she said. It's a hard way to lose weight, but it works. "