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Unityville couple sentenced to prison time for animal cruelty

By Staff | Jun 12, 2014

MUNCY – A district judge found a Unityville man and his girlfriend guilty of one count of cruelty to animals stemming from a case that began in late March when one horse was found dead on their farm and two others were rescued from an environment of ill-treatment and neglect.

John R. Loar, 27, and Chasity M. Shutt, 25, both of 20 Boyer Lane, just off of Morgan Hollow Road, were charged by the local chapter of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals after a severely malnourished horse was found dead in two feet of manure on the couple’s Jordan Township property on March 24 , according to court records.

The SPCA seized two other horses that showed clear signs of neglect, investigators said.

During a hearing that lasted more than two hours, District Judge Jon E. Kemp heard testimony from four prosecution witnesses and three witnesses for the defense, including Loar. The judge also reviewed numerous photographs presented by both sides of the case.

In his ruling, Kemp ordered Loar and Shutt to each serve a 90-day prison sentence, the maximum allowed under state law, and to pay $1,702 in fines, court costs and restitution. Kemp also ordered that Loar and Shutt surrender their ownership rights to the two surviving horses.

The couple has 30 days in which they can appeal both the judge’s ruling and the penalty he imposed.