A Bainbridge woman was charged with one count of animal cruelty in the first degree, a Class C felony, in Kitsap County Superior Court June 3 after island police, upon conducting a welfare check at her residence in February, discovered the remains of several deceased goats.
If found to be guilty, Catherine E. Currie, 56, could receive a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and/or a $10,000 fine.
According to court documents, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kellie L. Pendras charged that Currie “did with criminal negligence starve, dehydrate, or suffocate an animal and as a result caused … substantial and unjustifiable physical pain that extended for a period sufficient to cause considerable suffering; and/or … death.”
As previously reported by the Review, on Feb. 20 police found Currie unconscious inside a blue SUV that was parked at her mid-island residence.
According to the police report, the officer was “very familiar” with Currie after having to “deal with her last week on an animal cruelty detail.”
The SUV was “still full of garbage from when I contacted [her] last week,” according to the officer’s report. “I could also smell the strong aroma of rotting food and garbage from inside her vehicle.”
The driver’s window was down about 3 inches, and police got Currie to offer one-word responses to their questions. Her eyes were glassy, her face was puffy, her hands were swollen and she kept putting her head down.
Paramedics evaluated her and she was ultimately taken to the hospital for “an unknown medical issue.”
Police then checked the property, as animal control was known to be still looking for a couple of goats the woman owned that were unaccounted for and they wanted to ensure the animals were not without care while Currie was hospitalized.
They found the “skeletal remains” of two animals. Peering inside, through the glass patio door, they saw additional remains in a wire dog crate.
According to details filed with the charging papers, a warrant for the removal of the skeletons was granted by phone the next day.
The first set of remains, larger of the two outside, was found beside a pole, to which the animal had apparently been tethered by its collar. Nearby was a metal bowl, but no sign of food or water.
It was estimated the animal had been dead for more than a week, though it was difficult to tell as the body had been outside and exposed to “the elements, insects and scavengers.”
The second, smaller skeleton was partially scattered, likely due to scavengers feeding, and grass had begun to grow over it.
Inside, police found piles of garbage on the floor as well as the crate which contained two “mummified bodies of baby goats.”
According to the report of an animal control officer, the crate also contained about 2 inches of impacted dirt, hay and feces. There was an empty blue water dish and metal bowl inside as well, both empty.
“In my experience the goats were closed in a wire crate and unable to move out of the waste, were not given food or water and due to this lack of care died due to this neglect,” the report read.
Currie had reportedly been give instructions previously by a veterinary service on maintaining proper enclosure and animal husbandry in light of a prior incident in which her goats had been anemic as a result of lice thriving in unsanitary conditions.
“Kitsap Animal Control has an extensive history with Catherine Currie regarding the lack of care of her goats,” according to the report.