Even during her sentencing on animal abuse charges, Mary Gabriel still says she did not neglect any of the dogs in her care.
"They were not dirty, they were not filthy," said Gabriel, who recently moved from Farmington Hills to Rose Township. "My house was not covered in poop and pee."
Regardless, Gabriel, 74, was sentenced on the four misdemeanor animal abuse counts Wednesday in Livonia's 16th District Court. She was found guilty on the counts after a bench trial before District Judge Sean Kavanagh in December.
Kavanagh sentenced her to serve two years of probation, community service and ordered she pay fines and costs. In addition, Kavanagh ordered she could only own up to two dogs at her Rose Township home and had to give up the rest of the dogs she owned that were in care of others in Michigan. Kavanagh also ordered her home be subject to random bi-monthly inspections by a local animal control department.
Gabriel is former owner of Chien d’Or Goldens kennel in Farmington Hills. She was charged in Livonia last year after four dogs were brought into the city after passing them along to a Livonia resident for a few days. An animal control officer was later called to the home and discovered the dogs to be in terrible condition, including feces matted in their fur, ear infections and fleas. City prosecutors then decided to file charges against her after they determined the dogs belonged to her.
She was charged last fall with four counts of animal abuse and four counts of keeping unlicensed dogs. She was found not guilty on the unlicensed dogs counts. Testimony during her trial from experts stated the dogs were most likely in poor condition before being dropped off at the residence in Livonia last August.
Gabriel's kennel, located near 12 Mile and Orchard Lake roads, closed last year and remains up for sale.
Paul Bernier, an assistant city attorney who prosecuted the case, also asked the court for more than $16,000 in restitution for payment to house the animals at the Michigan Humane Society during the length of the trial. He requested the four dogs in question, two golden retrievers and two Sussex spaniels, be forfeited and put up for adoption.
"We want them to go to a loving home," he said.
Gabriel's attorney, Colleen Murphy, objected, saying the four dogs were more valuable than a simple an adoption fee.
She requested a restitution hearing to determine the amount after she turned down an offer by Bernier to reduce the restitution to $10,000. That hearing will take place at 11 a.m. Jan. 23 in the Livonia courthouse.
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