A jury took about 5 1/2 hours to find a couple accused of leaving scores of animals stranded in sub-zero weather last December guilty of 16 counts each of animal abuse and cruelty.
Arthur Transue, of Twin Falls, Idaho, and his former wife, Marilyn Evans of Jackpot, were sentenced Thursday to 150 days in the Elko County Jail by Justice of the Peace Marjean Kidner. Evans was freed since she already has been behind bars longer than that.They could have faced six months in jail and a $1,000 fine on each of the misdemeanor counts.
The three-day trial in Wells Justice Court capped a case that was delayed while officials sought Transue, who was undergoing treatment in Twin Falls for frostbite. Other delays included the illness of Evans' attorney and unsuccessful efforts to have Kidner removed from the case.
The couple ran an alleged puppy mill on a ranch 20 miles north of Wells where dogs and other animals were bred for sale to pet stores.
A neighboring rancher found the dead and dying animals huddled in open cages just after Christmas during a cold snap that sent temperatures past 20 below zero; he called the sheriff's office.
Deputies discovered the remains of at least 30 dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens and guinea hens on property. Another 66 dogs, 25 rabbits, six cats, 21 chickens and two peacocks were found alive but in poor health.