- Associated Press - Thursday, March 10, 2016

ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) - An Aberdeen-area husband and wife who were accused several years ago of mistreating dogs are once again accused of keeping dogs in deplorable conditions.

Leonard Sollie, 66, and Karla Sollie, 68, each are charged with nine counts of misdemeanor animal neglect. A grand jury declined to indict the couple on felony animal cruelty charges, prosecutor Chris White told the Aberdeen American News (https://bit.ly/1SCbshX).

“It was clear the grand jury concluded the facts of this case did not meet the strict legal requirements of felony animal cruelty,” White said. “My office agrees with and supports the grand jury’s decision.”

Animal cruelty is defined by state law as “intentionally, willfully and maliciously inflicting gross physical abuse on an animal that causes prolonged pain, that causes serious physical injury or that results in the death of the animal.”

Late last month, officials with the Aberdeen Area Humane Society and sheriff’s deputies rescued 20 Shih Tzu-mix dogs from a rural Brown County home owned by Karla Sollie. The dogs had matted hair and lived in a space covered in animal waste, according to authorities.



Investigators determined that the home was abandoned and the couple failed to provide adequate sanitation, facilities and care for nine of the dogs, White said.

The dogs were brought to the Aberdeen Area Humane Society.

The Sollies didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press.

In 2007, the couple faced 21 counts each in connection with inhumane treatment of animals. They entered Alford pleas, meaning they didn’t admit guilt but acknowledged there was evidence to convict them, two years later.

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Information from: Aberdeen American News, https://www.aberdeennews.com

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