UPDATE: Trial postponed for Lawrence County’s former animal services director
MOULTON, Ala. – The trial of Lawrence County’s former animal services director has been postponed until after the new year. Bobbie Taylor is accused of abusing between 250 and 300 animals in her care.
This is a story WHNT News 19 first broke over the summer. Five months have passed since Taylor was charged with animal cruelty. She had been running an animal shelter and was serving as the county’s animal control officer.
In September, Taylor pleaded not guilty to 16 counts of animal cruelty and one count of animal abuse. Her bench trial was scheduled to start Tuesday, but the sheer volume of evidence in the case caused it to be postponed.
The charges stem from a joint investigation this summer by Moulton Police and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
District Judge Angela Terry recently agreed to continue the case because attorneys are just now sifting through the reports.
“The ASPCA, it took them a long time to get together all of the specifics with respect to all of the animals,” said Callie Waldrep, the Assistant District Attorney who is prosecuting the case. “We didn’t bring charges on every one of the animals there, but they had to do individual reports and vet exams on each and every animal, so they actually were just able to give us all of the information on the animals and especially the ones that there are specific charges for probably about two weeks ago.”
ASPCA officials spent roughly a month in Moulton to help rescue and re-home the more than 250 animals in Taylor’s care. They adopted out more than 200 of the animals and sent others to partner shelters around the U.S.
The animals were seized due to allegations of abuse, neglect and starvation. ASPCA officials are expected to appear at the trial.
The trial will be rescheduled for after the first of the year. No date has been set yet, but when it is, it will be the only case Judge Terry will hear that day. That’s unusual, according to the prosecutor.
“It’s not typical, at least on misdemeanor cases to have one day for a specific one but just with the volume of information we know it’s going to take the better part of a day to try and get through everything,” said Waldrep.
The Lawrence County Commission awarded Taylor an $80,000 animal services contract in February. That contract was stripped away two days after video surfaced earlier this year which appeared to show a dog being beaten, and others that appeared to be in poor health. A volunteer shot the video and sent it to our newsroom.
Authorities seized between 250 and 300 animals from Taylor following allegations of abuse, neglect and starvation of the animals in Taylor’s care.
Taylor’s attorney, Tony Hughes, says his client is an animal lover who has devoted her life to taking care of animals in need.