A Woodbine couple who allegedly ran a puppy mill out of their basement was found guilty of 16 counts of animal cruelty after previously being charged with more than 100 counts, the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.
Candace Elizabeth Berry, 66, and Glenn Andrew Hopple, 58, both of the 16400 block of Frederick Road, were charged with 16 animal cruelty counts between them, including failing to provide space, shelter, sufficient food, veterinary care to the animals, and “causing unnecessary pain and suffering” in Howard County District Court, prosecutors said in a news release.
Berry was found guilty of 11 counts, with Hopple being found guilty of the remaining five.
After receiving phone calls and an anonymous letter about Berry’s and Hopple’s property between July 2019 and September 2019, Howard County Animal Control visited the residence several times before obtaining a search and seizure warrant for the Woodbine home in September.
On Sept. 23, animal control officers discovered a black adult Labrador retriever with eight puppies inside a small room at the residence that “was hot and dirty with urine and feces built up,” according to prosecutors.
The nine animals did not have any water and the adult dog was in need of medical attention for infected ears and an ulcerated mass. Animal control took the animals, and the adult dog was brought to the county veterinarian to receive treatment.
Two days earlier, on Sept. 21, 33 dogs were turned over from the residence, including a female Boston terrier with three puppies who “looked to be days old” to animal control by a woman “who said she was an acquaintance of Ms. Berry,” prosecutors said. The Boston terrier was treated by the county veterinarian after being found with dental, skin and other medical problems.
The woman called animal control Sept. 20 and, according to prosecutors, told officers that “Ms. Berry asked the acquaintance to help her by taking the dogs so animal control would not find them if they returned to her home for another inspection.”
Throughout July, animal control officers visited the Woodbine residence multiple times after receiving a call “regarding skinny horses” on the property. In the first visit, on July 10, the officers “observed several skinny horses,” a miniature horse with overgrown hooves, 14 other miniatures horses, 10 donkeys, three horses, one cow and one goat.
An officer gave a notice, requiring Hopple and Berry to bring four of the miniature horses to a veterinarian within 24 hours, trim the hooves on the specific miniature horse and increase the horses’ weight.
Two days later, on July 12, an officer went back with a veterinarian to check on the four skinny horses. The veterinarian deemed the horses’ lack of weight “was [a] food problem, not a parasite or teeth problem.”
On July 19, an officer and veterinarian went back and impounded seven miniature horses and a donkey due to “their poor condition and low body condition score.”
Between August and September, animal control officers removed more than 50 animals — including turtles, miniatures horses, a parrot and a donkey — from the residence, police previously said.
Hopple and Berry are scheduled for sentencing April 24 in county district court.