Woman pleads guilty to animal cruelty charges, sentenced to pay $1k fine

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A woman formerly of Cheektowaga pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges after she failed to properly care for over 150 farm and domestic animals, the Erie County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Officials said 24-year-old Kerisa J. Schmitt, who now resides in West Virginia, failed to provide necessary food, water and care to 156 animals at her former residence on Colton Street in Cheektowaga. The animals included 117 chickens, 18 ducks and geese, 15 rabbits, two goats and dogs, one cat and one pig.

Schmitt pleaded guilty to ten counts of overdriving, torturing and injuring animals; failure to provide proper sustenance, a misdemeanor charge.

SPCA officers responded to the Colton Street residence on Dec. 14, 2023 for a welfare check when they noticed numerous animals inside a small garage in unsanitary conditions, according to officials. A search warrant was later executed at the residence, at which time the animals were found to be without proper access to food and water.

Prosecutors requested Schmitt be sentenced to a period of probation, and she received a one-year conditional discharge and was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine. Schmitt was also ordered to forfeit custody of all of her animals and had a “no animal” order issued against her, which prohibits her from owning or caring for any animals for the next five years.

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Adam Gorski is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team in 2022. You can find more of his work here.

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