MOUNTAIN CITY, TN-A Tennessee woman with ties to Ashe County who was charged with multiple animal cruelty counts in late 2015 accepted a plea agreement in court on Monday.
That news comes from the Johnson County Clerk of Court’s Office.
Caroline Jessie Miller, who once lived in West Jefferson and ran a local dog grooming business, was charged on Nov. 15, 2015 with nine counts of aggravated cruelty to animals and six counts of cruelty to animals after Johnson County Sheriff’s deputies said they found starving dogs, along with dead animals and their remains in a Mountain City home.
This week, Miller accepted a deal under terms of judicial diversion, according to the Johnson County court officials, in which she agreed to forfeit her animals to authorities and abide by the terms of four years probation.
According to a Session Court Affidavit filed on Nov. 15, 2015, by JCSD Deputy Patrick McGuinn, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department was dispatched to a call on Fall Branch Road in Mountain City after a neighbor had reported “smelling something dead and thought it might be coming from his neighbor’s house.”
Upon investigating, deputies said they found numerous living dogs tied to, or inside of, the house in addition to dead animals inside and outside the home, including cats and a rabbit, according to the affidavit.
Tommy Lipford, of Friends of Johnson County Dogs Rescue, was among the first people called to the scene.
“It was just a house of horrors,” Lipford said in 2015. “By far the worst place I’d ever been inside.”
Reach Adam Orr at 336-489-3058.