UPDATE: Couple plead not guilty to animal cruelty, prosecutor says they taking in more animals



MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – A Montgomery Couple pleaded not guilty Monday to animal cruelty charges but could face more trouble after a prosecutor said they were taking in more strays just weeks after almost 300 were removed from the property.

- Advertisement -

The couple — 60-year-old Renee Ann Zaharie and 65-year-old William Brian Zaharie, both of Highway 213 in Jeffersonville — were arraigned in Montgomery County District Court by Judge William Roberts during a brief hearing Monday morning. They are charged with second-degree animal cruelty after 104 dogs and 187 cats were removed from their property April 15 and April 16.

The charge is a class A misdemeanor punishable by 90 days to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $500.

During Monday’s hearing, the county prosecutor asked Roberts to issue a court order barring the couple from taking in more animals at their property, where they operate ‘Caring for Treasured Strays,” because they apparently have taken in 30 more in the last month.

The judge said the prosecutor needs to file a motion to that effect and then the judge would rule.


MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – An animal rescue group is asking for help after a massive roundup of animals found living in horrible condition.

According to the non-profit Guardians of Rescue, help is needed to get as many cats and dogs off a property as possible.

The group shared a post that said, in part, “Just when you think you’ve seen the worst, a case comes along that’s even more horrible.”

The group added, “Guardians, Kentucky State investigators and other agencies, and our placement partners are on the ground in Kentucky and a warrant has been executed on this big new case.”

The non-profit said an investigation is ongoing so it couldn’t share many details yet, but that the group would be working through the night.

According to Guardians of Rescue, donations are needed and can be made on the non-profit’s website HERE. You can donate via PayPal HERE.

ABC36 has reached out to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office for more information. This is a developing story. Check back with ABC36 for updates.

Source: Guardians of Rescue/Facebook
Previous articleKentucky’s 2,750 announced jobs continue upward trend: Governor
Next articleFire at Lincoln County tire shredding plant expected to burn for hours
Erica joins the ABC 36 family as a Co-Anchor of Good Morning Kentucky weekday mornings from 5am-7am with Cody Adams and Good Day Kentucky weekday mornings from 9am to 10am. She is also a Web and Social Media Content Producer. Erica graduated in three and a half years from Michigan State University with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism and specialization in Women, Gender and Social Justice. Although she hails from Michigan, Erica has worked as a News Reporter/Sports Anchor for the CBS-affiliate in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Prior to that, she worked for a PBS-affiliate there covering all types of news – even providing live reports for The Weather Channel during her first hurricane. She then moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana and worked as the Weekend Anchor/Reporter at KPLC, the NBC/FOX/CW affiliate. Erica comes to Lexington from the Huntington area where she worked at WSAZ, an NBC/CW affiliate in West Virginia, as a weekday evening anchor covering the tri states of Ohio and Kentucky as well. In addition to her background on TV, Erica has worked in radio, served as the PA announcer for the Class A "Lansing Lugnuts" and hosted Carnival parades in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Some of her favorite hobbies include running, reading, hiking, spending time with her husband and taking pictures of their furbabies. Erica is big on community involvement, having served as a board member for Dress for Success, volunteered as a Big with Big Brothers Big Sisters, worked on the Mayor's Armed Forces Commission in Lake Charles and hosted countless events. She hopes you can connect with her on Facebook: EricaBivensTV and on Twitter: @ericabivens or Instagram: erica.bivens. You can also email her at ebivens@wtvq.com. Please send all event inquiries via email. Erica is excited to explore Lexington and the outdoors and - of course - meet all of you!