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Knox County Sheriff News

Owner of Injured Llama Pleads Guilty

Friday, 09 December 2011

The owner of the injured llama found by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Unit in August pled guilty to one count of Cruelty to Animals on December 1, 2011 and was given one year of probation. During this time, Gerald Scates is not to bring any new animals onto the property.

Scates’s mother, Pearl Scates, had been the caretaker of the animals while her son was out of town. She pled guilty to one count of Cruelty to Animals and was given a six month pass to dismiss. During this time, she is not to bring any new animals onto her property.

Tennessee law states that a person is guilty of cruelty to animals when they intentionally or knowingly fail to provide necessary food, water, care, or shelter for an animal in the person’s custody. For three days, despite knowing the llama was injured and unable to stand, no action was taken to stop the suffering of the llama.

On Sunday, August 21, 2011, Knox County Animal Control removed an injured male llama from 9905 Coward Mill Road. Complainants stated that the llama had been lying in the same spot for days.

The obvious injuries were the llama’s severe facial lacerations. However, the subsequent vet report also indicated the llama was emaciated under his matted fur, there was a wound on his leg that contained maggots, and he was dehydrated from lying prone in the field for more than three days in the summer heat.

Animal Control took the llama to UT for care. Two surgeries were required for the llama’s facial injuries. To strengthen the llama’s legs, UT utilized a float tank and an underwater treadmill. He recuperated from his injuries and was adopted to a new home.

Gerald Scates



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