Lawyer: 'No basis' for charges against former vet

Posted at: 04/16/2013 9:03 AM
By: The Associated Press

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A lawyer for a former veterinarian accused of animal cruelty says there's no basis for the charges against his client.

Santa Fe County authorities on April 1 seized 48 dogs from Debra Clopton's Edgewood home, and she faces a count of animal cruelty for each animal.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that a District Court judge on Monday gave Clopton 15 days to post a bond to cover the cost of 30 days of cars for the animals.

On Monday, a judge ordered Clopton to pay $20 per dog, per day unless she agrees to surrender them so they can be adopted out. That amounts to $900 per day, backdated to April 2, so she currently owes more than $12,000.

Clopton alternatively can allow others to adopt the dogs, which authorities have said were kept in unsanitary conditions.

Attorney Scott Pistone says Clopton loves animals and had no intent to harm any. Pistone says it's telling that none of the animals so far have been declared unfit for adoption.

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