SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — A Springfield breeder can’t own pets for 15 years. That’s just one stipulation included in a plea deal for 62-year-old Betty Gould, the woman accused of tossing two cats in the river near Island Park.
Defense attorney Jim Kolstoe said, “The ultimate analysis was for her to go forward with the plea deal.”
For Gould, that meant pleading no contest to the charges of attempted aggravated animal abuse. Technically, she didn’t admit any guilt, but the result is the same as a guilty plea. Kolstoe said it wasn’t an easy choice or process.
“You have to look at the fact that going through a criminal case is very stressful and she was very distressed about this,” said Kolstoe.
Prosecutors dropped the other charges of animal abandonment, but Gould will still serve three years probation, pay a $1,500 fine and agree to not own any pets for the next 15 years.
Springfield Animal Control Officer Brian Austin said, “We consider this a huge victory for the animals and also for the city.”
Austin also said while not everyone is happy about the outcome, he hopes people see the bigger picture.
“Some people had really unrealistic expectations for the outcome of this regarding prison time, but the biggest thing we were pushing for was to make sure animals were out of her possession,” said Austin.
While the case is closed, Kolstoe hopes that people see how tough this is on everyone including Gould herself.
“Ms. Gould’s actually a pretty nice person and this is just one episode in her life. I hope people would remember that for her and anyone else they’ve talked to that’s been convicted of a crime is they may be very nice people that did something they shouldn’t have done and aren’t likely to do it again.”
Kolstoe said Gould’s not happy with the outcome, but she’s come to terms with it. She just now wants to move on with her life.
As for the cats, the Springfield Animal Control Office had been working to convince Gould to give up her cats to some rescue groups. While that plan did not work out, the cats have since been given up to friends and other breeders.