Springfield Breeder Pleads No Contest

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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.


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  1. Stan Sigstad says:

    Well I think she was treated fairly. You have to consider her age, the fact she has never been arrested for anything before and the cats are alive. I don’t exactly like what she did but she did get punished for it. How is the law going to monitor whether or not she has animals within the 15 year ban though. Are they going to go into her home every single day? What if she moves to another town/state, are they going to go and check up on her?

    1. Kel says:

      I agree Stan. She made a poor choice. There are many people with violent and felonious backgrounds going through the revolving door of our judicial system these days. Lynch mob justice is not the answer.

  2. Janetta says:

    She was distressed?????????? How did her cats feel when dumped in the river? Were they “distressed”? How many stories of other persians found abandoned, or that she adopted that were ill? And she is “distressed?”

    WHY was she allowed to keep the other cats? Rescue groups came together, had resources, supplies, donated funds to take care of them. Yet she changed her mind and wouldn’t give them up to folks who would make sure they were cared for? Where are they? Who has them? Who has seen them to know they are in good shape? Does anyone know? Whose fault was it that the plane to give them up to rescues “did not work out”? It was she who refused to cooperate.

  3. John Culver says:

    I do not agree with this at all i mean even she agreed to this dont mean she wont have pets you cant really stop her if she wants pets she can get pets

  4. jason marks says:

    quote: and she was very distressed about this,” said Kolstoe.

    The cats didn’t like it either and YOU are the one who did it to them.
    I don’t feel sorry for you, too bad we don’t have jail funding, you should be in jail.

  5. Janetta says:

    Who is going to check on the other cats, and make sure she did give them away, and not just take them out and dump them somewhere? Too many stories of persians found abandoned, drowned, and adopted out extremely ill — there was a leglitimate rescue group ready to take them, many donations received so there was money, supplies, and volunteers ready to immedately help those cats. Instead, she changed her mind and would not let the rescue group have them — (why did she have that option)? Why wouldn’t she want them given to an organization that would care for them properly The public would know about the cats, the care given — there would be credibility. Instead, she chose to give them to ‘friends and breeders” WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? Couldl you rehome 60 cats in a few week period of time? Who is going to follow up on this?

  6. Bonnie Johnson says:

    She should have been thrown over a bridge into cold water; the woman is wicked and evil and our laws are way too lax on this kind of thing. Hopefully someone will monitor whether she is in compliance and personally no punishment would have been to extreme; anyone who thinks she is being punished, think again; she will work around it; she should have done jail time–in solitaire.

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