Nevada Animal Hoarders Face More Charges in Connection with 16 Dead Dogs

Posted on: June 5, 2024, 07:09h. 

Last updated on: June 5, 2024, 10:10h.

The elderly couple already sentenced for numerous animal cruelty charges were arrested again this week on new counts in Las Vegas following the discovery of 16 dead dogs.

Timothy Miller and Carolyn Luke
Timothy Miller and Carolyn Luke, pictured above in a courtroom. Both face new charges in an expansive animal cruelty case. (Image: KTNV)

The animals were located earlier this year in a hotel room and at the couple’s Spring Valley, Nev. residence. Twelve dogs died at the hotel and four perished at their home.

Death From Organ Failure

The dogs were “severely unkempt, matted and emaciated,” Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson revealed in a statement quoted by the Las Vegas Sun.

These helpless dogs lived, and died, in deplorable conditions,” Wolfson added. “They were consistently deprived of their most basic needs — food, water and medical attention — for a prolonged period, which led to organ failure.”

Timothy Miller, 79, and Carolyn Luke, 72, both were charged on Tuesday with 16 counts of animal cruelty, according to media reports.

“The dead animals were piled on top of each other,” Las Vegas TV station KSNV reported about the conditions in the hotel room. “Police say there was a strong smell in the room, the floor was sticky, and the bed was covered in feces.”

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) officers revealed there were a total of 30 dogs in the hotel room.

Some 15 dogs and additional guinea pigs were at the couple’s residence. The couple also owned tortoises, hamsters, and parrots, which were also kept at their residence.

Animal cruelty of any type is unacceptable, but this case is particularly disturbing because of the sheer number of animals involved,” Wolfson said.

If convicted, each of the two can be sentenced to up to four years in prison and ordered to pay a $5K fine for each of the 16 counts, authorities said.

Boulder City Sentence

In a separate case, earlier charges came after the couple’s car was stopped and searched by a police officer in Boulder City, Nev. on March 29. The officer found 51 rabbits and guinea pigs. Eleven of the animals were dead.

In April, the two were given a sentence that requires them to remain at home instead of behind bars. They were fitted with electronic bracelets to ensure they follow court-mandated guidelines. A Boulder City judge also ordered their two-and-a-half-year sentences be suspended. If they violate the terms of their sentences, they could be ordered to go to jail.

The couple can’t possess any animals for the immediate future. There will be random searches to ensure there are no animals in their residence, businesses, or vehicles.

They also must undergo community service, pay a $1,500 fine, and take part in counseling, under the sentence handed down by Judge Victor L. Miller.

Both defendants pleaded no contest to five counts of animal cruelty. Many other counts were dismissed in Boulder City.

Eighty-eight of the surviving animals were given shelter by the Las Vegas Animal Foundation where staff is trying to place the animals in suitable homes.

Authorities were reportedly tipped off about the condition of the animals by Gina Greisen, president of Nevada Voters for Animals.