Nevada Couple Who Hoarded Animals Avoid Jail Sentence … So Far

Posted on: April 19, 2024, 09:33h. 

Last updated on: April 19, 2024, 09:46h.

The two elderly Nevada residents arrested after almost 150 abused animals were found in their home, car, and hotel room have been sentenced for some of the incidents. About a third of the animals have died.

Timothy Miller and Carolyn Luke
Timothy Miller and Carolyn Luke, pictured above in mug shots. Both face animal cruelty charges. (Image: KLAS)

Carolyn Luke, 72, and Timothy Miller, 79, were given an initial sentence this week in Boulder City, Nev. court by Judge Victor Miller.

They must undergo community service, pay a $1,500 fine, and take part in counseling, Las Vegas TV station KSNV reported.

Both pleaded no contest to five counts of animal cruelty. Many other counts were dismissed.

Next Tuesday, the judge will consider more penalties.

The prosecutor handling the Boulder City case wants them to spend time in jail.

Just the sheer number of animals that they had in their possession that were being neglected, I think you have to make a statement on this case to the community. Also [a statement] to them,” prosecutor Thomas Moskal said in court.

They could receive anywhere between a suspended sentence of six months in jail or as much as 2.5 years behind bars.

But Christopher Tilman, a Las Vegas-based lawyer who is representing Miller, doesn’t want to see them sentenced to jail.

My client is 79 years old and not in great health,” Tilman was quoted by KSNV. “I don’t think municipal jail is a good place for, you know, healthy young people, let alone somebody, you know, with his … issues.”

Instead, Tilman is backing having the couple released and put on monitoring. They were also ordered not to own any animals in the future.

The couple faced 51 counts of animal cruelty after a Boulder City police officer spotted 51 rabbits and guinea pigs in their car in March.

“When the occupants rolled down a window, officers could smell dead animals inside the car,” Boulder City officers revealed in a statement.

Eleven animals were found dead and four more have passed away since their arrests.

Both Feel Terrible

Both defendants have asked the judge for leniency.

“It breaks my heart. All of them were my babies,” Luke told the judge about the animals on Thursday, according to KSNV. “I’m so heartbroken that this happened.”

I feel horrible that this happened,” Miller added in his statement to the judge. “We love the animals and we never thought this would happen. And it would never happen again.”

Even more animals were hoarded by Luke and Miller at their Las Vegas residence and a nearby La Quinta hotel, authorities said. Between the three locations, 40 of the animals were dead or passed away more recently, KSNV reported.

Charges for the animals found outside of Boulder City are still pending.

Surviving Animals at Shelter

Eighty-eight of the surviving animals were given shelter by the Las Vegas Animal Foundation. They include dogs, guinea pigs, hamsters, birds, a rabbit, and a few tortoises.

“Our top priority is ensuring these animals receive the care they deserve,” the foundation said in a statement.

Our dedicated team is working to ensure these animals are safe, properly housed, and receiving the necessary medical attention. Most of the dogs are filthy and matted, and they’re already in the process of being groomed.”

Also, the staff will be trying to place the animals in suitable homes.