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Phaedra Haywood/The New Mexican A former Edgewood veterinarian convicted of multiple counts of animal cruelty after deputies discovered 48 dogs in her feces-filled home is barred from having any contact with animals for the next 10 years as part of a sentence handed down Monday by District Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer.The judge also sentenced Debra Clopton— who was convicted in 2016 of 22 counts of animal cruelty and one count of practicing veterinary medicine without a license — to four years in jail.Domestic violence can result in physical injury, psychological trauma, and in severe cases, even death.The devastating physical, emotional, and psychological consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and last a lifetime.Burrill put two doctors on the stand at Monday’s sentencing who testified that after the 2013 incident Clopton had been diagnosed with hypothyroidism and that the condition can cause delusions similar to those found in schizophrenics.“What I see before me and what I have consistently seen before me is an unaccountable woman,” said Judge Sommer, who presided over Clopton’s trial in 2016.“I think it’s a mental illness issue, a hoarder issue, much more than a thyroid issue.”An animal control officer who participated in the raid said the stench of feces and urine took his breath away when he stepped inside the home in April 2013.Debra Clopton is handcuffed Monday by Santa Fe County sherriffs deputies after her sentencing.Clopton was also sentenced to four years in jail, but after receiving credit for more than 400 days she spent incarcerated and on electronic monitoring awaiting trial, Clopton will end up spending about nine more months behind bars.
Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another.
The animals, most of whom are quite large and naturally active, are forced to spend most of their lives in the cramped, barren cages and trailers used to transport them, where they have only enough room to stand and turn around.
Most animals are allowed out of their cages only during the short periods when they must perform.
For anonymous, confidential help available 24/7, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).
It is not always easy to determine in the early stages of a relationship if one person will become abusive. Abusers may often seem wonderful and perfect initially, but gradually become more aggressive and controlling as the relationship continues.
Often, it intensifies because the abuser feels a loss of control over the victim.