Former Macomb pet shop owner sentenced in animal cruelty case
By Nick Vlahos
MACOMB-For her role in the deaths of more than 40 animals last year, Jessica Spangler is to be confined to her home for about four months.
That punishment was among others the Avon woman received Monday when she was sentenced in McDonough County Circuit Court.
Spangler, 39, owned Macomb Pet Land, where in May 2018 police and others found fish, hamsters, rabbits and snakes among the deceased.
In May, Spangler pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated cruelty to animals.
The sentence Judge Heidi Benson rendered included a stipulation that Spangler not own and have no contact with companion animals, according to the McDonough County Circuit Clerk’s Office.
Spangler received 30 months’ probation and was ordered to obtain a mental-health and psychological evaluation and complete recommended treatment.
She also will have to submit to random drug tests and pay almost $7,000 in fines, court costs and restitution.
During her 120-day home confinement, Spangler will have to wear a GPS-equipped ankle bracelet, for which she will pay, according to McDonough County State’s Attorney Matt Kwacala.
Court proceedings last year revealed Spangler said she had suffered a back injury, was confined to bed and had arranged for someone else to tend to the animals.
That didn’t happen, apparently.
Police had received a complaint about a foul odor emanating from the store at 603 E. Jackson St. When officers arrived, they found the store closed for maintenance, according to a sign posted on the door.
Once the officers entered, they were overwhelmed by the smell of death and ammonia, Macomb Police Chief Curt Baker said at the time.
Electricity also had been disconnected.
Almost 60 animals were recovered alive and placed in foster care.
Michael Law, Macomb, the presumed caretaker of the pet-store animals, was sentenced in June after he pleaded guilty to the same charge as Spangler.
Law received 30 months’ probation and 180 days in jail, court records stated.
The jail term was stayed pending compliance with probation, according to Kwacala.
Law also was ordered to perform 120 hours of community service and pay about $11,600 in fines and restitution.