The former director of a local animal rescue organization that was charged in an animal cruelty case has been sentenced to probation.

A hearing regarding the delayed sentencing of 71-year-old Sharen Anne Kizer was held Thursday in 53rd District Court in Howell. Court records indicate at the hearing both parties requested that two years of probation for Kizer begin after her delayed sentencing. A year ago she pleaded no contest to a reduced one-year misdemeanor charge of animal neglect/abuse of two to three animals and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $53,596.

During probation Kizer cannot operate, work for or volunteer at any shelter or animal care business or organization, and must allow random inspections by Livingston County Animal Control during that time. Kizer also cannot foster or possess any animals except for those that were present in her home when Animal Control seized 120 animals from Last Chance Rescue in Howell Township in December of 2017. The seizure was prompted by violations found at Last Chance Rescue, which Animal Control investigated after receiving complaints about the facility’s conditions and care of animals. Kizer was charged as a result of the violations.

A former employee of the rescue was also charged in a separate felony animal cruelty case. After pleading guilty to a reduced charge of abandoning animals, Valerie Cunnings was sentenced to six months of probation and required to pay $4,417 restitution. Earlier this year she was discharged from probation as she had satisfied all criteria to the satisfaction of her probation officer. (DK)