Julia McMurrey Guilty

Guilty. That's the verdict in the animal cruelty case against Julia McMurrey. McMurrey ran "Paws Around The Planet" dog rescue in Smith County until September 2003.

That's when the SPCA rescued 320 dogs from the property. The dogs were living in deplorable conditions, without food, water or shelter.

Many of the animals needed medical treatment and were infested with parasites. Today, McMurrey was found guilty of animal cruelty and sentenced to six months in jail.

"This is an important victory in that it sends a strong message to the rest of the county and the state that we will not put up with animals being treated inhumanely," says ADA Brent Ratekin.

In a written statement, McMurrey's attorney told KLTV McMurrey plans to appeal today's verdict. He went on to say McMurrey is a remarkable lady with a passion for animals, who put all she had into running "Paws Around The Planet."

McMurrey still faces three more charges of animal cruelty. Trial dates have not yet been set.