Tacoma man was sentenced in animal cruelty case

Tacoma man was sentenced in animal cruelty case

Authorities removed 107 dogs from the man’s property over the course of several animal cruelty cases.

TACOMA, Wash. — A Tacoma man was sentenced Friday after he pleaded guilty in an animal cruelty case in which Pierce County authorities seized a total of 107 dogs from his property over a two-year period.

Elmer Givens Jr. was sentenced to 10 months in custody and two years probation. Givens Jr. was also banned for a lifetime from owning, possessing or residing with any animal.

The prosecuting attorney recommended Givens serve six months in prison, and Givens’ attorney argued that anything longer than that could severely impact his family.

But given the nature of the crimes, Judge Taetasha Davis disagreed.

“Reaching a sentence that is sufficient enough to achieve the desired effect and impress upon you the seriousness of your crime, that’s from your attorney,” she said. “I do not believe six months is sufficient.”

Givens Jr. was arrested in March 2021 after authorities seized more than 20 additional dogs from his property.

Prosecutors charged the 41-year-old with one count of animal fighting, 58 counts of first-degree animal cruelty and 16 counts of second-degree animal cruelty.

The charges stem from two previous search warrants over the past years and dozens of animals seized from Givens Jr.’s property on the 900 block of Portland Ave.

Deputies found 23 dogs in March 2021. One of the dogs received emergency medical treatment.

Authorities removed 84 dogs from Givens Jr.’s property in previous animal cruelty cases, bringing the total to 107 dogs.

Givens Jr. was previously accused of running a dog-fighting ring in December 2019. Dozens of more dogs were removed from his property in October 2020 over suspicions of animal cruelty. Those dogs have since been placed in new homes.

Kirsten Gregory of Pasado’s Safe Haven has been watching the case develop, and says it’s vital that Givens be punished for the abuse of dozens of dogs.

“Over 107 dogs that we know of were abused and neglected by him,” she explained. “Some were shot with BB guns, some were malnourished and emaciated, so the level of seriousness of these crimes against animals is pretty huge.”

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