Judge orders jail, treatment for woman in animal cruelty case

WOODSTOCK – A former New Market woman convicted on 10 counts of animal cruelty must serve two months in jail and undergo mental health treatment.

Judge Amy Tisinger sentenced Nancy Ellen Jinkins in Shenandoah County General District Court on Friday to 365 days in jail with 305 days suspended for one count of cruelty to animals. Tisinger sentenced Jinkins to six months in jail, with all time suspended, for each of the remaining nine counts of the same offense. Each charge carried a maximum term of 12 months in jail.

Tisinger ordered Jinkins to begin serving her sentence by reporting to jail June 3 to allow her to finish out the school year. Jinkins works for a school system in the region. The judge ordered Jinkins to serve one year of supervised probation followed by one year of unsupervised probation. Jinkins must pay roughly $4,428 in restitution owed to the agencies and shelters involved in the investigation. Tisinger allowed Jinkins to own no more than one companion animal as part of the terms of her probation.

“Animals make life better and this might help with her recovery,” Tisinger said.

Jinkins pleaded no contest to all 10 charges in December. Jinkins appeared with her attorney Andrew Graves. Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Kristen Zalenski prosecuted the case.

Authorities arrested Jinkins on July 5 and charged her with animal cruelty after a search of her home in the 9500 block of South Congress Street revealed more that 60 pets living in poor conditions, according to court documents. Jinkins also was listed as principal operator of Ardellen Animal Abode, a registered nonprofit animal rescue listed at the New Market address.

The Shenandoah County fire marshal condemned Jinkins’ home because it contained high levels of ammonia. The Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office deputies seized 31 dogs and 32 cats in the 1,305-square foot home. Of those animals rescued, 12 dogs and one cat had to be euthanized while the rest were taken to the Humane Society of Shenandoah County and the Shenandoah County Animal Shelter for care. Animal Control Officer D.M. Rhodes investigated the case.

The 10 counts of animal cruelty pertain to 10 animals found inside the home: Cheyanne, Cassie, Callie, Roscoe, BJ and Chili, all pit bull mix dogs; Thunder, a boxer mix; Roscoe, a pointer mix; and Devin and Kitty, both orange cats.