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Man pleads guilty in animal cruelty case

WOODSTOCK – A Shenandoah County man found guilty Friday of committing animal cruelty must receive mental health treatment and not keep any pets.

Cassidy Devon Loiselle, 36, of Fort Valley, appeared in Shenandoah County General District Court where he stood charged with five misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals.

Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office Deputy D.M. Rhodes charged Loiselle with the five misdemeanors on Oct. 5. Loiselle remained free on a court summons.

An agreement reached between the commonwealth and Loiselle’s attorney Peter McDermott called for the defendant to plead guilty to one count of animal cruelty. Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Kristen Zalenski asked the court to dismiss the remaining four counts.

Judge Amy Tisinger found Loiselle guilty and sentenced him to 12 months in jail. Tisinger suspended the jail time and ordered Loiselle to serve 24 months of probation and pay a $100 fine. Tisinger also ordered Loiselle to undergo and complete mental health treatment. Loiselle also cannot own or possess any companion animals, the judge ordered. Tisinger scheduled March 15, 2019, to review the case and make sure the defendant had complied with the probation.

As part of his probation, Loiselle gives up his fourth amendment right to search and seizure. This allows law enforcement to search him or his home to make sure he complies with the conditions of his probation, including the prohibition on possessing any companion animals.

State law allows a court to require anyone convicted of the Class 1 misdemeanor of animal cruelty to attend an anger management or other treatment program or to obtain psychiatric or psychological counseling. The court may also require the person convicted of the crime to cover the cost of the counseling.

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