Family Fights to Prevent Foster Dog from Being Returned to Hoarder

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A Kentucky woman charged with more than 200 counts of animal cruelty says she wants her dog back, and the family currently fostering it says that would be an absolute travesty.


In December, Terri Smith was charged with animal cruelty for housing animals in deplorable conditions. Her pets were seized and distributed among area shelters and foster homes. Smith eventually plead guilty to one of the charges and is due to appear in court again next week for sentencing. She’s also planning to ask the court to return some of her animals to her, and Jodie and Steve Judy say they will do everything in their power to fight that request.

Their determination comes as no surprise. The Judy family took in one of the dogs confiscated from Smith, and after spending months caring for and bonding with ‘Moto’, they are convinced the dog would be devastated if forced to return to life in a cage.

“She can not go back to that lifestyle,” Steve Judy said, tears streaming down his cheeks.

On Friday, Steve says the Henry County Animal Shelter called to tell him that Smith wanted Moto back. When he called his wife to break the news she was flabbergasted.

“He said, she picked Moto. She wants my dog, and I stopped in the middle of the store and started bawling,” says Jodie Judy.

Given the conditions she was rescued from, the Judys say that sending Moto back is not an option. The family plans to attend Smith’s hearing, and if she asks for the dog to be returned to her, they fully intend to stand their ground and speak to the judge.

“She is family. She’s more than just a pet. She is,” says Steve Judy.

11 thoughts on “Family Fights to Prevent Foster Dog from Being Returned to Hoarder”

  1. No judge in their right mind would return animals to that whack job. Law enforcement should make surprise visits to make sure she never has ANY animals except the rats that probably infest her home.

    • Oh yeah, Cheryl, they definitely should make surprise visits just to make sure that she doesn’t have anymore animals. Her rights should be taken away as far as being allowed to even have a goldfish. People like that don’t deserve to have animals. Just like some people shouldn’t be allowed to give birth.

  2. I hope that Moto gets to stay with her new family. Why should a hoarder be allowed to have any animal. That would be wrong to sentence and innocent animal back to a life of torture. I hope the hoarder is never allowed to have any animals in the future.

  3. Anyone that hoards anything alive or dead had mental problems and leaving any living being with someone like that would be negligence IMHO.

    If it is even considered by the court (which goes by the law unfortunately rather than what is moral), what about asking her to pay $20 per day for boarding and all the vet bills and other expenses. Maybe that would make her think twice. Of course with all the ‘free’ dogs posted on Craigslist and other places she’ll be able to get one from someone in no time.

  4. Praying for this sweet baby and her new family.
    Please God, protect this innocent soul from this sick person.
    It would be even worse for the dog now that she has had the love and caring from this wonderful family.

  5. Why do I have a horrible feeling in my gut that this deplorable person will get her dog back? Because that is the way our system operates. “Forgive the guilty and ignore the good.”

    It is beyond my comprehension why this woman would even be given a trial date to get her dog back! 200 counts of animal cruelty and she was only charged with one!!!!!

    If I were these people, I would send Moto to someone else for safe keeping even if it meant giving her up, which breaks my heart, but when you fall in love with a pet, you will do anything to keep them safe from people like Terri Smith!

    Yes, I would tell the courts the dog ran off.

  6. She didn’t get the dog back, or any animals. Instead she has to pay the county back $9,000 for costs associated with them rescuing the animals and she’s been ordered to serve 60 days in jail.


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