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Tenneys charged on 6 felony counts – ‘Labor-Cruelty & Injuries to Children’

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Brian Wayne Tenney and Wendy Ellen Tenney, mug shots courtesy of RSW Jail

The woman fighting Warren County for her right to be permitted to operate a dog breeding kennel was arrested with her husband Thursday evening/early Friday morning, September 14.  Wendy and Brian Tenney were each booked on six felony counts of  “Labor-Cruelty and Injuries to Children”.

The sentencing range on each of the Class 6 felony charges ranges from up to 12 months in jail or one to five years in prison, as well as up to a $2,500 fine. See Va. Code

The Tenneys were booked at RSW Regional Jail (Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren) around midnight Friday and according to jail officials, released on a $5,000 secured bonds at 3:54 a.m.  The case will be heard in Warren County Juvenile and Domestic Relations court.  A return date of October 11 on the 9 a.m. docket has been set.

As previously reported, the Tenneys had 30 dogs and cats seized from their property on Wednesday, September 12, after Warren County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Laura Gomez discovered the animals while visiting the Tenney residence about some goats that were discovered loose in the road near Tenney’s Gethsemane Mountain Ranch property on Limeton Church Road.  See related story here: Tenney facing animal cruelty charges in wake of new property search

Wendy Tenney is facing pending charges of Animal Cruelty and Inadequate Care related to the discovery of the large number of dogs and cats found on her property Wednesday, including eight dogs locked in a garage.  As reported related to that case, Tenney has filed an appeal of the Warren County Board of Supervisors April 17 revocation of her conditional use permit to operate a commercial breeding kennel.  That revocation was recommended by the county planning staff after an investigation into a March 6, 2017 kennel fire on the Tenney property in which 16 dogs died.

According to the 12 criminal complaints, one for each of the Tenney children filed against each parent by Warren County Sheriff’s Office Investigator B.W. Pugh Thursday evening, September 13 at 6:08 p.m., the “unclean and unsafe” conditions discovered the previous day were not limited to the garage where the eight dogs were discovered.

After his arrival to assist in the search warrant, Pugh noted there were six children under the age of 18 present living with their parents in the residence at 63 Limeton Road.

“Upon arrival to the residence I noticed trash and animal feces piled up outside the residence.  I could also smell a foul odor coming from inside the residence,” Pugh wrote, adding, “Once entering the residence I observed animal feces, garbage, and rotted food on the counters and floors throughout the residence.  There were bugs flying and crawling throughout the residence.  The high level of ammonia odor and the odor of feces and garbage was so strong that it burned my eyes and lungs.  I was unable to stay inside the residence without using a respirator; even then the odor was horrendous and burned my eyes.  The above conditions were throughout the entire house, including the upstairs bedrooms where the above listed children slept.”

In the Warren County Sheriff’s Office press release on the animal seizure, the assistance of the Warren County Department of Social Services was among the agencies acknowledged for assistance in the execution of the animal seizure.

Royal Examiner could not verify whether the Tenney children had been placed with relatives or into protective custody by social services.

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