Jackson Heights woman gets slap on the wrist for animal cruelty and assault charges: DA

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A Jackson Heights woman is getting no jail time for hoarding animals and assaulting a probation officer, prosecutors announced Friday.

Elizabeth Grant, 51, was found guilty in August of second-degree assault, second-degree harassment, 16 counts of criminal contempt and 16 counts of failing to provide proper food and drink to an impounded animal during a bench trial. Grant was sentenced to six months in jail for the assault on a peace officer, which amounted to time served, and was also ordered to participate in a mental health treatment program and issued a three-year conditional discharge.

Grant was previously convicted of 108 animal cruelty charges in March 2018. She was placed on probation for 10 years and was also banned from owning or possessing animals of any kind for 10 years. Additionally, Grant was required to register with the New York City Department of Health as an animal abuser.

According to trial testimony, at 7 a.m. on Aug. 29, 2018, a probation officer arrived at Grant’s home to conduct a home visit. At this time, Grant was serving a three-year probation stemming from an animal cruelty conviction in April 2018.

Once she was inside the location, the probation officer noticed that the residence feces and trash on the floor and that there was a foul odor. As the officer looked through the home, Grant allegedly yelled at her and shoved her as she walked down the stairs.

The officer grabbed the bannister to keep herself from falling, injuring her back in the process. Prior to this confrontation with Grant, the officer saw several cats on the first floor of the home and found numerous dogs in a bedroom on the second floor. In all, several dogs, cats, guinea pigs and rabbits were found inside the residence.

The District Attorney’s office asked for Grant to be sentenced to 4 years in prison and that another ban from having pets be issued. While the judge declined to issue a new animal ban, he warned Grant that if she violated the previous ban — which is in place through 2028 — that she could go to prison for 7 years.

“The defendant in this case pushed a law enforcement officer after she had spotted animals hidden in an upstairs bedroom,” said Acting District Attorney John M. Ryan. “Those pets — which the defendant was previously banned from owning — were not well-cared for and many were malnourished. The defendant, who was previously convicted at trial, showed a blatant disregard for that Court’s order and physically injured the Probation Officer who was doing her job.”

Grant was originally remanded by the court for violating her probation on Aug. 29, 2018. She was also held in Rikers Island for 14 months — in lieu of $100,000 bond/$75,000 cash bail — pending trial for the assault on a peace officer. Grant was released from jail Thursday night.

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