A Long Beach man was recently sentenced to two years behind bars after an investigation revealed that before he and his wife took the bodies of two cats he'd adopted back to a shelter for a refund, they had taken three other dead cats to an animal hospital--including one that died from blunt force trauma and another that had been choked out.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Tomson T. Ong allowed Steven Ullrey to serve his sentence in county jail after the 24-year-old pleaded guilty to an animal cruelty charge in connection with the death of one of his cats. Ong also ordered Ullery not to own, possess, reside with or care for any animal for 10 years. He was taken into custody immediately after the sentence was handed down on Jan. 6.
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Ullrey's wife was not charged or prosecuted.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles began a probe into the couple after they tried to return the two cats in July 2013 that they had adopted a month earlier. The investigation discovered the Ullreys took three different dead cats to Long Beach's Uptown Animal Hospital between March and May 2013.
Ullery was charged last year with four felony animal cruelty charges involving the deaths of three of the cats, but jurors deadlocked 11-1 in October in favor of guilt. He pleaded guilty Dec. 10 to the four counts but was allowed to withdraw his plea to three of the counts as long as he returned to court for sentencing, which he did, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office.