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Couple sentenced in animal hoarding case facing new felony charges

A couple is facing felony charges of animal cruelty in Las Vegas after being sentenced in Boulder City in a separate animal cruelty case.

Timothy Miller, 79, and Carolyn Luke, 72 were arrested by Boulder City police on April 2 after an officer found 51 guinea pigs, 11 of which were dead, and rabbits inside the couple’s car, the Boulder City Police Department said.

Boulder City’s Office of the City Manager said in a news release this month that 30 dogs, 10 already dead, were also found inside a hotel room connected to the couple.

Luke and Miller were each sentenced on April 23 in Boulder City Municipal Court to house arrest, along with being required to undergo counseling for hoarding and not to own any animals, among other conditions, according to the court. The two also each received a suspended sentence of 30 months in jail.

Las Vegas Justice Court records show Miller and Luke facing 14 felony charges each of willful or malicious torture, maiming, or killing of an animal, but criminal complaints have not yet been filed against the two.

These photos provided by Clark County Animal Protection Services show Timothy Miller holding tw ...
These photos provided by Clark County Animal Protection Services show Timothy Miller holding two of the couple's dogs and the conditions animals were left in inside Carolyn Luke's home in Las Vegas. (Clark County Animal Protection Services)

Report details hoarder home

In addition to Boulder City officers finding animals inside the couple’s car, a report from Clark County Animal Protection Services details how the couple was caught with dozens of animal’s in Luke’s Las Vegas home last month.

After an anonymous caller contacted the agency on Feb. 1, the agency attempted to verify that Luke had only 3 dogs — the maximum amount a person can have at their residence without a permit in Clark County — but repeatedly throughout March, Luke would not allow the agency onto her property or inside her home.

Officers reported “a strong smell of urine” coming from Luke’s home and could hear “multiple small breed barks coming from inside the house” on two separate visits.

On March 28, days before Luke and Miller’s arrest in Boulder City, an officer once again visited Luke’s home and reported that the couple “smelled strongly of ammonia and their clothes were dirty and appeared to have dried urine and possibly feces on it.”

The officer also wrote that Miller had “blood all over his hand.” When the officer asked to enter the home, Luke refused, but asked Miller to bring out three dogs. Miller then brought out two dogs, who the officer wrote were “urine stained” and had matted fur and irritated skin.

When the Metropolitan Police Department and animal services served a warrant to the couple to remove animals from Luke’s home on March 30, officers found several cages soiled in animal excrement, and a freezer containing “several” dead animals, an animal services officer wrote.

Officers reported finding 42 dead animals — 30 guinea pigs, four hamsters, four tortoises and four dogs. In addition, 26 animals were found alive — three dogs, two rabbits, six birds, nine hamsters and six tortoises.

Several sick animals were taken to the Animal Emergency Center, while others were taken to The Animal Foundation and Hearts Alive Village, an officer wrote.

Luke and Miller are due back in Las Vegas Justice Court on Aug. 22.

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