LARNED — Larned man Tiffany Dale Willinger, 51 and his wife Kimberly Willinger, 49, appeared Thursday morning before Pawnee County Magistrate Judge Julie Cowell in connection with an ongoing cruelty to animal investigation by the Pawnee County Sheriff’s Department.
Tiffany Willinger is charged with one count of cruelty to animals done without malicious intent and one count of interference with a law enforcement officer. Kimberly Willinger is charged with one count of interference with a law enforcement officer.
Pawnee County Attorney Douglas W. McNett said Mr. Willinger is alleged to have shot a pit bull puppy multiple times, on or about July 31. He is also alleged to have provided false information to a Pawnee County Sheriff’s Deputy on or about October 12. Mrs. Willinger is alleged to have provided false information to a Pawnee County Sheriff’s Deputy on or about October 11. All charges are Class A nonperson misdemeanors.
As used in the Kansas Cruelty to Animal statute, “maliciously” is defined as a state of mind characterized by actual evil-mindedness or a specific intent to do a harmful act without a reasonable justification or excuse. “Cruelty to animals” may include knowingly but not maliciously killing or injuring any animal.
At the Willingers’ first appearance in court on Thursday, Judge Cowell advised the defendants of the charges, the possible penalties if convicted and their constitutional rights, including their right to counsel. Separate counsel were appointed for the defendants. Arraignments were scheduled for the afternoon of December 12.
The Pawnee County Sheriff’s Office had Facebook posts about the case on July 31, Aug. 13, and Nov. 12, with photos of the light brown, male dog with a white patch on its chin. The dog, estimated to be 4-5 months old, was found on O Road between 110th and 120th Roads. The public was asked to contact the PCSO with any information about the case.
The latest post reported that the names of two suspects would be released when formal charges were filed. Replies to earlier posts indicate the dog was put down.