Mobile Zoo Administrator Pleads Guilty To Animal Cruelty

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) – The administrator of the Mobile Zoo has pleaded guilty to 14 charges of animal cruelty.

AL.com reports (http://bit.ly/2qznot0 ) 63-year-old John Marks Hightower had faced 28 counts of animal cruelty charges before Thursday’s pleading. He has been ordered to pay the Mobile County Animal Shelter $3,500 in restitution and has had a six-month jail sentence reduced to two years of informal probation.

The case stemmed from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s closure of the small roadside zoo in Nov. 2016 for failure to provide adequate veterinary care and housing.

Under the terms of the deal, he must give up the rights to the few animals he owns and agree to not professionally own animals again.

The Mobile County Animal Shelter has found a home for the majority of animals rescued.

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