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THOMAS L. MRAZ arrested for neglect and animal cruelty involving more than 30 dogs

Updated: Aug 7, 2022

- South Dakota, USA -

~ Update: August 7, 2022

On Wednesday, August 3, 2022, at the Lawrence County Courthouse in Deadwood, 52-years-old THOMAS L. MRAZ (pictured), was sentenced to four years in the Lawrence County Jail with no chance of parole.

MRAZ had been arrested in October 2020, after more than 30 dogs were seized from his Whitewood property. At the time, MRAZ had been charged with a total of 31 counts of animal neglect and cruelty to animals for starving his dogs. Sadly, authorities also found dead puppies on his property.

As reported by KEVN, MRAZ’s sentence will be served concurrently with a four-year sentence in a Meade County rape case.

Lawrence County States Attorney John Fitzgerald told KEVN: “He’ll actually parole out before he served his complete jail sentence here in Lawrence County so he will be returned to the Lawrence County Jail to finish his four years sentence.”

After MRAZ is released from the Meade County Jail, he will serve his remaining time in the Lawrence County Jail.

~ Update: July 1, 2022

On Thursday, June 30, in Lawrence County Fourth Circuit Court, 52-years-old THOMAS L. MRAZ (pictured) changed his plea and in a plea agreement he pleaded guilty to only 12 Misdemeanor “counts of animal cruelty ... neglect ... mistreatment, or abandonment”, reports KEVN.

Attorney Joe Kosel was in court representing the nonprofit Western Hills Humane Society and rightfully objected to the plea agreement.

He said that MRAZ should be held to his original 26 counts of animal neglect and five Felony counts of animal cruelty.

According to KEVN, Mr. Kosel said: “We really believe that there was sufficient evidence to move forward for conviction...for felony conviction with these events. Oftentimes historically those felony convictions get a lot more attention, not only from the public, but it is also more serious to the court. My presence in court today was to underscore the fact that there is a very large segment of our population that would like to see these charges prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

MRAZ will be back in court on August 4, 2022, for sentencing.

~ Update: March 2, 2021

KOTA TV reports that on Thursday, February 25, in Fourth Judicial Circuit Court, 50-year-old THOMAS L. MRAZ (pictured below), entered a not guilty plea to 26 counts of animal neglect and five counts of felony animal cruelty.

Animal neglect is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by one year in jail, a $2,000 fine or both. Animal cruelty is a Class 6 felony with a maximum sentence of two years in prison, a $4,000 fine or both.

MRAZ is scheduled to appear in court for these charges on April 1, 2021.

Voice For Us Disclaimer: This story is sourced from official news outlets. Links included.

Details may be removed or additional information may be provided in future should such sources report an update.

~ Original story:

50-year-old THOMAS L. MRAZ (pictured below), has been charged with a total of 31 counts of animal neglect and cruelty to animals for starving his dogs.

The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office received a report about neglected dogs and responded to MRAZ’s property in Whitewood.

KOTA ABC NEWS reports that according to the warrant issued by the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, the property was overrun with the neglected dogs.

On the property there was a van and inside deputies discovered “Very skinny and malnourished” dogs with four dead puppies.

One appeared to have been partially eaten.

The van was covered in urine and feces, and there was evidence the dogs had eaten the seat cushions.

There was no dog food.

Other puppies were found in a freezer.

Police said that MRAZ told them he couldn’t bury the dogs because other dogs would dig up the carcasses and eat them.

The report also mentioned that deputies noted strong odors of feces and urine from vehicles and buildings on the property.

Deputies did not notice any food or water for the dogs.

A total of 35 dogs were seized from the property on October 13.

The furbabies, vary in age and are mixes of Redbone Coonhounds and Rottweilers combined with some Pitbull.

They have all been placed in the care of the Western Hills Humane Society.

Ms. Jennifer McCambridge, senior kennel tech at the shelter, said: “Some of them are very sweet, and some are very terrified, but they’ve never been trained, and they haven’t had a whole lot of human interaction, some are starving for it some are scared of it.”

She detailed some of the furbabies’ conditions and said: “Jack had a blind eye and paralyzed rear legs, Maya's snout was possibly infected from the porcupine quills, and Fredo was malnourished while caring for her six puppies in a bath tub inside an abandoned trailer.”

Ms. McCambridge also said that there’s been a lot of inbreeding in these dogs due to their deformed feet and added that the dogs aren’t yet ready to be fostered or adopted due to their medical needs and the open court case.

When MRAZ was questioned by a detective and a deputy, he said he did not know why he has dogs living in the van and he did not know the puppies had died.

He also said that after Fredo gave birth, he did not check on her babies to make sure they were ok.

MRAZ also said the puppies in the freezer had been there since last winter or fall because he hasn't had time to bury them.

He then explained two dogs recently fought with a porcupine, but he thought he got all the quills out.

The deputy learned from the Humane Society later that day Maya had to go to the vet to have the spines removed and an infection treated.

Jack was euthanized due to his medical conditions.

MRAZ was arrested on Tuesday, October 20, and charged with five counts of felony animal cruelty and twenty-six counts of animal neglect, abandonment or mistreatment.

He was released from the Deadwood Jail after posting a $1,000 surety bond.

The deputy recommended the five felony charges in relation to Jack and the four dead puppies in the van.

Rapid City Journal reports that MRAZ was arrested on October 11, on a Meade County warrant for fourth degree/statutory rape and was released from jail after paying a $7,500 surety bond.

The warrant was issued after Mraz was indicted July 20 for having sex with a 13-, 14- or 15-year-old on Oct. 16, 2019, in Meade County.

So, well done judges for letting him out each time!!!

Voice For Us Disclaimer: This story is sourced from official news outlets. Links included.

Details may be removed or additional information may be provided in future should such sources report an update.

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