Joan, Kathy Khoury Animal Cruelty Case: Shocking Halloween Costume Photo Postpones Sentencing

Sentencing for two women in an animal cruelty case involving over 60 animals has been postponed after a court received a photo of the women dressed in costumes that appear to be mocking the case.

Joan and Kathy Khoury of Dickinson County, Mich., pleaded no contest last month to four counts of cruelty to animals, after 30 starving, emaciated horses were found on their property, according to the WLUC-TV. Fourteen neglected dogs and 15 neglected cats were also rescued from the premises.

The Khoury sentence hearing on Thursday was adjourned when the judge was given a photo of the women dressed in a judge and prisoner costume, an unidentified individual in a horse costume standing nearby, the Iron Mountain Daily News reports. The photo was reportedly taken the weekend before Halloween and later posted to Facebook.

The photo shows "complete contempt for the matters which were brought before this court, as well as the court proceedings," said County Prosecutor Carl Downing, according to the Associated Press. Downing also described the photo as inappopriate.

The sentencing is rescheduled for November 12.

The horses involved in the case were put in the care of an animal rescue organization, while the cats and dogs were relocated to new homes.

Samantha Burkland of Faithhorn, Mich., wrote in a comment on the WLUC-TV story that she has cared for two of the horses from the Khoury family. One horse, she wrote, was rescued with a severely infected wound that went untreated for at least a year.

"I truly believe that if they had not had been found, there would be 30 dead horses, dogs and cats, in the middle of woods," Burkland wrote.