“They Took My Dogs, Then Charged Me” – Retired Utah Preacher Recovers Yorkies, Resolves Case

Another dog lover steps in and pays the “restitution” tab of $ 4,000.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Rev. Nurjhan Govan at his home in Taylorsville on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. The retired pastor recovered four of his dogs after they were removed by Salt County Animal Services Lake.

After nearly two years, the case against Rev. Nurjhan Govan for allegedly mistreating his beloved Yorkies has largely been resolved this week.

Govan, the retired pastor of the historic Trinity African Methodist Episcopal Church, the oldest black church in Salt Lake City, has argued without question four counts of misdemeanor for “no current rabies vaccination”, according to his lawyer, Navid Farzan, of the Salt Lake Legal Association of Defenders.

Farzan was successful in having 37 other charges dismissed, including animal cruelty, license failure and a host of other allegations against the pastor, whose 10 canine pets were confiscated by Salt County Animal Services. Lake in February 2020.

Animal services planned to charge him $ 17,000 for housing, vaccinations, permits and dog care, Farzan said, but he was able to negotiate that up to $ 4,000 “for the return.”

Rudy Bautista, a former Utah attorney general candidate, offered to take that lower tab, Farzan said. “He’s a criminal defense attorney, a veteran – and a dog lover too.”

Govan, who retired from church in 2018 and then spent many months living off his car because owners refused to allow him to have a pack of dogs, was grateful for the donation but wonders why the fees were imposed.

“They took my dogs,” she said on Tuesday, “and then charged me.”

Last December, Govan had a happy reunion with four of her pets, and now she is spending many happy days with her other four barkers at a five-bedroom house in Taylorsville.

“They know this is their home – each of them has their own bedroom,” Govan said with a smile in his voice. “However, they are all sleeping with me.”

Furry friends can enter and exit the fenced yard, she said, through their dog’s door.

Part of the legal deal was a “pending plea,” Govan’s lawyer said. erase the four cases.

The dog lover is totally up for it, she says. She’s just happy to have her Yorkies at home.


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Jennifer R. Strohm