Woman accused of neglecting dozens of animals appears in court

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A woman accused of neglecting dozens of animals appeared in court Wednesday.

Mary Smith, 60, faces 42 counts of animal abandonment and neglect after animal care officers found seven dead dogs inside a home and seized dozens more.

Last June, officers found 40 dogs of various breeds inside Smith’s home. The dogs showed signs of poor care, according to court documents. All of the dogs had fleas, most had additional skin conditions, hair loss and eye conditions. Some of the dogs had trouble walking “due to poorly developed limbs” and one dog was “missing a paw.” All had matted coats from animal waste, the probable cause said.

According to the probable cause affidavit, the living area appeared to be “unfit for any living thing to be contained in.” The officer observed that “feces coated the flood in a solid layer approximately three inches deep” and that “no surface inside the home was free of animal feces.”

Smith said she moved to Terre Haute and had been driving to Indianapolis twice a week to feed and care for the dogs.

Smith signed an owner surrender form for the animals. She was issued 50 citations for care and treatment, 50 for permanent ID required, seven for disposition of dead animals, 50 for rabies vaccines required and 50 for rabies tags.

All of the still living animals have been adopted.

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