MARION, Mass. (WPRI) — A woman accused of keeping dozens of animals in squalid conditions on her property pleaded not guilty to charges during her arraignment in court Thursday.
Lauren Fisher, 65, is charged with two counts of animal cruelty, interfering with a police officer and resisting arrest. She is expected to face additional charges.
“I really can’t talk about the charges at this time, but all my life I have taken care of animals,” Fisher said as she left court. “I have found them new homes. That’s what I’ve done. That’s my life calling and that’s what I’ve always done. That is all I can say at this point.”
Marion Police Chief John Garcia said the investigation began after police received a report on Monday that several animals were being neglected, and some deceased animals were recently removed from a home on Front Street.
While executing a search warrant Wednesday, Garcia said investigators noted a “pervasive odor” inside the home, as well as dilapidated sheds and outbuildings on the property.
Garcia said police found 47 animals living in squalid conditions, including multiple miniature horses, potbelly pigs, ducks, rabbits, turkeys, hens, chickens, dogs, cats and exotic birds.
Garcia said the animals are still being seized from the property and are being transported to the Animal Rescue League in Boston.
Children were also in the home at the time and the Department of Children and Families said they will be placed with a relative.
The home has been ordered condemned due to the conditions inside, according to Marion Town Administrator Jay McGrail.
During her arraignment, Fisher was told she could not possess any animals as the case progresses.
Bail was set at $500 and she is due back in court on Jan. 24.