- Associated Press - Monday, June 23, 2014

FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) - A longtime volunteer with the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty charges.

Gretchen Rell entered her plea Monday in court in Monmouth County.

Authorities say they found more than 300 dead birds and animals in a Little Silver home that the 54-year-old shared with her 95-year-old mother.

Authorities say the SPCA wildlife volunteer had taken in numerous animals for the purpose of rehabilitation between January 2013 and March 2014. Officials say the animals died of starvation and dehydration instead.

Attorney Dennis Melofchik tells The Star-Ledger of Newark (https://bit.ly/V5MU6u ) that Rell was a good-hearted woman who was overwhelmed by the number of animals in her care.

Animal advocates attending Monday’s hearing objected to a possible plea deal for Rell.


Information from: The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger, https://www.nj.com

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