- Associated Press - Thursday, December 17, 2015

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A Rhode Island couple has pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty charges.

State police said they found 16 dogs and a cat at the Exeter home of Donald and Kathleen Perkins earlier this month after getting a call from neighbor. Police said the dogs had apparently been left alone for days in small crates, with little food or water.

WPRI-TV reports (https://bit.ly/1Oy7nEZ ) the couple was arraigned Wednesday on 17 counts of animal cruelty or neglect. They were released on personal recognizance and declined comment outside of court.

Police said animal control officials and a local animal rights group had previously received complaints about unsafe conditions on the Perkins’ property.

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Information from: WPRI-TV, https://www.wpri.com

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