- Associated Press - Friday, December 25, 2015

SANDOWN, N.H. (AP) - A Sandown woman has been charged with animal cruelty two months after her son died suddenly of heart failure.

Sharon Melanson tells WMUR-TV (https://bit.ly/1QM73sP ) that she and her 9-year-old son, Christopher, took in animals including horses, goats, alpacas and chickens, after their owners couldn’t care for them. She tells the station that she has documentation to show the animals got veterinary care if there were problems.

Melanson is charged with five misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty. More than three dozen animals were seized.

In October, Christopher died suddenly of a previously undetected heart problem.

Police say the animal investigation was already underway when Christopher died but was suspended until this month.

Melanson says the animals were in “great condition” and she’s confident she’ll be cleared of the charges.

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