- Associated Press - Thursday, May 7, 2015

LOWELL, Mass. (AP) - The lawyer for a member of the Dracut select board who’s facing animal cruelty charges has asked a judge for a change of venue because of all the publicity in the case.

The Sun (https://bit.ly/1ES6NQj ) reports that Cathy Richardson was released on personal recognizance after pleading not guilty to five counts of animal cruelty on Wednesday in Lowell District Court.

Prosecutors and animal welfare officials allege that the 55-year-old Richardson failed to provide food, water and shelter to several horses and a mule on her family’s farm last winter.

Richardson voluntarily surrendered three horses last month.

Richardson told investigators that snow drifts were so high this winter that she couldn’t see the animals and could not get to their barn to care for them.

Richardson has stepped down as board chairwoman.

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Information from: The (Lowell, Mass.) Sun, https://www.lowellsun.com


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