- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 2, 2018

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - Rapid City has significantly dropped the number of abuse charges in its case against the owner of a pet store that was raided by authorities in August.

The Rapid City Journal reports that Marinda Parks had originally faced over 200 charges after officials seized pets and dead animals from her yet-to-be-opened store. The city is now charging her with 55 counts including inhumane treatment and care and treatment violations.

Parks’ attorney, Timothy Rensch, pleaded not guilty to the charges at a Monday court hearing, saying he would challenge probable cause. Prosecutors are now trying to prove abuse against fewer animals including dogs, kittens, hamsters, a finch and a catfish.

Investigators seized animals from the unopened store in August after tips from the public. Rensch has said his client doesn’t abuse animals.

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Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com

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