By Associated Press - Thursday, December 12, 2019

MARION, Mass. (AP) - A Massachusetts woman has been arrested on animal cruelty charges and her house condemned after authorities say they found dozens of animals and some children living in squalid conditions.

Lauren Fisher, 65, of Marion, was released after her arraignment Thursday on two counts of animal cruelty. Not guilty pleas were entered on her behalf. She told a judge she has hired an attorney, but that person was not present in court. She denied the charges outside of court, saying she takes in animals no one else wants and cares for them.

Marion police started investigating earlier this month after getting a report that multiple animals were being neglected and deceased animals had been recently removed from the property, according to a statement from Chief John Garcia.

Dozens of animals were inside the home and on the property, including miniature horses, potbelly pigs, ducks, rabbits, turkeys, hens, chickens, dogs, cats and exotic birds, police said in a release.

Five people were also living in the home, including children, police said.

The animals were taken by the Animal Rescue League and the children were placed with relatives.

Fisher faced similar charges 20 years ago.

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