Charging documents in a Natrona County animal cruelty case allege that the more than 60 animals seized in Natrona County last month lived in abhorrent conditions.

Ann E. Bacus is charged with 61 counts of animal cruelty. She made her initial appearance in Natrona County Circuit Court last week. She is requesting a public defender to represent her.

More than 60 domestic animals including rabbits, dogs and cats were seized from her home in January after authorities served a search warrant. The warrant was served after animal control officers were dispatched to the home in the 4400 series of Boles Road for an animal welfare call.

Animal control officers told Bacus the conditions needed to be improved and made arrangements to visit in a week. When they returned on January 8, those conditions hadn't improved, so they applied for and were granted a search warrant.

The affidavit details what they found on Jan 9.

Animal control officers began by removing six to eight dogs from a bedroom.

After removing the dogs from the bedroom, officers found dogs that were kept in stacked small cages in the living room. They were taken with their cages and water bowls removed.

When animal control removed the cages they found, "pupated or dead maggots all over the floor. Many of the cages had holes in the floor which allowed feces and urine to fall through to either the next cage or to the floor, the affidavit says.

Officers found a similar setup in the home's basement. The smell was so bad that it caused them to cough.

They also attempted to catch several semi-feral cats in the house but were unsuccessful.

After the home was cleared, officers allegedly found 14 rabbits housed in cages in a 20 X 30 ft shed. Of those, only three had water. The floor and most items in the shed were covered with at least four inches of feces, the affidavit says.

In another shed, officers found a German shepherd that was kept on a chain roughly 10 feet long. The dog had chewed and pawed at the front door of the building until she made a hole big enough to get out and dug a hole under the building.

"The shed floor was still covered by inches of compacted feces, with fresh feces that had not been removed as well," an animal control officer writes in the affidavit.

After all of the animals were seized, they were taken to the Metro Animal Shelter were a veterinarian examined them.

According to the affidavit, the veterinarian said some of the rabbits had sores on their feet from the dirty conditions as well as the wire cages.

"One black rabbit had a broken toe and abscesses from the poor living conditions," the affidavit says. "One rabbit had to be humanely euthanized due to a bacterial disease which caused his head to turn nearly backward."

One dog had to have all of its teeth removed due to decay. A Yorkshire Terrier authorities found was found to have a bad patella which required surgery.

Several dogs had hair loss, according to the affidavit.

In one case, a dog became scared and tried to bite an animal control officer, but the dog's teeth were unable to penetrate the officer's skin due to teeth rot. The veterinarian saw that a tooth was loose and pulled it with no resistance. The veterinarian then recommended all of the other teeth be removed due to severe infection, the affidavit says.

A trial date has not yet been set.

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