Woman charged in what prosecutors say one of worst animal neglect cases appears in court

Woman refuses to answer questions outside court

INDIANAPOLIS - A woman accused in what Marion County prosecutors described as one of the worst cases of animal neglect they have ever seen appeared in court Wednesday.

Mary Smith is facing 42 counts of animal neglect. In June 2012, Animal Care and Control officers said they found seven dead dogs inside her home at 1520 E. 87th St., along with 42 dirty and malnourished dogs.

Officers said the living dogs were forced to drink each other's urine and eat the rotting corpses to survive, according to a probable cause affidavit.

A judge set a June 28 trial date for Smith. If convicted, she could face up to a year in prison on each count.

Smith refused to answer questions about the condition of the house from Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney as she left court.

When asked about the dog's conditions in July, Smith told Kenney, "I did not leave any dogs in any conditions."

Smith is also facing $276,000 in civil fines for 257 violations regarding care and treatment of the animals, rabies tags, rabies vaccinations and disposition of dead animals.

Police said Smith told them she had moved to Terre Haute but came back twice a week to check on the dogs. At the time, authorities said they doubted that claim.

Officers said Smith's home was covered in fleas, maggots, urine and feces. All the dogs that were found alive have been adopted.

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