More than 100 charges filed in case of 170 dead animals found on farm

Daniel, Carrie Ault turned themselves in Wednesday

MADISON COUNTY, Ind. - A Madison County couple faces 113 criminal charges after more than 170 dead animals were found on their farm in April.

Daniel and Carrie Ault have been charged with multiple counts of failing to properly dispose of dead animals, animal neglect and child neglect.

The Aults were charged with 96 counts of improper disposal of a dead animal, a class D felony. They were also charged with 15 counts of cruelty to an animal, a class A misdemeanor, and two counts of neglect of a dependent, a class D felony, officials said.

"They're all important, but we want to make sure that the children are thought of and not forgotten about in the large number of animals. We still have children, ages 3 and 5 years old living in questionable conditions," Madison County Sheriff Ron Richardson said.

Authorities found 171 dead animals on the farm after a neighbor called police to report a strong odor at the farm at 3726 W. County Road 1700 North.

When officers arrived, they found the dead animals in barns and elsewhere on the property.

Buckets of human feces were also found in the barn where the couple was living with their two children, police said.

The living area was condemned by the Madison County Board of Health during the investigation.

After investigators discovered the animals, Daniel Ault said he became overwhelmed caring for the animals.

Investigators said the Aults had helped run the Strawtown Auction in Hamilton County and had been buying and selling animals there.

Animal Protection League Director Maleah String joined Richardson in calling for stricter animal cruelty laws.

"It was the improper disposal of bodies as opposed to the neglect and abuse of animals. We'll take whatever we can get, but we need to address those issues," Stringer said.

The Aults met with their attorney and turned themselves into investigators Wednesday. The warrants were served and the Aults were taken into custody at 3:30 p.m., Richardson said.

Richardson said they were both released Wednesday evening after posting a bond of $5,000 each.

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Follow Chris Proffitt on Twitter: @chrisproffitt

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