An Indianapolis woman charged with 42 counts in what prosecutors called one of the worst cases of animal neglect they've ever seen turned herself in Thursday morning.
Mary Smith, 60, arrived at Indianapolis Animal Care and Control at 10 a.m., and police took her to the Marion County Arrestee Processing Center for booking.
Smith was charged with multiple counts of misdemeanor abandonment or neglect of an animal after police found 42 dirty, malnourished and sick dogs locked in her home at 1520 E. 87th St. in June.
When officers entered the home, they found the carcasses of seven dogs, including two puppies and one dog still locked in its crate, and it's believed the living dogs had been forced to eat off the rotting corpses and drink each other's urine to survive, according to the affidavit.
Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney asked Smith on Thursday why she would leave the dogs in those conditions.
"I did not leave any dogs in any conditions," Smith said.
When Kenney asked what Smith had to say for herself, Smith replied, "What do you have to say for yourself?" and refused to answer further questions.
Smith told police she moved to Terre Haute, but she said she came back twice a week to check on the dogs. Based on the amount of feces blocking the door to the home, authorities said they doubt her claims.
If convicted, Smith could face up to a year in prison for each animal. Smith will also face civil charges for care and treatment of animals, not having rabies vaccines and disposition of dead animals.
All of the surviving dogs suffered from advanced flea infestations, prompting bleeding wounds, hair loss and eye infections, animal control officers said.
Some of the dogs also had issues walking due to poorly developed limbs, including one dog that was missing a paw, according to the affidavit.
"It was probably one of the nastiest houses I've ever been in," Animal Care and Control Deputy Director Marcus Brown said. "There were large amounts of fecal matter all over the residence, probably a couple inches think. Skeletal remains were laying around everywhere."
The Department of Code Enforcement has issued an order to demolish the house.
Animal Care and Control officers said all of the living animals have been adopted.
"From everything I understand, they're doing great, and I think they're enjoying life right now," Brown said.