Christine Lynn Cunningham, 46, of 2773 Marr Road, is charged with five counts of cruelty to animals. She remains free on her own recognizance.
Cunningham, a well-known volunteer for local animal rescue organizations, was charged after a dead horse and two emaciated horses were found in her barn.
According to court documents, officials were notified in March that a horse had starved to death and two other horses were starving at a barn at 2773 Marr Road.
Officers, who obtained a search warrant on March 17, confirmed that a deceased horse, believed to have died on March 15, was still lying in the barn which also contained two live, emaciated horses. Officers noted no food was accessible to the horses. Water found outside the barn was frozen and stagnant.
Officers said bones of the horses were prominent, the barn floor and stalls were filled with black feces, indicating poor nutrition, and that mud and trash, which could pose a threat to the horses, were found throughout the barn.
According to court documents, several dogs were observed through windows of the residence. The dogs did not appear to be thin, officers said. However, feces covered the floor, and trash and furniture scattered in the residence created an unsafe and unsanitary environment for the dogs.
The district attorney’s office charged Cunningham with 22 counts of cruelty to animals, six counts of not having licenses for her dogs, and six counts of not having her dogs properly vaccinated against rabies.
In October 2015, Cunningham, who had pleaded guilty to three counts of cruelty to animals after a horse in her care starved to death, was sentenced to pay fines, four years and 90 days probation and ordered not to keep domestic pets while she is on probation.
According to a police report, Stacey Wiley of the Lawrence County District Attorney's office, who also serves as the county's humane officer, was contacted on Nov. 10 by the Lawrence County adult probation office and informed that Cunningham had two dogs, a cat and two birds in her home.
The report further stated she was not providing the animals with clean and sanitary shelter in that her house contained accumulated animal feces and urine. The report also said the dogs and birds appeared in acceptable body condition, but the cat was dehydrated and emaciated.
All five animals were removed from the home, the report stated.
(New Castle News - Dec 15, 2016)
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