Rachel Duarte (aka Rachel Gouveia), 40, of Riverside, pleaded not guilty to 17 counts of animal cruelty and 365 counts of operating as a breeder and pet shop without a license, which is one count for each day of 2017.
East Providence Animal Control last month seized dozens of animals from Duarte's Floyd Avenue home, including 22 cats and 20 dogs. Conditions at the house were so poor the house was condemned on the spot by a building inspector.
Court documents reveal police were notified on Jan. 12 that a "suspicious looking white van" pulled up to the home and dropped off a load of puppies in filthy conditions.
Police said Duarte told them she had gotten the dogs - 17 puppies and 1 bulldog - off of Craigslist. Investigators said that wasn't the case.
According to police, Duarte rented the van and conspired with an unknown person to pick up the puppies in Arkansas. Court documents state the puppies were transported "inhumanely" in the van in "crates too small for all the puppies to freely move, while covered in feces."
Duarte was released on $10,000 personal recognizance and ordered to have no pets at home, aside from a certified cat for her autistic son.
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