PRESTONSBURG, Ky (WYMT) - A Floyd County woman is facing 30 counts of animal cruelty charges after animal control officers found several dead or malnourished animals on her property.
It was an anonymous tip that led animal control officers to this home owned by Vanessa Howard.
"Basically, went the residence and was able to discern that there was a smell that was consistent with dead animals and was ultimately able to get permission to search," said Floyd County Attorney Keith Bartley.
They found nine dead animals, and several more severely malnourished leading to 30 counts of animal cruelty.
"To see the animals that were so hungry that they had essentially turn to cannibalism with regards to the animals that have passed, it's really bad," said Bartley.
Officials say Howard had several properties in Floyd County where this alleged animal abuse was going on. They say they there are also other properties in other counties that need to be investigated.
"They had been there for weeks with no food and no water, they had fleas, really bad fleas. Some of them were skinny, just needed some care and needed attention," said Floyd County Animal Shelter Treasurer
The rescued animals are now at the Floyd County Animal Shelter where they will receive food and care until court proceedings are over.
The dead animals were sent to UK for testing to help in the case.
Howard pleaded not guilty Friday morning.
Each animal cruelty count carries a maximum one year sentence in jail.