Animal rescue director charged with animal cruelty pleads not guilty

LONDON, Ky. (WKYT) - The director of a Laurel County animal rescue group was arraigned Monday on dozens of animal cruelty charges.

Stephanie Fields is the director of Homeward Bound Animal Rescue. Last year state police raided her home and took dozens of animals.

A women who got a dog from Homeward Bound says she's spent a lot of money on veterinarian care because the animal was in such bad shape when he came from the rescue.

"For two years he's given me a whole lot of love but he's cost me a whole lot of money," Elizabeth Dawson said Monday.

She says in the first two weeks of owning the dog she named Pooh Bear she spent more than $1500 on vet care. She says she got him from a Homeward Bound adoption event in 2013.

"He had ear infection and he had worms," she said.

She was at the Laurel County Justice Center Monday morning for Stephanie Fields' arraignment. It was scheduled for 11 o'clock but court workers say she and her attorney came in early, entered a not guilty plea, and left.

Kentucky State Police say she kept more than 170 dogs at her home.

On Sunday a volunteer with Friends of the Laurel County Animal Shelter posted pictures they say were taken from inside that home to Facebook. State police say that volunteer accompanied them as they removed those dogs. At the time they called the living conditions inside the home "unacceptable." Fields has been charged with dozens of counts of animal cruelty.

Elizabeth Dawson says that when she notified the group of her issues with Pooh Bear they offered to take him back.

"They said 'You can bring him back, we'll give you your money back,'" she said.

"I said 'No buddy, there is no way you'll get your hands on this dog again.'"

Court workers say Fields is due back in court in May for a pre-trial conference.



 
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