Authorities say a Selden woman who had about 20 dead dogs buried in her backyard faces a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge.
Suffolk County SPCA Chief Roy Gross says five dogs were found in small cages without food or water at the Awixa Place home. A cat, a hamster and a parakeet were also rescued. The Selden Fire Department assisted investigators in the search.
“The sickening smell was sometimes overpowering to our officers and the firefighters,” Gross said in a statement. He said the SPCA got the tip from Rescue Ink, a local nonprofit that fights animal abuse, on Thursday.
The rescued dogs are a shepherd mix, a beagle mix, an Italian greyhound, a cocker spaniel mix and a pug.
The greyhound has been adopted; homes were being sought for the other animals.
Authorities charged Sharon McDonough, a widowed mother of seven, with six counts of animal cruelty. She has pleaded not guilty and is due back in court Tuesday in Central Islip.
She could go to prison if convicted.
With The Associated Press.