Maine

Woman with 64 pets including snakes denies animal cruelty

A woman accused of having 64 pets including snakes and lizards inside her apartment in Maine denies they were neglected.

Officials say one pet was dead and others needed medical attention when they arrived. But Samantha Bell pleaded not guilty to five counts of animal cruelty Wednesday.

The pets included cats, dogs, chinchillas, gerbils and hamsters.

WGME-TV reports (http://bit.ly/2p9W1Tx ) a judge told Bell she's only allowed to have fish or other aquatic animals. Bell says she intends to petition to keep at least one dog she uses as a service animal.

Bell's friend Jonathan Diaz says Bell got in over her head when it came to taking in abandoned pets. He insists she didn't mistreat any of them.

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Information from: WGME-TV, http://www.wgme.com