CRIME

Retired veterinarian facing animal cruelty charges

A retired veterinarian from Massachusetts is facing animal cruelty charges after investigators say they found about two dozen sick and emaciated animals and a dead dog on her property.

The Sentinel & Enterprise reports that 63-year-old Margaret Alberts was released on personal recognizance after pleading not guilty this week.

A Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals investigator says the animals were found in barns on the property in Ashby and in Alberts' home, which had an overwhelming smell of animal urine and feces that made it difficult to breathe.

The MSPCA seized 20 cats, two horses, two dogs and a goat from the property during a March search.

Alberts' attorney said in court filings that his client "truly loves her animals as if they were her own children."

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Information from: Sentinel & Enterprise (Fitchburg, Mass.), http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com