Dallas woman convicted for extreme animal hoarding - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Dallas woman convicted for extreme animal hoarding

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Ellis County -

A Dallas woman was convicted Friday on nine counts of animal cruelty for what prosecutors described as an extreme case of animal hoarding.

Prosecutors said 41-year-old Michelle Lorraine Lehman leased a barn in Ellis County where 82 dogs and cats were seized from deplorable conditions. Investigators said most of the animals were severely malnourished some had been physically abused.

Animal cruelty investigators testified that dogs were tethered without access to water, several of the animals were flea and tick infested and had open wounds, and unruly animals were tied up without access to food or water until they died. Those animals, the investigators said, were found buried behind a barn.

Lehman testified at trial that she would feed the dogs pizza donated by a friend from a restaurant. However, investigators said the pizza was just crusts mixed with plastics straws, napkins and other trash.

In closing arguments, prosecutors reminded the jury that 67 of the 82 animals found in Lehman's care had to be euthanized due to the severity of their conditions. Lehman received a one year jail sentence and $4,000 fine for each of the nine counts, the maximum punishment for the charges.

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