A Westminster woman is charged with 15 counts of animal cruelty for allegedly failing to provide adequate living conditions for more than a dozen dogs and a goose.
Lorraine Arlean Gibson, 67, of the 3000 block of Bird View Road, was released from the Carroll County Detention Center on Thursday on $6,000 unsecured bond, according to electronic court files.
On June 2, Gibson was found guilty of two counts of failure to license a dog, according to court records. She received a 30-day suspended sentence and was placed on probation, a condition of which was allowing inspections of her home by Animal Control.
Four adult dogs, nine puppies and one goose were seized from the property after an inspection July 7. The animals were found lying in urine and fecal matter, in crates that had not been cleaned, according to charging documents.
Gibson filed an action in the District Court of Maryland to have the animals returned, claiming they were taken without notice, according to court records. The animals seized were taken to the Humane Society of Carroll County.
Charles Brown, director of the organization, said he couldn't speak specifically about Gibson's case because of pending legal action but said that, typically, removing animals from a home is a last resort.
"In general, it is our mission here to work with folks to try to improve conditions that we find them and their animals in," he said.
Animals are rarely seized, according to Brown, and only when conditions are so deplorable that doing so is in the best interest of the animals.
"When we do it, it's something that has to be done," he said.
When an animal owner files to get animals back, the animals are held until a judge rules, Brown said. If a judge denies the action, the Humane Society then takes ownership of the animals and places them up for adoption.