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Woman faces 80 animal cruelty counts

PORT ROYAL — A Juniata County woman is facing 80 criminal charges related to animal neglect after police allegedly found many dogs and horses to be emaciated and without food and water, as well as some deceased dogs on her property.

Jennifer L. Poole, 44, was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Jacqueline Leister Friday on five counts of felony aggravated cruelty to animals, 44 counts of misdemeanor neglect of animals for failing to provide shelter and protection, 10 counts of misdemeanor neglect of animals for failing to provide veterinary care, 19 summary counts for failing to provide sustenance and water and one summary count for operating a kennel without a license.

These counts replace prior charges that had been filed against Poole.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, Pennsylvania State Police responded to a report of animal cruelty at her Spruce Township home on Dec. 19.

Upon entering the residence, police reported observing several dogs in wire and plastic cages that contained feces and empty food and water bowls.

Police reported seeing a deceased dog on the floor of the garage. According to the report, Poole, said the dog had died of old age.

Police also reported seeing several younger dogs inside a wire kennel who appeared to be severely underweight. Another dog appeared to have a serious eye injury, court documents state.

After being examined by a veterinarian, police said eight of the dogs suffered from dehydration. One dog had a significant heart murmur. Other dogs suffered from head tilt, ataxia, skin infections and dental tartar build up.

An autopsy was conducted on four deceased dogs, which revealed that the causes of death were emaciation, pyometra and emaciation with gastrointestinal parasitism.

In a nearby barn/pasture area, police observed several horses that appeared to be “severely underweight” and some did not have access to adequate shelter, the affidavit states.

Police said when examined by a veterinarian, nine of the 11 horses were found to be in “very poor condition,” while the other two were in “poor condition.”

The affidavit states most horses did not have access to clean drinking water and that no horses had access to food. Most of the horses had issues with their hooves due to not being trimmed.

An autopsy was completed on one deceased horse that died shortly after leaving Poole’s residence, which found the cause of death to be emaciation and enterocolitis.

According to the affidavit, police requested that Poole forfeit her dogs and horses and that she be prohibited from owning animals.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday before Magisterial District Judge Jacqueline Leister.

Poole is being held in Mifflin County Correctional Facility, unable to post $25,000 bail.

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