A woman who moved to Terre Haute from Indianapolis could still face criminal charges in what officials say is one of the worst cases of animal neglect they’ve ever seen.
Mary Smith is charged with 42 counts of animal neglect and could also face more than $276,000 in civil fines for 257 citations.
In June, Animal Care and Control officers found 42 dirty, malnourished and sick dogs locked in her home on 87th street in Indianapolis.
When officers entered the home, they found the carcasses of seven dogs, including two puppies and one dog still locked in its crate, and it's believed the living dogs had been forced to take drastic steps to survive.
Officers said Smith’s home was covered in feces, urine, maggots and fleas.
Smith told police she moved to Terre Haute, but she said that she returned twice a week to check on the dogs.
Authorities say that they don’t believe her.
Smith was supposed to have a court hearing yesterday but she did not appear in person.
Attorneys set another court date for April 10.
If convicted, Smith could face up to a year in prison for each animal.
Smith was also scheduled for a hearing on the civil citations on Monday, but failed to appear in court.
All of the dogs that were found alive have been adopted.