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Woman charged with 44 counts of animal cruelty

May 6, 2020 GMT

MONTICELLO, Ky. (AP) — Police have charged a woman with 44 counts of animal cruelty after finding malnourished and dead horses on a Kentucky farm, according to court records.

Jacqueline Helton, 53, also faces charges of concealing diseased animals and improperly disposing of dead animals, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported, citing an arrest warrant from Kentucky State Police.

A complaint about the animals’ welfare was filed April 30 by the property owner, who was leasing the Wayne County farm to Helton, the warrant said.

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Officials searched and found four dead horses and 44 living ones, according to the warrant.

Helton has faced similar charges in the past. In 2015, she was charged with animal cruelty, but the counts were dropped after she completed diversion.

An arraignment is scheduled for July 6, according to court records. It wasn’t immediately clear whether Helton has an attorney.