Sep 10, 2013 2:59 AM by Garrett Boyd

Animal hoarding suspect arrested

A Fountain woman was arrested Monday after an investigation of animal hoarding.

Rhonda Bernard, 52, is facing 52 counts of animal cruelty and child abuse. 26 cats, 2 chinchillas and a ferret were found in her home in Penrose. Authorities say they were living in filthy conditions.

Sheriff's deputies were originally called to the house on August 13th after neighbors reported that Bernard had moved and left numerous animals in the house. Officers say a foul odor could be detected from the street. The deputy was not able to immediately get in touch with the owner, but was able to the next morning.

Bernard would not allow authorities to come into the house, but she did remove 23 Chihuahuas and voluntarily took them to the Fremont County Humane Society.

Bernard told authorities that there were only a few wild cats in the house and that she would try to trap them. She later gave permission to Colorado Humane Society agents to remove any animals still inside.

Bernard is being held on $1,500 bond. She turned herself into the Fremont County Detention Center on Monday.



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