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Oldham Pleads Not Guilty

Posted on Oct 16, 2008 - 3:04 PM
Catherine Oldham, 64, of Bergrucken Lane in Readsboro pleaded not guilty to a charge of animal cruelty.

According to an affidavit by Vermont State Police Trooper Scott Dunlap, police received a call about Oldham's dogs on Aug. 2 at around 4 p.m. The complainant told police that Oldham was in the hospital and her dogs were locked in the yard and house. According to the call, the dogs were without food and water, and there was much waste in the residence.

Dunlap said he went to the residence and met with some witnesses. One of the witnesses said her daughter had been contacted by Oldham to house-sit her dogs. The witness said the house was disgusting and smelled horribly, but said there was food and water inside.

Dunlap said he went inside, and said there was a strong odor of urine and there was waste inside the house. Dunlap said there was matting on the dogs' fur. According to Dunlap, the smell inside the house was so bad, he had to leave after several minutes.

Dunlap said he spoke to the Second Chance Animal Center, and was told Oldham had prior dealings with them. An employee at the shelter said there was an agreement with Oldham allowing investigators to make periodic visits to the house to check on the conditions of the dogs. According to the employee, investigators had been unable to contact with Oldham despite multiple attempts.

Dunlap said a warrant was issued on Aug. 3, and three dogs were seized from the residence. Dunlap said the dogs were overweight and had broken teeth. According to Dunlap, one had an infected sore and the other had possible bronchitis.

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