New hearing needed in animal cruelty case in Maine

Posted Aug. 01, 2008, at 12 a.m.

WISCASSET, Maine (AP)&nbsp- A judge in Wiscasset has ordered another hearing on a defense motion to suppress evidence against a 78-year-old Somerville woman who pleaded not guilty to five felony counts of aggravated cruelty to animals and 16 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty.

Authorities searched the home of Fern Clark on Jan. 19 and seized 66 dogs, four cats and a bird. Her lawyer has argued that the search warrant was granted without probable cause.

Superior Court Justice Andrew Horton found fault with an affidavit that served as the basis for the warrant, concluding that it contained “some significant gaps that cannot be filled in except by speculation.”

Police and state animal welfare officials who raided Clark’ s home said many of the dogs had serious health problems linked to neglect and malnutrition.

http://bangordailynews.com/2008/08/01/sports/new-hearing-needed-in-animal-cruelty-case-in-maine/ printed on November 23, 2014