EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - A Vanderburgh County judge will allow 21 dogs to return to an Evansville woman accused in a dog hoarding case.
Martha Crosley pleaded guilty on Friday to five counts of animal abuse. She was cited back in February after animal control officers seized 68 dogs from a former church on Hillview Drive.
Crosley told Sheriff Dave Wedding that she had started an animal sanctuary but it had not been kept up. Deputies say they found dogs in very small crates, lying in feces and urine, and some of them were not properly fed and malnourished.
During the hearing Friday, the prosecutor's office said that Crosley is not capable of taking care of the dogs and requested that none of the dogs be returned to her.
The defense argued that Crosley took care of the abused, elderly, and sickly dogs who likely would have otherwise died. Crosley's attorney believes she deserves an opportunity to get her dogs back under supervision and monitoring.
The judge described Crosley as "reckless, but with a good heart," and ruled that 21 dogs will be returned to her.
Crosley was sentenced to 100 hours of community service.