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Mountain Home woman faces 58 counts of animal cruelty after rescue of dogs, cats

Idaho

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Over 50 dogs and 3 cats were found in a Mountain Home house. Police had previously visited the home on a welfare check for the animals and became suspicious. A search warrant resulted in an arrest. | Courtesy city of Mountain Home

MOUNTAIN HOME (Idaho Statesman) — The Idaho Humane Society helped Mountain Home authorities rescue 55 dogs and three cats from a 600-square-foot house on Thursday, and Kathleen Schweikert, 60, was later charged with 58 felony counts of animal cruelty.

Police and shelter officials sought the Idaho Humane Society’s help to provide veterinary care, food and shelter, the organization said. The animals were living in “deplorable conditions,” according to a Facebook post from IHS.

“Mountain Home firefighters entered the home in hazmat gear and oxygen in order to air it out appropriately for our staff to enter,” the Idaho Humane Society’s Facebook post said.

Mountain Home Police Chief Scott Conners said Schweikert was booked into the Elmore County Jail, and her bail was set at $17,400, according to the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office website.

In addition to the animal cruelty counts, she was charged with not having animal licenses (50 counts) and not having a kennel license (one count). She also faces two misdemeanors for violating a city ordinance that prohibits more than three adult pets in one household, and for resisting and obstructing a warrant for search, police said.

Most of the dogs rescued were Papillons, a breed of toy dog that generally weighs less than 10 pounds. A Facebook fundraiser posted by the Idaho Humane Society for the dogs already had raised more than $6,000 on Friday.

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