Local News

Arrest made after more than 50 animals rescued from 'filthy' home

PENROSE, Colo. - A Fountain woman is facing animal cruelty and child abuse charges in connection to an alleged animal hoarding case out of Fremont County.

Rhonda Bernard, 57, is facing 52 counts of animal cruelty and one count of child abuse.

Bernard turned herself in at the Fremont County Detention Center on Monday, September 9, 2013. She is being held on $1,500 bond.

On Wednesday, August 21, 2013, deputies worked with the Colorado Humane Society and the Dumb Friends League to remove 26 cats, two chinchillas, and a ferret from a vacant home in the 200 block of Garden Drive.

All of the animals, some of which appeared to have medical problems, were turned over to the Colorado Humane Society by the property owner.

The Fremont County Sheriff's Office said that due to the filthy conditions (accumulated feces and urine) inside the house, officers had to suit up in haz-mat suits and breathing apparatus before entering the house.

Sheriff's deputies had been called to the home on August 13th after neighbors reported that the property owner had moved out and left numerous animals in the house.

A deputy who was dispatched to the house says a foul odor was coming from the home and could be smelled from the street. The deputy was not able to find the owner of the home that day, but was able to meet with her the following morning.

The woman would not allow the deputy to enter the house but she did remove 23 Chihuahuas from the home and drive them to the Fremont County Humane Society.

The woman told the deputy that there were only a few wild cats in the house and that she would attempt to trap them. She later gave permission to Colorado Humane Society agents to enter her house and to remove any animals still inside.

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