AYER, MASS. (WHDH) - A 77-year-old Ayer woman was arraigned on 30 counts of animal cruelty on Monday after a well-being check conducted at her home on Taft Street revealed dead and mistreated animals, officials said.

Ruth Maxant-Schulz was arraigned in Ayer District Court in connection with the search on Feb. 20 that uncovered animals living in horrific conditions, prosecutors said. In a statement, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Ayer Police Chief Brian Gill said, “When they arrived at the residential property, they observed animals roaming outside the property, including two ponies, several goats, and ducks. Officers discovered several deceased animals both outside and inside the home. Officers saw two dead goats at the front door of the house and could see through a window several goats inside a room that was covered in trash, animal feces, and debris.”

“Inside the house officers found three dead baby goats lying next to each other. While searching the residence for Ms. Maxant-Schulz, officers discovered two additional baby goats lying next to each other. One was deceased and the other appeared to be alive but unwell. Officers heard a dog barking from a back room and saw a duck walking around the house. The Ayer Animal Control Officer was notified and upon arrival she heard baby goats making crying sounds and did not see any food or water set out for them.”

On Feb. 23, Ayer Police applied for and were granted a search warrant for the residence and found a dog crate containing various fowl with no access to food or water and an injured adult goat was observed limping around the property with a broken leg.

A total of 162 animals were seized over the course of the two warrant executions, including 49 goats, 91 chickens, 11 ducks, 8 geese, 2 ponies, and 1 dog.

Judge Tejal Mehta ordered Maxant-Schulz released on personal recognizance and imposed conditions of no possession of animals, no working with animals, no living with animals, no unsupervised contact with animals, and to abide by the condemnation order set forth in Northeast Housing Court.

She is due back in court June 20.

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