BELCHERTOWN, MASS. (WHDH) - A Hadley woman was arraigned on 35 counts of animal cruelty Thursday after an investigation into reports of malnourished cows and goats on an Amherst farm.
Shannon Rice-Nichols allegedly neglected several animals, causing one cow and two goats to be euthanized, according to a statement from the Northwest District Attorney’s Office.
The investigation into the farm was launched in March following a request from an Amherst animal welfare officer. In addition to the euthanizations, the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals made several animals available for adoption, including eight head of Kerry cattle, 22 goats and a Holstein cow.
“Every animal deserves a right to live in an environment free from cruelty and neglect,” said Northwestern Assistant District Attorney Erin Aiello in a statement.
As part of the arraignment, Eastern Hampshire District Judge Bruce Melikian released Nicols on personal recognizance and additional conditions that she stay away from the farm.
Animal cruelty charges are punishable by up to seven years in prison.
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