A Colborne, Ont., woman accused of multiple animal cruelty charges involving several dozen dogs and cats made her first appearance in court in Cobourg on Wednesday morning.
Karen Nixon, 58, faces eight counts of animal cruelty including permitting dogs to be in distress and failing to provide adequate medical attention and food and water.
The charges were laid after the OSPCA executed a search warrant on a home in Colborne (about 24 kilometres east of Cobourg) on March 21.
Officers found a number of golden retriever-type dogs that were in poor condition living in “unsanitary conditions.” Some of those dogs have since been relocated to the Peterborough Humane Society for adoption.
In total, 57 dogs and four cats were removed from Nixon’s home in June after the OSPCA said attempts failed to help the woman comply with standards of care under provincial welfare legislation.
Nixon was on the court docket for a 9 a.m. appearance on Wednesday but didn’t show up.
The judge issued a bench summons for her arrest.
She arrived an hour later and explained that she was upstairs in the courthouse and didn’t hear her name paged.
Nixon told the court she doesn’t have a lawyer and the judge told her to apply for legal aid.
Her case was put over for her next court appearance on Sept. 12.
Court documents reveal that in July 2011, Nixon received a suspended sentence on four charges of causing distress to animals and failing to provide them with a standard of care. She was also placed on two years probation.