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Officials: Freeport woman kept 85 dogs, more dead animals in house

FREEPORT, Ill. — Authorities are looking for a woman who they say had 85 dogs and at least 65 dead dogs and cats at a rural rental house near Freeport, Illinois.

The Journal-Standard reports the 45-year-old woman faces charges of felony aggravated animal cruelty and misdemeanor cruel treatment to animals. Stephenson County Sheriff’s Lt. Richard Roodhouse says authorities believe the woman is in Wisconsin.

The animals were found Monday morning by the property’s owner, who heard barking while working in a machine shed. Animal control warden Kristin Laue says the dogs were given free rein in the house and were found in closets, the stove and the ductwork.

The Freeport Animal Hospital is holding most of the dogs, and others are at area shelters. Laue says some dogs would be available for adoption when animal control has a judge’s permission.