Police in Vermont reportedly discovered 80 animal carcasses in a woman’s rented mobile home last month.
Ashleigh Tillson, 30, pleaded not guilty Thursday to 88 counts of animal cruelty related to the disturbing discovery. The Grand Isle Sheriff’s Department said they were called to the South Hero home on September 21 after her landlord entered her home and reported seeing multiple dead animals and live animals in cages, according to WFFF.
NECN reported that the landlord claimed the windows were covered in flies and that Tillson hadn’t lived there for some time. Officers said they found eight animals alive—two rabbits, four lizards, a hedgehog, and a chinchilla.
However, police allegedly also found dozens of carcasses of numerous types of animals, including rabbits, ferrets, and reptiles. Court papers obtained by the Associated Press indicated that 30 carcasses were stored in a freezer.
Investigators said that autopsies performed on the animals revealed that most of them died from malnutrition and heat exhaustion. The mobile home was uninhabitable as the power was cut off months earlier, WCAX reported.
“It was the worst one [case] I have ever been on. The number of 80 dead animals … that was hard to take. And the condition of the bodies of these animals,” veterinarian Dr. Peggy Larson said.
“There were some ferrets that were nothing left of them but fur and bones.”
Friends of Tillson claimed she was worried more about herself than the deceased aminals that officers found. The woman’s ex-boyfriend allegedly told police that she would ask him for rent and she would use the money to purchase more animals.
Tillson was released on a set of conditions, including that she remove the cages that house her pets. She is scheduled to appear in court next month.
[Featured Image: Grand Isle County Sheriff’s Department]