LEWISTON – A woman accused of having 64 pets inside her Lewiston apartment is denying that the animals were neglected.
Officials say one pet was dead and others needed medical attention when they arrived, but Samantha Bell pleaded not guilty to five counts of animal cruelty Wednesday.
The animals included cats, dogs, chinchillas, snakes, gerbils, hamsters and lizards.
WGME-TV reported that the judge told Bell that she’s only allowed to have fish or other aquatic animals. But Bell said she intends to petition to keep at least one dog she uses as a service animal.
Jonathan Diaz, a friend, says Bell got in over her head when it came to taking in abandoned pets, but he insisted that she didn’t mistreat any of them.