COLUMBIA, Md. (WJZ) — A Howard County couple is on trial for animal cruelty charges.
Elizabeth Lindenau and Brady Decker were charged with 17 counts of animal cruelty, including failure to provide the animals with food, water, air, space and veterinary care.
Howard County Animal Control was called to a home in the 9400 block of Hundred Drums Row in Columbia on July 17, 2019, after an anonymous caller reported a horrible stench coming from the home. They believed it was dog feces.
Animal Control officers made several attempts to contact the residents of the home, but they refused to speak to them or let them inside.
On July 24, animal control obtained a warrant and went to the residence to serve the warrant. Once inside, there was an odor of urine and waste and the home was cluttered with household items, making it hard to walk around inside. Officers found 59 animals living inside, including 39 birds, 11 dogs, five cats, two snakes and two turtles. They also found 42 dead birds and other small animals in their freezers.
Due to the poor living conditions, the 59 animals were impounded by animal control and the pair was charged.
The trial entered its second day Tuesday morning. During the trial, an animal control officer testified that there was dust, cobwebs and clutter piled high in the home and some animals were living in their own waste.
The animal control officer also said the stench made her eyes water and it was hard to breathe inside the home.
The defense asked for the charges to be dropped, arguing the state only provided evidence based on observations of animal control officers and had a snapshot in time of the conditions the animals were living in. The judge, however, denied the request, saying there was enough evidence on all but one of the counts.
Lindenau also testified, saying she had a long history of taking care of animals at an animal hospital, wildlife sanctuary and aquarium. She also said she regularly took in animals with pre-existing medical conditions, including some of the animals that were seized.
The case isn’t the first time the pair has faced animal cruelty charges; they were also in court in 2012.