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LINN COUNTY, Ore. -- A Linn County property owner accused of animal neglect is out of jail.
Lynette McConnell was charged with 19 counts of second-degree animal neglect, a class C felony, after authorities said they found 14 dead animals on her property and several more that were in poor condition.
Oregon Deputy District Attorney Jake Kamins, who is lead prosecutor for the case, said from a statute standpoint, felonies carry a maximum of five years in prison. Prior charges also play a role in how long McConnell could spend in jail if convicted, he added.
In 2017, she was convicted of first-degree attempted assault constituting domestic violence, Kamins said.
"I've prosecuted or assisted-prosecuted in the majority of Oregon's counties and for me, one animal that's abused or neglected is too many. This is a case that I will prosecute to my fullest ability," Kamins said.
McConnell's next scheduled hearing is on Nov. 22.
As for the four cows and two dogs that are still alive, they are at shelters and with foster families who have experience nursing neglected animals back to health. The two dogs are at Linn County Sheriff's Office Animal Control facility.
Making this case especially sad and avoidable is the fact there are agencies and programs out there to help with feed and supplies to prevent starvation and neglect from happening in the first place.
Sara Girres of SafeHaven Humane Society said it is working to prevent these kinds of tragedies with its pet food pantry program.
"The program basically just offers pet food for anyone in need; we have dates and times that people can come pick that up from us and hopefully ensure that pets are being fed and staying in the home with their owners," Girres said.
More information about the program is available on the SafeHaven Humane Society website.