Lawyer Seeks Extension in Animal Cruelty Case

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An attorney has asked for an extension in the case of a woman accused of keeping dozens of dogs and cats in deplorable conditions in her northern Vermont home.

WPTZ-TV reports Carol Merchant appeared in Lamoille County court Wednesday afternoon. She previously pleaded not guilty to eight felony animal-cruelty charges.

Police say Merchant was keeping at least 63 malnourished dogs and cats in in her Eden home.

Her attorney is waiting on the mental results from an independent psychiatrist.

Prosecutors say they've faced scheduling difficulties because there are a limited number of psychiatrists in the state who perform that work. The evaluation can show whether a person is fit to stand trial and it can be used to support the defense.

Merchant is due back in court in December.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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