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Monmouth County SPCA rescuer indicted for animal cruelty

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A Monmouth County grand jury indicted Gretchen Rell of Little Silver, N.J. charging her with two counts of third degree animal cruelty on Monday after authorities found hundreds of dead birds at her home reported the Asbury Park Press.

Rell, 56, who lives with her 95 year-old mother was a volunteer for the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals wildlife rescue.

In March, authorities found 300 dead birds among other animals including turtles, rabbits, mice, and opossums. Experts were unable to identify all of the animals because of the advanced stages of decomposition.

Many of the dead birds were still in their original crates. The animals died of starvation and dehydration.

The investigation ranged from January 2013 until March 2014.

Rell remains free on her own recognizance, however she is not permitted to return to the MCSPCA and cannot have any contact with animals. Rell surrendered 16 pigeons from her home as part of the conditions of her release.

If found guilty, Rell faces up to five years in prison.

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