Area Woman Pleads Guilty in Animal Cruelty Case

| July 17, 2022

ARMSTRONG CO., Pa. (EYT) – A Clarion County woman entered a guilty plea to Aggravated Cruelty to Animals and related charges stemming from a March 2021 case in which 22 dead animals were reportedly discovered and multiple animals rescued at a Madison Township residence.

According to court documents, on Wednesday, July 6, 2022, 46-year-old Keri Beth Wolfe, of New Bethlehem, pleaded guilty in front of President Judge James J. Panchik to the following charges:

– Aggravated Cruelty to Animals – Causing SBI or Death, Felony 3 (two counts)
– Cruelty to Animals, Misdemeanor 2 (one count)
– Neglect of Animals – Sustenance/Water, Misdemeanor 3 (one count)

Wolfe remains free on $10,000.00 monetary bail.

A sentencing date has not yet been set.

Details of the case:

According to a criminal complaint, Armstrong County Humane Officer Chris O’Donnell served a search warrant at a residence on Bingham Road in Madison Township, Armstrong County, shortly before 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 22, 2021. The search warrant was in regards to a complaint from an organization for animal rescue for the alleged neglect of animals at the residence owned by Keri Beth Wolfe.

At the scene, Pa. state troopers assisted Officer O’Donnell and another humane officer in searching the perimeter.

Six deceased birds were then located in cages at the back of the house. No water or food was found in the pens which reportedly contained large amounts of feces, according to the complaint.

A veterinarian and an assistant from Frankie’s Friends arrived at the scene to assist.

Upon entering the home, authorities discovered seven deceased dogs, six deceased rabbits, and three deceased felines.

Two of the deceased dogs were found in one crate, and the skeletal remains of another dog – which appeared to have been eaten by other animals in the house – was found in a hallway. One dog was found deceased on a chair, and two cats were found deceased in the basement lying together with mold growing on their bodies. Three deceased rabbits were found in a tote on the kitchen counter, and one deceased kitten was found decomposing in the hallway on top of a black box.

According to the complaint, overflowing litter boxes were found throughout the structure, and there was also a large amount of trash and feces found throughout the house, which smelled strongly of decay.

The extreme amount of trash inside the structure made mobility difficult for the officers during the search, the complaint indicates.

The complaint also notes that some of the animals appeared to be recently deceased while others had been dead for quite some time.

According to the complaint, the officers observed no food or water available for any of the animals, although there was unopened wet dog food located in the kitchen.

It was also noted that numerous cats and two dogs were transported to rescue, according to the complaint.

Wolfe was arraigned in front of Magisterial District Judge James H. Owen at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 23, 2021.

The following charges were held for court on June 22, 2021:

– Aggravated Cruelty to Animals – Causing SBI or Death, Felony 3 (26 counts)
– Cruelty to Animals, Misdemeanor 2 (43 counts)
– Neglect of Animals – Sustenance/Water, Misdemeanor 3 (43 counts)
– Neglect of Animals – Shelter/Protection, Misdemeanor 3 (43 counts)
– Neglect of Animals – Vet Care, Misdemeanor 3 (43 counts)

Wolfe was formally arraigned on September 15, 2021, at 8:30 a.m. in front of Senior Judge Kenneth G. J. Valasek in Armstrong County Court of Common Pleas.

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