Spokane woman charged with animal cruelty

SPOKANE — A Spokane woman who had 50 dogs and cats packed into a squalid bungalow has been charged with animal cruelty.

The Spokesman Review reported that 57-year-old Laneva Marsha Erskine faces nine misdemeanors charges stemming from a February raid at her home in which workers wore hazardous material suits and respirators to combat the heavy stench.

Assistant City Prosecutor Matthew Folsom said mistreatment of animals will not be tolerated.

Authorities say the tiny home was built in 1929 and has just 288 square feet of space upstairs. Most of the animals were confined to stacked cages. Some were kept in the dark with insufficient ventilation, and many had burns caused by urine and other physical problems.

Animal rescue has been fielding complaints about Erskine for at least 28 years.

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