TEWKSBURY (AP) – A South Dakota woman has pleaded not guilty to leaving two cats and more than a dozen dogs in a van outside a motel for nearly six hours on a day when temperatures reached the high 80s.

Margot Nickerson-Malpher, of Sioux Falls, S.D., was ordered held Wednesday on $1,000 cash bail by a Lowell District Court judge on 18 counts of animal cruelty. The judge also ordered the 71-year-old not to possess any animals.

Tewksbury police said they found the animals in the hot van with windows cracked open. Police say some had trouble walking and others had to be hosed down.

Police said at least one dog died.

Nickerson-Malpher told police she was driving from Maine back to South Dakota.

A pre-trial conference is scheduled Aug. 9.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (4)
  1. Fields says:

    I don’t believe $1,000 and not being allowed to have any pets is punishment enough. Nor is it justice for animals who are tortured, improperly cared for, and especially those who end up losing their lives because of selfish, sick people like this woman.

  2. Willow says:

    Why not leave her in a van under the same conditions and see how well she can walk, if she lives at all. It seems animal cruelty is worse then ever, even with all the education and people who work so hard to end it.

  3. emom says:

    This women is an animal abuser,,,, she has not morals… GOD I only hope she has no kids what a thing to teach a child…. throe her in a kennel with rabid dogs.,..on a hot day,,, SHOW NO MERCY.

  4. macmum says:

    So, the report doesn’t name what hotel/motel they were left outside of….could it be the infamous Caswell???? Staying there saya alot about this woman. Animal cruelty is right up there with abusers of the handicapped and aged. This woman disgusts me.

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