A woman in Hermitage has been charged with 51 counts of animal neglect after Agents responded to a home on N. Water St.

Agents went to the house on February 13, 2024. At the time there were three dogs, twenty cats, and 4 goats that were living inside the home. Agents also noted that they saw urine and feces from different animals all throughout the residence. 

The owner of the residence, 71-year-old Joyce Linkens, was informed of the issues that were present. She was also told that the Humane Society would try to work with her to elevate the problem. According to the criminal complaint, Linkens was give one week to show "good faith in the matter."

Agents returned to the home one week later and found the house in the same condition. Linkens did take four kittens to a vet, and was told they all had severe respiratory issues as well as ear mites. Agents then discovered that two cats in the residence were pregnant.

They were also told that another dog was kept in the basement. Agents checked on this dog and say that she could not stand, was flea infested, and missing fur. The dog was immediately removed from the home and taken to a veterinarian. Linkens told agents that the dog had not been to visit a vet as long as she could remember.

Agents at this point decided a full removal would be best. A warrant was obtained on February 14, 2024. Linkens was told that she could voluntarily relinquish animals to help lesson any possible charges. Linkens refused. 

All of the animals were taken away from the property. Hermitage police was called during the removal process because of a family member interfering in the removal process. All of the animals were taken to a Humane Society facility. 

Linkens is due to be arraigned March 14, 2024 at 10:00 A.M.

On top of any other penalties she may face, she may have to pay the Humane Society a cost of car fee for the animals.