Earlier this month, authorities in Miller County seized more than 100 exotic animals, rats, puppies and dogs from a home on U.S. Highway 82 which reeked so strongly of ammonia that animal rescuers felt compelled to wear respirators while inside.
Franziska Denise Santifer, 29, is scheduled to appear in court on 16 counts of animal cruelty June 10.
A member of Ark-La-Tex Animal Rescue, who knew the homeowner and had permission to enter the residence while Santifer was out of town, first contacted the Miller County Sheriff’s Office on April 5, according to a search warrant affidavit. Dogs outside the home appeared healthy and had access to food and water but the interior of the house was allegedly full of sick and dead birds, puppies, snakes, rats, lizards and mice.
Inside the freezer, officers discovered several dead snakes and a dead kitten. In one room, officials observed a wheel barrow full of animal feces. A number of snakes suffering from mite infestation. Puppies confined to pens which were covered in feces and urine and allegedly appeared not to have been cleaned in months.
A search warrant was executed April 9 and the animals were turned over to rescuers for care and management. Cruelty to a dog, cat or horse may result in felony charges. Misdemeanor animal cruelty charges are possible for other types of animals.