Police seek felony charges in dead animal investigation


Police in Madison County are seeking felony charges in their investigation into animals found dead on a farm.

Officers found more than 170 dead animals on the farm in rural Madison County early last month. Two adults, Daniel and Carrie Ault, were living in the barn where the animals were found with two small children, police say. Charges against the Aults could come as early as Wednesday.

The family was using buckets to go to the bathroom. The living quarters were condemned by the Madison County Board of Health.

Investigators discovered the deplorable conditions after neighbors reported seeing carcasses of animals on the property.

Child Protective Services were called in for the couple's children.

A total of 165 live animals were also found on the farm and were inspected by the Department of Animal Health. The animals that survived are being fostered by people across the region who stepped forward to help.

The farm is located between County Roads 350 and 400 west on County Road 1700 North.

Police presented the probable cause affidavits to the Madison County Prosecutor's Office for review. They are seeking charges of Neglect of a Dependent and Disposal of a Dead Animal required - both felonies - as well as Abandonment or Neglect of Vertebrate Animal, a misdemeanor.

The prosecutor will review the affidavits and determine what charges are filed and how many counts will be filed in the investigation.