BROOKFIELD TWP. (WWJ/AP) – An 82-year-old woman and a 44-year-old man have been charged after three dogs were found dead in a large trash bin behind an Eaton County shoe store.

Diane Willis, of Brookfield Township, is charged with abandoning and cruelty to an animal, while Sonny Rounds, of Eaton Rapids, is charged with improper burial of an animal.

Willis pleaded not guilty at an arraignment on Friday, and a pretrial conference was scheduled for next week. Rounds pleaded guilty and faces sentencing on April 3.

Police were told the dogs’ bodies were placed in a bin behind a Payless shoe store in Charlotte, southwest of Lansing, because the ground was too frozen to bury them. Police believe the dogs — a black-and-tan Shepherd mix, a shorthaired black mixed-breed dog and a dog with long black-and-white hair that resembled a Border Collie — were placed there days before their discovery on Jan. 12. It wasn’t immediately clear why the dogs died.

Once investigators linked the dogs to Willis, they went to her home where they seized the other animals, including 15 dogs, six cats, three rabbits and a “large number” of birds.

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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