DOBSON — The trial of a former animal rescuer who has been charged with 23 counts of cruelty to animals will not happen until at least spring 2013.
Melanie Morrison’s trial on the charges has been continued until March 27, according to officials with the Surry County Clerk of Courts office.
The charges stem from an Aug. 20, 2011, warrant that was served on Morrison that alleged “there is probable cause to believe that on or about the date of offense… the defendant… unlawfully and willfully did deprive of necessary sustenance an animal.”
Investigators began scrutinizing Morrison late in July 2011, when animal control officers responded to an anonymous complaint.
The caller, who did not identify himselves, reported that animals at Morrison’s Mount Airy home were living in unsanitary conditions, were sick and that multiple animals were staying in one cage.
Morrison has said the investigation was a matter of bad timing and that her helper had yet to come by to clean the cages and animal areas.
She has said that all the animals in her care were well cared for.
Morrison ran a non-profit organization called Animal Welfare of Surry.
Reach Keith Strange at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1929.