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UPDATE: MSU Vet Professor To Go To Trial

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UPDATE: An assistant professor at Michigan State University's Veterinary School will head to trial on a felony charge of animal neglect.

An attorney for Patricia Schenck waived a preliminary hearing scheduled for Thursday, meaning the case can now move ahead to trial.

Prosecutors say the 55-year-old professor had 17 dogs and two cats in her home north of DeWitt.

Investigators say there's no evidence Schenck physically abused the animals, but if convicted, the felony neglect charge carries a penalty of up to four years in prison.

One of the dogs had to be put down after they were taken from Schenck's home.

Schenck didn't speak during the hearing, but her attorney says the dogs were old and that the one dog had to be euthanized because of its advanced age.

 

ORIGINAL STORY: An assistant professor with Michigan State University's Veterinary School is due in court this week accused of animal cruelty and neglect.

Patricia Schenck faces felony charges after Clinton County authorities say they found 17 Tibetian spaniels and two cats in poor condition inside her home north of DeWitt. 

The Clinton County Sheriff says the animals were in such bad condition, one of the dogs had to be euthanized. They say a search warrant was issued after the 55-year-old refused to give up the animals when officers arrived. Officials say there was no evidence that the animals were physically abused.

MSU says Schenck didn't work with animals at the college and is now suspended with pay until the investigation is over.

Schenck was not available for comment, but her lawyer gave the following statement:

"Dr. Schenck is innocent until proven guilty. She has agreed to cover all expenses to house and take care of the dogs while this action is pending."

A preliminary hearing is set for Thursday to determine if there's enough evidence for trial.

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