The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Cops, courts and fires

September 14, 2013

Officials recall 'disgusting' conditions at Summitville farm

(Continued)

SUMMITVILLE, Ind. —

Now, Trinity has more than five acres to run free on Johnson's property in north Anderson. The mare has also given birth to a two-month old foal. Trinity and 162 other surviving animals have found homes elsewhere. Stringer said she could barely keep up with the adoption requests in the beginning. Now, she's down to her final two surviving horses who have yet to be adopted. But she already has three pending requests for those two horses.

"It excited me that I was able to help her," Johnson said. "It gave me hope for her. She went from that situation to be able to run free, come and go as she pleases. It gave me hope."

The Aults' children

The Aults face a litany of charges connected to the conditions found at the farm. All told, the two are co-defendants on 96 charges of improper disposal of a dead animal, a Class D felony, 15 counts of cruelty to an animal, a Class A misdemeanor, and two counts of neglect of a dependent child, a Class D felony. The Aults also face a potential enhancement charge, if convicted, for being habitual offenders. The couple was cited in the past for ordinance violations related to farms in Hamilton County.

Lost in much of the media attention given to the animals was an apparently dangerous and unhealthy situation for the couple's two children, a 5-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old son. The four Aults had apparently been living in a house on the property.

"A lot of people forget about that, but they had two kids living there as well, and the living conditions were horrible," Bell said.

According to the affidavit, a child services officer visited the home on April 9 and found unwashed dishes in the kitchen and only one bed for the entire family in the house. The officer also described finding animal feces surrounding all of the children's toys. A television had been left on and there were dead birds in the house's entryway.

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