HOWELL TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — A judge has told a couple accused of having 276 dogs in their home that they have until next week to plead guilty or else face a trial on more than 550 animal cruelty counts.
A New Jersey newspaper is reporting that the judge told Charlene and Joseph Handrik on Wednesday they have until November 16 to resolve the case with a plea deal.
Prosecutors told the judge both sides have an agreement on the number of charges, but are still resolving possible fines and penalties.
The couple faces up to $1 million in fines. Attorneys on both sides have said that amount isn’t likely to be imposed.
Prosecutors say the dogs lived in deplorable conditions at the couple’s bi-level home but were in relatively good health.
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