Accused Puppy Mill Owner Appears in Court

February 6, 2013 Updated Feb 6, 2013 at 12:38 AM EDT

By Rachel Elzufon

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February 6, 2013 Updated Feb 6, 2013 at 12:38 AM EDT

Lockport, NY (WKBW) - The woman suspected of running a puppy mill in her Lockport home appeared in court Tuesday evening, facing charges of Animal Cruelty and Endangering the Welfare of a Child.

Ellie Magrum plead not guilty to every charge. She stood quiet and solemn next to her attorney, who says the SPCA and investigators are overreacting to the 64 dogs found in Magrum's home.

Animal Control says it found more than 60 Pomeranians in Magrum's home.

Even her lawyer says that number is high. George Muscato says, "It's not a question of whether 64 dogs is too many or whether it's okay. The fact of the matter is they had a number of dogs in their home, and they were all well cared for."

Muscato adds the dogs were health healthy, friendly and taken care, saying that breeding Pomeranians is Magrum's livelihood.

However the Town of Lockport Dog Warden says the dogs were cramped up in crates in awful living conditions.

Barry Korbin explains, "It was a very unhealthy area. You can't deal with that much feces and urine and not have any problems. I'm honestly surprised no one has any breathing difficulties."

The charges included three misdemeanors, including Animal Cruelty and two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child of a child. Two teenagers lived inside the household.

Magrum was also charged with several violations against Lockport's Town Ordinance, including maintaining an unsafe building, unsanitary living conditions and not licensing the dogs.

The house, located on Royal Parkway South, is now condemned.

Magrum's attorney says she will return to the home and the charges are uncalled for.

All of the dogs were taken to the SPCA of Niagara on Monday morning. They should all have forever homes in the next few days. The adoption list is already full.

However, the SPCA still needs volunteers in the upcoming days to clean up after the dogs. It also still needs donations to help neuter, spay and vaccinate all 64 dogs.