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Sanctuary Operators Facing Animal Torture Charges

Two Nevada women are facing criminal charges after authorities say they kept more than 400 animals in unsanitary conditions at their nonprofit sanctuary northwest of Las Vegas.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that 51-year-old Donna Mead and 54-year-old Dawn Spoolman are each facing three felony counts of malicious torture and two dozen misdemeanor violations.

The women have been operating the Desert Rescue Animal Sanctuary out of their Cold Creek home for nine years.

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According to an arrest warrant for Mead, authorities had to euthanize 103 of the animals after medical examinations.

Neither Mead nor her lawyer could be reached for comment Thursday. Las Vegas attorney Don Green is representing Spoolman and declined to comment, except to say that the case was "anything but routine."

The case goes to court in December.