Polk County couple on trial for animal cruelty

LAKELAND, Fla. - A jury began hearing testimony in the trial of a Polk City couple accused of animal cruelty in the single largest animal seizure case in Sheriff's Office history.

The Lakeland Ledger reports that the trial continued Wednesday.

Prosecutors say Charles and Diane O'Malley were trying to care for hundreds of unwanted dogs at their home, but their conduct became criminal when the task proved too much for them.

During opening statements, prosecutors told jurors that deputies and animal control officers responded to an anonymous tip on May 26, 2010, and found 261 dogs living in poor conditions.

Their lawyer says the dogs weren't mistreated and that prosecutors retreated from the original charges because deputies failed to conduct a proper investigation.

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