A Hope woman pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty charges in Knox County Superior Court April 22.

Margaret E. Tracy, 55, was charged in January for not providing adequate shelter and  failing to meet the basic needs of the variety of animals she kept.

The animals include two cockatiels, six cats, eight chickens, two dogs, three ducks, two horses, two donkeys and a single goat, according to court documents. The document filed by the state indicates the animals are in poor condition; "maimed, disabled, diseased, dehydrated, malnourished injured or have been cruelly treated," by Tracy.

The state also requested a district court judge authorize the state to take ownership of 26 domestic animals from Tracy.

Tracy was jailed Jan. 25 following an initial appearance in Knox County Superior Court where she pleaded not guilty to two counts of violation of condition of release. The original charges stemmed from a domestic violence assault charge in September 2012. Tracy also was arrested for operating under the influence in September, according to previously published reports.

She was released from jail April 5.

According to an affidavit filed in Sixth District Court in Rockland, Hope Animal Control Officer Suzanne White made a visit to the Tracy homestead after receiving a call from a concerned Hope resident regarding the condition of the animals. The resident expressed knowledge of Tracy's absence due to recent incarceration. The caller said Tracy had expressed concern about the fate of her animals prior to being incarcerated.

White stated in the affidavit that after communicating with the concerned resident she also spoke with Tracy. Tracy indicated she was unsure of the length of her incarceration, expressed concern about the care of her animals. She then said she did not want to keep the animals any longer and requested they be removed from the premises, according to the affidavit.

The animals in the house and barn were in poor condition without food or water, the water vessels provided for the animals were frozen, the house was cluttered and unheated, and the stench of dog feces was strong, the affidavit stated.

White stated in the affidavit that animals left in an unheated home during "some of the coldest weather in years" for any additional period of time, without care or heat, would become ill or die.

The affidavit states the smaller animals that could be caught at the scene were taken to Pope Memorial Humane Society of Knox County in Thomaston. The horses remained on the premises and were being cared for by volunteers until a veterinarian could assist in transporting one of the animals who was not tame, according to the affidavit.

Tracy is represented by Rockland attorney Eric B. Morse.