By Lisa Redmond
LOWELL -- As Dracut Animal Control Officer Virginia Courtenay stood at the top of the basement stairs of the home at 1034 Mammoth Road last February, she was hit by the strong smell of animal waste.
At the bottom of the stairs, Courtenay could see animal feces and urine covering the basement floor "from one end to the other," according to her report. "It was difficult to walk without stepping in feces," she wrote.
Living there were two cats and a 14-year-old male German shepherd, Skylar, whose ears were covered with "thick black crusty matter," Courtenay wrote.
Police were notified about the animals by the 90-year-old disabled homeowner, who dialed 911 on Feb. 26 because he wanted his 25-year-old granddaughter, Corrianne Lucier, removed from his house.
Dracut police filed a complaint against Lucier, of 135 Mary Theresa Terrace, Lowell, charging her with animal cruelty. She was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in Lowell District Court, but the court date was changed to June 6.
Police Officer Wren Maddox wrote in her report that police had been to the home last month on an issue relating to allegations of elder abuse. Lucier was removed from the home, but only charged with unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.
The homeowner told police the dog and two cats in the basement had not been fed or given water by his granddaughter in days. The dog was so weak he had to be helped up the basement stairs, Courtenay wrote. Once outside he began eating snow.
Courtenay took custody of all three animals, which were taken to Wignall Animal Hospital for evaluation and treatment.
Skylar was treated for a severe infection in both ears and an ulcer on his right leg that was down to the bone, court documents state. The dog was thin, but not underweight, according to reports.
The day after the animal rescue, the 90-year-old homeowner obtained a restraining order against his granddaughter, police wrote.
Police allege that in addition to having the animals live in deplorable conditions without food and water, Lucier failed to license and vaccinate Skylar.
In speaking with Lucier about the animals, she said she was temporarily living with a friend, but didn't know the address, Courtenay wrote. She indicated a friend might be able to take the dog and cat, but the other cat belonged to a friend who was evicted from his apartment.
Lucier did not respond to The Sun's request for comment.
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