The former Belmont County woman who moved out and left her pets behind to die without water or food was back in court Wednesday.

Christine Edgar was to have a pretrial hearing, but instead she entered pleas.

She pled no contest to two of the six counts she was facing–one of causing deliberate harm to a companion animal, and one of abandonment.

Judge Chris Berhalter accepted the pleas, scheduled sentencing and allowed her to remain free on personal recognizance bond until then.

“This is a very unusual case because it’s like somebody just shut the door on their life and walked away leaving the pets, leaving the animals and a lot of belongings and the house behind. I have to always look at it as sometimes good people make bad decisions. And unfortunately, when we make those bad decisions, it comes at a cost.”

Julie Larish
Humane Agent, Belmont County Hoof & Paw

At least 30 animals–including rabbits, cats and kittens–were found dead in the house when it was repossessed.

Sentencing is set for mid-June.

Christine Edgar could get three months in jail for each of the two counts.