It looks like a case of mass animal abuse could go to trial in La Crosse County, after all.
Carol West of Onalaska had been scheduled to reach a negotiated plea Wednesday, but she decided to find a lawyer instead. So, a trial may be set for this spring.
West faces 29 criminal counts, mostly for mistreating dogs and horses at her rural home and for neglecting her two children.
Her 75-year-old mother, Linda West, reached a plea agreement this month on similar charges, and was placed on probation for a year, along with a fine.
PREVIOUS STORY: After mother took plea, daughter heads to court in massive Onalaska animal cruelty case
A second woman accused of neglecting children and mistreating animals at a rural Onalaska house is scheduled for a plea hearing Wednesday.
Carol West faces 29 charges resulting from a search of her family home two years ago turned up many sick and dead animals.
Officers found West’s 8- and 11-year-old children were also living in the house.
Carol’s mother, Linda West, reached a plea agreement last month on similar charges and was placed on probation.
The other charges — two counts of child neglect, six counts of felony mistreating animals and 21 counts of misdemeanor mistreating animals — were dismissed as part of a negotiated plea.
On Oct. 19, 2016, authorities seized 16 horses, eight dogs, 44 rats and a cat from the West home. The animals were taken to the Coulee Region Humane Society.
All but two of the animals were adopted or placed in rescues. Two horses were euthanized stemming from untreatable medical conditions.
Judge Ramona Gonzalez ordered Linda West to have no contact with animals during her year of probation.
She also had to pay $1,800 in restitution to the humane society — a fraction of what Coulee Region spent housing and caring for the animals.