UPDATE: Hoarded dogs to stay in shelters after judge orders ment - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

UPDATE: Hoarded dogs to stay in shelters after judge orders mental evaluation of a Freeport woman


A Freeport woman accused of hoarding more than 100 animals is ordered to undergo a mental evaluation.

Tina McKinnon, 45, faces several charges including cruel treatment of animals. Last month, police raided McKinnon's rental home at 1358 N. Heitter Road. Officers found 85 dogs alive and 65 dead animals in the home. The dogs were seized and taken to local shelters for care.

McKinnon's preliminary hearing was scheduled for Thursday, but the defense attorney petitioned the court for a fitness hearing to see if McKinnon is capable of understanding the proceedings and assisting her attorney.

McKinnon's new hearing is set for May 7. This means the animals are still McKinnon's property and they cannot be adopted. Today the Stephenson County State's Attorney's Office filed a petition to have the animals released from McKinnon's possession.

"What we are doing now, is what seems to be the next step in case, the person doesn't want to voluntarily give them [the dogs] up, so we petition the court to have them turned over to animal control," said Stephenson County Assistant State's Attorney Joe Lentz.

However, the judge cannot sign-off on that petition until the May 7 hearing. The dogs will remain in the shelters until the petition is signed.

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