A Grand Island woman has been found guilty of animal neglect after police found seven dogs living in the remains of her burned home.
Last fall Betty and Bob Niedfelt's house on south Stuhr Road burned in a fire.
Animal control officers took eleven dogs from the property that day, but say they returned them because Niedfelt was making arrangements for the dogs to live with other family members.
A woman who wanted to buy one of the chihuahua-mixes from Niedfelt says she called authorities when she found the dogs living in the burned home's basement about two weeks after the fire.
Niedfelt says it was a misunderstanding, and that she took the dogs back to their house when her family members could no longer help because she wasn't able to keep them at the hotel they live in while their house is being fixed.
"[I] didn't have anybody else that could help take care of them, didn't have money to put them in boarding, and we were preparing a place out in the country for them that's air conditioned and heated," says Niedfelt.
The judge found insufficient evidence that the dogs were being starved, but says the one dog that appeared to have fallen in a sump pump pit in the basement floor was in distress when animal control arrived.
The judge will decide if the dogs will be returned when Niedfelt is sentenced next month. She could face up to a year in jail, up to a $1,000 fine, or both.
An animal control officer testified that she had been in contact with Niedfelt earlier last summer because of too many dogs. Niedfelt says they only recently became aware that their property is within the city limits, which means they can have a maximum of four dogs.