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Vilas County Court report PDF Print E-mail

Jury trial set Oct. 10 for suspect

in Sayner area animal neglect case

A 48-year-old Sayner woman, who allegedly neglected animals left at her former home, will receive a jury trial Oct. 10 in Vilas County Circuit Court.

Lauri A. Schilling has been charged with 27 Class A misdemeanor counts of ne­glecting at least nine cats  at the home, located at 2610 Hwy. 45 in Sayner.

Her estranged husband, Ronnie R. Schilling, 48, also faces 27 Class A misdemeanor counts. According to online court records, an annulment of the marriage is being sought.

Both defendants had pretrial conferences scheduled for Tuesday of this week.  No jury trial has been scheduled for Ronnie Schilling. The jury trial for Lauri Schilling is scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 10, presided by Vilas Circuit Judge Neal A. Nielsen III.

According to court documents, both Schillings have entered not guilty pleas to nine counts of intentionally failing to provide food for animals, nine counts of intentional improper shelter and sanitation, and nine counts of intentionally abandoning an animal.

According to the complaint, the Vilas County humane officer and Vilas County Public Health De­partment were asked to do a welfare check of cats at the home.

Vilas County authorities were told the Schillings were in the process of getting a divorce and Laurie Schilling had moved to Florida and Ronnie Schilling had moved to another residence in the Sayner area. Authorities also were told there were unsanitary living conditions inside the Schilling’s former residence, where another woman was staying because she had no place to live at the time.

Once inside the home in early March 2013, officers  located nine cats and one dog, according to the complaint. Some of the cats were found peering out of holes in the walls and from behind furniture. Authorities also reported cat feces all over inside the residence. In an area under the kitchen sink, cat feces was found to be several inches deep.

According to the complaint, authorities also found a closet and main bathroom also with a litter box area with seven or eight pans that all had cat feces and litter box material all over. Inside an unusable bathroom, there was a litter box-type pan that was overflowing with cat feces.

Authorities said there were no floor coverings and just plywood on the floors of the homes. The woman living temporarily at the home said she tried to clean the residence, but it “was just too overwhelming.” She said the cats would urinate and defecate “where they pleased.”

Officials said the cats appeared to be in healthy condition, though eventually one deceased cat was found.

Both defendants are free on $1,000 signature bonds with the condition that they are not allowed to possess or care for animals.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 3:05 PM

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