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Woman charged with cruelty; cats, dogs, birds, mice found

BUFORD - A Buford woman was released on a $5,600 bond from the Gwinnett County Detention Center Thursday after being arrested on charges of animal cruelty Wednesday morning.

Dora L. Russel, 43, had been charged with one misdemeanor count of cruelty to animals, but could face more citations. According to Cpl. Darren Moloney, spokesman for the Gwinnett County Police Department, investigators with Gwinnett police, Animal Control and the state Health Department executed a search warrant and seized about 100 animals from her residence.

"Animal control received a complaint of possible animal cruelty at [Russel's] residence," Moloney said. "General Crimes used the assistance of the state Health Department because of the deplorable living conditions of the house."

Moloney said the smell was so bad that the odor could be detected from the street, and a breathing apparatus was needed for inside the house.

The investigators seized approximately 17 dogs, three cats and 21 birds, Moloney said. Additionally there were individual aquariums inside the house that contained 50 field mice.

"Animal control is in the process of documenting each animal case so that they can administer the proper number of citations," Moloney said.

Russel was arrested for the same offense in 2002, according to Moloney. In that offense there were 200 animals removed from the same house.

"Gwinnett County Animal Control issued her 93 citations on that past offense," Moloney said.