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Woman in Sherrard animal cruelty case pleads not guilty in court Tuesday

Karen Plambeck was arrested and charged with five felony counts of animal cruelty after nearly 200 dogs were recovered from her home in Sherrard in August.

ALEDO, Ill. — A Sherrard woman arrested last month after nearly 200 dogs were rescued from her home on Tuesday pled not guilty to aggravated cruelty to animals on Tuesday, Sept. 6.

The Mercer County Sheriff's Office arrested Karen Plambeck, 59, on Aug. 12 after an animal welfare complaint resulted in the recovery of 198 dogs. She was charged with five felony counts of aggravated cruelty. Plambeck could face up to one to three years in jail per count or a fine up to $25,000.

The dogs are still under the care of Mercer County Animal Control.

Plambeck was arrested again on Sept. 1 for unlawful communication with a witness.

She faced a previous animal cruelty offense in 2019 in connection with several horses found in poor condition. She was originally charged with one count of cruelty to animals and four counts of violating animal owner duties, however, those charges were negotiated down to disorderly conduct.

In June 2022, Plambeck was sentenced to 24 months of probation and required to pay a $300 fine.

A preliminary hearing is set for Tuesday, Oct. 18 at 9 a.m. at the Mercer County Courthouse.

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