Edwardsburg woman living with 100 animals in ‘unacceptable’ conditions gets probation

Published 1:16 pm Wednesday, December 9, 2020

An Edwardsburg woman who was found with more than 100 animals living in poor condition at her residence last year was sentenced to probation in Cass County Circuit Court Friday.

Nichola Ann Stasiak, 51, of May Street in Edwardsburg, pleaded guilty to a number of misdemeanor counts for failing to vaccinate animals and failure to license animals and a felony count of animal cruelty and was sentenced to one year probation, a 30-day jail sentence that is suspended until the end of probation and $5,192.38 in restitution to Cass County Animal Control.

Stasiak was ordered to have no animals in her possession.

The incident occurred October 8, 2019, when Cass County Animal Control was called to her home. They found dogs, chickens, horses and other animals both inside and outside the home. Animals were found with fleas, worms and in poor condition with some dead chickens also found.

While Stasiak excused the situation by saying she was working 70 hours a week and depended on others to care for the animals, Cass County Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Hubbert called the conditions at the property “unacceptable.”

“What it comes down to is that these were unacceptable conditions with animals suffering and not taken care of,” he said.

“In the court’s mind, when I look at the number of animals and conditions, your excuses don’t seem plausible,” Cass County Circuit Judge Mark Herman said. “This was horrible and without excuse. You shouldn’t have overburdened yourself with an excessive number of animals. Your house didn’t seem fit for man or beast.”