PORT VINCENT -- A woman has been charged with simple cruelty to animals after an investigation found nearly 100 animals under her care in “poor living conditions,” according to the Port Vincent Police Department.

Alva Marino was charged after police discovered approximately 16 dogs, 14 cats, and 10 chickens inside the residence and another 46 chickens, eight goats, and five ducks living outside the residence in confined quarters, Police Chief Matthew Allen said in a statement.

The investigation began when police responded to an animal complaint on Lee Drive in Port Vincent at 3:35 p.m. on Tuesday, June 25.

Upon arrival, the complainant said she was asked by the owner of the property, Marino, to care for her animals for several days in her absence, the statement said. The complainant then told police that she observed “poor living conditions” for the animals while attempting to feed them, and the police department agreed that the living conditions of the animals were “poor,” the statement said.

Port Vincent police then contacted the Livingston Parish Animal Shelter, which arrived on scene and further assisted with the investigation. The shelter took in all 16 dogs, which ranged in ages from four weeks to 10 years old, shelter administrator Desiree Green told The News.

The shelter then contacted the Humane Society of Louisiana, which brought food and water to the remaining animals on Monday. A spokesman for the Humane Society told The News that the animals will continue to be fed and watered on-site until they can be transported to “one of our no-kill partners” or a sanctuary.

Green said the owner has the option of surrendering the dogs to the shelter or paying the necessary fines to get them back. However, the dogs will not be released back to their owner in “their current living situation,” Green said.

Allen said no further comment can be made at this time as this is an ongoing criminal matter.

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