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Colorado Springs animal rescue director on trial for several counts of animal cruelty

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KRDO NewsChannel 13

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- A woman accused of mistreating multiple animals at a Colorado Springs Animal Rescue is set to face a jury of her peers.

Joann Roof, the Director of New Hope Animal Rescue in Colorado Springs, was in court Thursday for day one of her trial at the El Paso County Courthouse.

Roof faces five counts of animal cruelty, which she pleaded not guilty to back in October of 2021.

A month before the guilty plea, the Colorado Department of Agriculture suspended New Hope's license to operate following an investigation. The state seized 47 cats and dogs from the animal rescue.

According to court records obtained by 13 Investigates, Roof is accused of failing to provide adequate care for dogs at the Colorado Springs animal rescue. Dogs were reported to have large open wounds and displayed symptoms of the deadly virus called Distemper. Multiple dogs were also seen with their ribs and hip bones showing. Another had a large open wound to the right side of its neck.

The current condition of the 47 animals seized by animal law enforcement and the Colorado Department of Agriculture is unclear at this time.

The Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region declined to speak with 13 Investigates at this time while the trial is still ongoing.

Roof wasn't the only person charged following the seizure of the animals. Dr. Frederick Smith, who worked for New Hope Animal Rescue as a veterinarian, faces five separate counts of animal cruelty. Smith pleaded not guilty last month. His jury trial is scheduled for September.

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Dan Beedie

Dan is a reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about Dan here.

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