Marion woman arrested for animal cruelty

Dec 12, 2019

MARION — A Marion woman, Lauren Fisher, 65, has been arrested, allegedly for animal cruelty and her house has been condemned.

Fisher was charged with two cases of animal cruelty, interfering with a police officer, and resisting arrest on Dec. 11.

The investigation remains active and ongoing and Fisher will likely face additional charges. She is expected to be arraigned Thursday in Wareham District Court.

On Monday, Dec. 9, Marion Police received a report that multiple animals were being neglected and dead animals had been recently removed from her property at 464 Front St.

Marion Police opened an investigation, and on Dec. 11, detectives obtained a search warrant for Fisher’s home, which also has a small non-commercial farm.  

At 11:16 a.m. that day, Marion Police went to the property to serve the warrant, along with Marion Animal Control Officer Susan Connor and representatives from the Animal Rescue League.

Upon arrival to the home, officials say it was immediately evident that the conditions were squalid. There was feces visible on the floor of the home and on a mattress. Insects were also present throughout the house, and a strong, pervasive odor was noted. A Marion Board of Health Agent was called to respond to the scene and ordered that the house be condemned due to the conditions inside.

Elsewhere on the property, there were multiple unregistered vehicles located, along with multiple dilapidated sheds and outbuildings. The town’s Building Commissioner was called to the scene.

In a press conference on the evening of Dec. 11, Town Administrator Jay McGrail described the conditions of the home as “dangerous to the health and safety of those living there.” He noted that Fisher had failed to provide an exit from some rooms.

Dozens of animals were located inside of the home and on the property, including multiple miniature horses, potbelly pigs, ducks, rabbits, turkeys, hens, chickens, dogs, cats and exotic birds. There were a number of dead birds on the property, but none were inside the house. 

Lieutenant Allen Borgal said that there were about 70 ducks and chickens wandering around the property, and seven or eight potbelly pigs. There were also unlicensed dogs on the property. 

The animals were taken into the custody of the Animal Rescue League. The exact number and type of other animals on the property is still being determined, but it is estimated to be in the dozens.

“I’m impressed with the town of Marion, with the Chief here. They felt the need to get a warrant and protect these animals, and I think that they should be commended for that. Animals don’t deserve to live in filth,” Borgal said. 

Fisher was at home at the time of the search and was placed under arrest when she allegedly became disruptive and interfered with the investigating officers.

The investigation determined that there were at least five people living in the home, including children.

At the press conference Marion Police Chief John Garcia declined to reveal the number or ages of the children involved, but confirmed that they were placed with a relative. He also confirmed that none of the children were on the property at the time of the investigation.

Police Chief John Garcia said that Fisher was known to the Department, and Town Administrator Jay McGrail said there was a similar case against her 20 years ago, almost to the day. The home was condemned at that point. News reports revealed that Fisher was charged with dozens of cases of animal cruelty in 1999, and that officers were called to her home for a child welfare check in 2009. 

McGrail said he would meet with Town Counsel on Dec. 12, and that an emergency meeting for the Marion Board of Health would also be called to discuss next steps. 

The collection of the animals will likely continue tomorrow. This story will be updated as more information becomes known.