By Jon King /

Animal cruelty charges filed against a Cohoctah Township couple have been dismissed.

Margaret and Fredie Murphy were arraigned in August on a single count of abandoning, cruelty to 25 or more animals after an investigation by the Livingston County Sheriff's Office.

However, court records show that the charges were dismissed on Tuesday at the request of the Livingston County Prosecutor’s Office following a site visit to the couple’s home by authorities who determined they had made progress in their care for the animals.

The couple came to the attention of authorities on April 26th when a deputy responded to a stray horse complaint and determined that it belonged to the Murphy’s, who lived nearby on Cohoctah Road. However, the deputy was soon contacted by a Fowlerville Police officer who said he had been at the property a week before to purchase a horse and witnessed conditions that made him concerned for the welfare of the animals.

After conferring with Livingston County Animal Control, a search warrant was executed during which it was discovered that more than 100 animals, including horses, rabbits, birds and goats living in what were described as dangerous conditions. . However, it was also noted that Fredie works 6 days a week while Margaret suffers from medical issues, and that they were the only ones caring for the animals.

If convicted on the charges, the couple could have faced up to seven years in prison and/or a fine of $10,000.