Animals seized from Santa's Land, owner, caretaker back in court

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PUTNEY, Vermont — A sheriff's department has seized several animals from a Vermont holiday-themed park as its owner and caretaker face renewed allegations of not taking care of them.

Lillian Billewicz, owner of Santa's Land in Putney, and property caretaker Brian Deistler, pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty charges related to the alleged malnutrition and mistreatment of animals at the park earlier this year.

The Brattleboro Reformer reports ( the two were in court Thursday for violating conditions of release after Windham County Sheriff Cpl. Melissa Martin discovered animals living in unsafe conditions in July and August. Dead animals were found at the park earlier this year.

The seized animals have been placed with other caretakers. No other information on their condition was released Monday. It also wasn't known which animals were removed.

Information from: Brattleboro Reformer,

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