SALEM, Ore. (AP) Two women accused of animal neglect in the housing of nearly 150 dogs found malnourished, filthy or sick at a warehouse in Brooks, Ore., have pleaded not guilty to 20 counts of animal neglect.

The Statesman Journal says ( ) 21-year-old Merissa Noonan and 19-year-old Amanda Oakley entered their pleas Thursday in Marion County Circuit Court in Salem.

The two were arrested in January by sheriff's officers after the dogs were seized from Willamette Animal Rescue. Prosecutors say the defendants had administrative roles in the rescue group.

The women also pleaded not guilty to one count each of evidence tampering.

Noonan, Oakley and their lawyers declined comment after the hearing.

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