HALIFAX -- An Annapolis Valley woman faces two counts of animal cruelty after the SPCA seized 35 dogs from her home in Wolfville, N.S.

The Nova Scotia SPCA charged Karin Robertson, 57, after an investigation that began in September 2019.

"The investigation began in response to a report of mistreatment made by visitors to the puppy mill," the SPCA said in a news release. "The SPCA issued compliance orders for several significant problems regarding the psychological and physical state of the animals and their unsanitary living conditions. Animal protection officers subsequently visited with an expert on animal psychology. With the evidence gathered the Nova Scotia SPCA was able to obtain a search warrant allowing them to enter the dwelling where many of the dogs were being kept. This intervention, combined with additional investigation findings, led to the seizure on December 10, 2019. This was one of the largest puppy mill seizures in the history of the Nova Scotia SPCA."

The SPCA said they charged Robertson with failing to comply with the orders to bring the environment of the animals up to minimum standards and for causing an animal to be in distress. She is scheduled to appear in Kentville Provincial Court on January 21, 2020, at 9:30.

On Monday, over 100 people showed up to an appeal hearing in Halifax for Robertson.

Inside the hearing, SPCA officials told members of the board hearing Robertson's appeal that the dogs were found in unsanitary conditions.

It is the first time an appeal hearing has been open to the public. However, the space where the hearing took place couldn’t accommodate everyone who wanted to attend.

"It's frustrating because we'd rather be inside, but it's nice to see a lot of people here,” said Darlene Mason of the SPCA. “Hopefully, they're here to support our animals, and that's what we're hoping for, but it would have been great to be inside."

Meanwhile, the appeal board will make a decision whether to return Robertson's dogs within two business days.

Robertson is due at the Kentville Courthouse on January 21 to answer to animal cruelty charges.