Under tight security, Sharon McDonough, leaves court in Central Islip...

Under tight security, Sharon McDonough, leaves court in Central Islip after losing custody of her seven children on Tuesday. (Nov. 10, 2009) Credit: James Carbone

A Selden woman charged last week with animal cruelty lost custody of six of her children Tuesday.

In the first of two Suffolk court appearances Tuesday in Central Islip, Sharon McDonough, 43, listened quietly as a Family Court judge ordered the children removed from her home.

Two of the children will live with an older brother.

>>VIDEO: Click here to see Michelle Curtin of Second Chance Wildlife Rescue speak about the animals

After leaving Family Court, McDonough was then ushered to Criminal Court, followed by about a dozen journalists.

Suffolk authorities last week seized five dogs and a cat from McDonough's Awixa Place home and accused her of torturing the animals.

The Suffolk Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said 20 dead animals were dug up from McDonough's yard last week.

Her son, Doug McDonough, 21, told reporters on Saturday his mother forced her daughters to torture the animals.

Sharon McDonough pleaded not guilty Sunday to misdemeanor animal cruelty charges.

>>VIDEO: Click here to see SPCA Chief Roy Gross explain how officers responded to reports of pet abuse

A Family Court judge Tuesday sought a psychiatric evaluation of McDonough and ordered her back to court on Nov. 23.

Four of McDonough's six daughters, the youngest of whom is 18 months old, were placed in the custody of family friends and foster families.

Doug McDonough took custody of the other two sisters.

In Criminal Court, Sharon McDonough answered, "Of course," when asked by Judge Paul Hensley whether she could assist in her defense.

Hensley released her and ordered her back in court Dec. 7.

McDonough remained silent as she walked past reporters outside the court.

"She stands by her not guilty plea," her attorney, James D'Angelo of Huntington, said.

>>VIDEO: Click here to see Tony Panz from 'Rescue Ink' give his point of view on the animal abuse case.

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