MILFORD - A judge has delayed the sentencing of an animal rescue operator who was convicted of animal cruelty.

In 2012, Fred Acker admitted that he took in too many dogs at a shelter in Monroe and stashed the overflow at properties in Milford and Bethlehem.

Authorities raided Acker's property in Bethlehem and found more than 63 dogs there. Prosecutors said Acker, a former animal rescue director, bought them for less than $20, kept them in cruel conditions and then sold them for profit.

The judge delayed sentencing Tuesday, saying she wanted more time to weigh the case. Acker will be back in court next Tuesday.

Many are outraged that Acker is still allowed to work at an animal rescue shelter in Monroe. Animal activists packed the courtroom, pushing for jail time and demanding that Acker never again be allowed around animals. Supporters of Acker were also present, saying that if he went to jail, the shelter will close and many of the animals will likely be euthanized.

Animal control officers say the case could lead to tougher animal shelter laws across the state. They add that stricter rules are needed since some rescues have no oversight.