AMERICAN FORK — Alan Cunningham, the American Fork veterinarian who faces several charges because of animals he keeps on his property, was in court Tuesday but instead of going forward with the scheduled pretrial conference, the prosecution requested a continuance.

Over the past year Cunningham has faced accusations that he told the Deseret News in May have puzzled him. The most serious is the charge of abuse and neglect of his mother, Blanche, who has since passed away.

"The prosecution is needing a little more time to follow up with the investigation, which involves talking to police officers about how many animals still remain on Mr. Cunningham's property," Cunningham's attorney, Ronald Goodman, said.

This is not the first continuance for Cunningham's case; a pretrial conference was scheduled to take place in June before being pushed back to Tuesday's court appearance.

Goodman is optimistic about getting the case resolved without having to go to trial.

"This has been continued several times, so we do believe we will be able to work out a plea agreement, which is why we have been cooperating with the prosecution," he said.

Cunningham is scheduled to appear in court on July 29.