CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Disturbing details are coming to light about dozens of cats and dogs in deplorable conditions.
On Tuesday, the Animal Control division for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department seized more than 40 cats and seven dogs at a home in Mint Hill.
Now, new court documents show other animals died and were never buried. Meanwhile, police are now investigating if the woman who lives there will face charges.
The search warrant shows a history of conversations between the woman and animal control officers who asked her to decrease the number of animals. But instead, the number went up.
As people in full body gear headed into the property, cats with nothing but cages came out.
“The fact that the first responders, and of course our animal control officers, have to wear the gear to even enter speaks for itself,” says Melissa Knicely with the Animal Control Division of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department.
The search warrant details deplorable conditions in previous visits to the home.
In June, animals appeared thin with hair loss. An officer also found feces and urine everywhere. The owner admitted some animals died and had not been buried, documents show.
She said she was away for a few days burying her mother at the time.
“It’s a very sad situation,” says Knicely.
This week, officers removed seven dogs, a rabbit, and 43 cats from both inside and outside the home.
“One of the cats was dead,” says CMPD spokesman, Rob Tufano.
The 43 cats is seven more than the owner claimed to have back in June. That’s despite repeated warnings to decrease the number of animals and get them rabies shots.
“The animals are probably not up to date on vaccinations that are required by law,” says Knicely.
However, CMPD Animal Control says typically cases like this start with good intentions.
“Then it comes to where you're inadvertently doing harm to them instead of good,” says Knicely.
Police are now investigating whether criminal charges will be filed.
“No charges at this point, but open and very active investigation,” says Tufano.
Knicely says all the cats and dogs have been processed at the animal control shelter. They’ve been quarantined in a barn away from the other animals because of concern about potential disease.