It's hard to imagine 36 dead cats in one place outside of a pet cemetery, but that's exactly what animal services discovered inside a retired New Jersey teacher's home recently. The Monmouth County SPCA arrived at the home after the fire department alerted them of the situation. The horrifying scene inside was a "ten plus" on a scale of one to ten.
The decomposing remains of the felines were ensconced in about a foot of fecal matter, and animal services had to enter the premises in Hazmat suits. "When I went into the house it was just a nightmare," said Chief Victor Amato. "It looked like a lot of the animals were cannibalizing one another. I have been doing this for ten years and out of ten this was ten plus. Even with hazmat suits on we could only stay inside the property for 15 minutes at a stretch."
Judging by the photos, the scene was far more terrible than it sounds, and authorities estimate the cats fended for themselves for about a year. How could anyone allow this to happen? Of course, the cats' owner Lorraine Smith is charged with 36 counts of animal cruelty. This means she faces a maximum fine of $36,000 when she goes to court next month.
Lorraine Smith, however, has a defence against the charges for the 36 dead cats, although it's unsure if it will help her in court. She says she has been so stressed out with taking care of her ailing mother in another home to care for the cats and her psychiatric condition has been compromised.