Pierce County, Wash. prosecutors charged a woman with animal cruelty after discovering a home filled with dead and neglected pets. On Friday, Mar. 8, the News Tribune reported that prosecutors charged a Lakewood, Wash. woman with four counts of animal cruelty. Authorities found numerous animals living amid dead animals and filth.
According to the 48-year-old woman’s relatives, she has a history of mental health issues that “are not being adequately addressed.” The relatives also indicated that the woman would “fly into a rage” when someone tried to intervene on the animals’ behalf.
This case began in Nov. when authorities received a report of several neglected animals. An animal control officer investigated the home in the 10000 block of 102nd Street Southwest, finding numerous animals “living in filthy cages, aquariums and crates, some without access to food and water, and multiple deceased animals that had been left in their cages to rot,” deputy prosecutor Patrick Hammond wrote in a declaration for probable cause.
The animals included a green parakeet, a cockatiel, a gecko, a brown rat, a brown rabbit, and a small dog. According to Hammond, the animals were confined to cages filled with feces and urine. After an investigation, animal control removed 14 animals from the home.
According to the deputy prosecutor, the condition of the garage was worse than the house.
In the garage, the animal control officer found three cages wrapped in tarps and blankets. Within the cages were three animals, including a live cat and dog living in feces and urine and a medium-sized dog who had been dead for some time.
“The stench of ammonia was so strong that it made my eyes water,” the animal control officer stated.
While the woman has not yet been arrested, she will soon be summoned to court to answer the charges against her.
In Washington State, a person is guilty of Animal Cruelty in the First Degree if he or she intentionally (a) inflicts substantial pain on, (b) causes physical injury to, or (c) kills an animal by a means causing undue suffering, or forces a minor to inflict unnecessary pain, injury, or death on an animal.
A person is guilty of animal cruelty in the first degree when, except as authorized by law, he or she, with criminal negligence, starves, dehydrates, or suffocates an animal and as a result causes: (a) Substantial and unjustifiable physical pain that extends for a period sufficient to cause considerable suffering; or (b) death.
Seattle Pets Examiner will continue to provide updates to this story.
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