Michigan woman charged with animal cruelty after 5 dead cats, 5 live cats removed from home


A Michigan woman was charged with animal cruelty after five dead cats, five live cats, and a dog were found in her Traverse City home. The investigation began back in June.

Captain Kevin Dunklow with the Traverse City Police Department reported a search warrant was presented at the home located on the 400 block of 13th Street Wednesday morning following a month-long investigation and recent reports of sick and dying cats. The odor coming from the home could be smelled by anyone walking by the home.

Traverse City Fire Department, Traverse City Code Enforcement, HAZMAT, Adult Protective Services and the Cherryland Humane Society assisted in the search and rescue. Crews entered the home wearing hazmat suits due to the strong ammonia odor, cat urine and feces. Several cats ran out of the home during the rescue.

According to Cherryland Humane Society executive director Heidi Yates, the five cats recovered were alive but in very, very poor health. They were transported to Bay Area Pet Hospital for treatment. The rescued dog was covered in fleas and missing patches of fur.

Although the home is flea infested, it doesn’t meet the parameters to condemn it.  A 51-year-old woman was arrested on animal cruelty and neglect charges and taken to Grand Traverse County jail. Cherryland Humane Society says they took in about 20 cats from the woman in June 2016.

Sgt. Kevin Gay reported this is a situation of a woman who was trying to help the cats but got in over her head.

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