MUNCIE, Ind. — Eight months after dozens of cats were rescued from what officials called a "severe neglect situation," a Muncie woman has been charged with seven related counts of cruelty to an animal.
The charges against 36-year-old Cassandra Renee Reed, all Class A misdemeanors carrying maximum one-year jail terms, were filed Tuesday in Muncie City Court.
They allege Reed "recklessly, knowingly or intentionally" abandoned or neglected cats. at a house in the 900 block of West Main Street. last Oct. 19.
A Muncie Police Department case report included with the charges details an inspection of the Main Street house conducted by police officers and employees of Muncie Animal Care and Services and the Delaware County Health Department.
Four officers — including Police Chief Nate Sloan — entered the house wearing protective suits and gas masks.
The report, by investigator Kevin Pierce, detailed conditions in the 1,500-square-foot house, described as "nothing short of squalor and just pure filth."
Cat feces and other items — including "urine clumps," mold and cat hair — were found throughout the house, Pierce reported, creating an overwhelming stench and a "cocktail of filth."
Numerous cats were found inside, some of them in the process of creating still more filth as offices approached.
Some of the cats were held in animal crates and "appeared to be in very poor health," Pierce wrote.
Several litter boxes — overflowing with feces and urine — were observed, along with what appeared to be fresh bowls of cat food and water.
"There were so many flies in the kitchen I could literally swipe my hand around the air and knock them down," Pierce reported.
Employees of the Humane Society of the United States assisted Muncie authorities in rescuing cats from the house.
"Many of the cats were in need of veterinary care; were suffering from upper respiratory infections, skin conditions and injuries; and were very thin," according to a release issued by the Humane Society last October. "Several of the cats were immediately removed from the property for emergency veterinary care."
In the release, Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, said she looked forward to efforts to "give these cats a new beginning."
Reed — listed in court documents at the West Main Street address — will receive a summons to attend an initial hearing in Muncie City Court, scheduled for Aug. 3.
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Douglas Walker is a news reporter at The Star Press. Contact him at 765-213-5851 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on Muncie Star Press: Muncie Indiana woman charged with 7 counts of cruelty to animals