MINT HILL, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - 51 animals have been seized from a Mint Hill home Tuesday morning after it was discovered the cats and dogs were being neglected and living in unsanitary conditions, police said.
CMPD's Animal Care and Control Division worked with the Mint Hill Police Department to execute a search warrant at a home located on Lebanon Road in Mint Hill.
Animal Care and Control workers removed 43 cats, seven dogs and one rabbit from an elderly woman's home. Among them they found a dead kitten.
“I hate it comes to something like this with animals,” said neighbor Julie Burkhalter.
Burkhalter has lived on Lebanon Rd. for 27 years, but only knew her elderly neighbor by sight.
“I’ve only ever seen her cutting the grass. Never seen animals. Never heard anything. It’s a surprise. Very shocking," Burkhalter said.
Animal Care and Control said they were provided information that alleged possible abuse of animals at the home in regards to unsanitary conditions and neglect.
Mint Hill Police say a neighbor called this in and FOX 46 is told this isn't the first time Animal Care and Control has come knocking.
“She’s the only one there and trying to care for all these animals. It’s way too much for one person. Way too much," said Burkhalter.
All of the animals have been taken to CMPD’s emergency animal shelter to get checked out. Mobile Crisis met with the homeowner before she was taken away by police.
“It really seems like that everyone who ends up in this situation started out with the right reasons and the right heart wanting to help animals. It gets to a point where you take on so many that you can no longer care for them properly," said Michelle Knicely from CMPD Animal Care and Control.
Depending on the homeowner’s mental health, she may face charges. City ordinance only allows three outdoor animals. She had more than ten times the legal limit.
Inside the home, officers had to wear a full body suit and oxygen tank because of the feces and urine in the home.
The Fire Marshal and Health Department will determine the condition of the home and whether or not it will ever be suitable for anyone to live in again.