What to Know
- 67 dogs, cats and turtles were rescued from the woman's Jackson Heights home earlier this year
- The conditions in the house were deplorable, a criminal complaint says, with feces, fur and trash strewn about
- Rescue workers were so overwhelmed by the smell in the home they had to wear respirators to breathe, the complaint said
A 48-year-old Queens woman has been indicted on charges of felony aggravated cruelty to animals and other crimes after authorities rescued more than five dozen dogs and cats, many of them extremely sick and starved, from her feces-covered home earlier this year.
Prosecutors say a crime prevention officer went to Elizabeth Grant's Jackson Heights home on Jan. 6 to visit her elderly mother, a crime victim. No one answered a knock at the door, but it was open. The officer went inside and saw multiple animals in the home, which was filthy, prosecutors say.
The officer went back to the house Jan. 28 with ASPCA representatives. Grant's mother was home that time, and when the group went in, they found excessive amounts of feces and fur in the home; the smell of urine permeated the main floor and numerous flies were present, court documents say. The home appeared to be strewn with clutter and trash and the ceiling was peeling and rotting.
Many of the animals appeared to have patches of fur missing, crusted eyes and one cat did not appear to be able to walk.
A court-authorized search warrant was issued the same day and authorities went back to the home, where they rescued 67 animals -- 55 cats, 12 dogs and two turtles. Veterinarians determined that many had dental diseases, ear mites, respiratory infections, as well as pain and discomfort from a host of other ailments.
A dog by the name of Dorothy was vomiting and had diarrhea related to chronic kidney and liver disease, according to a criminal complaint. Much of her coat was matted with feces and she had severe dental disease and a chronic digestive-related illness, the complaint said. The dog had to be euthanized.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Grant allegedly allowed the dozens of animals to live in deplorable conditions.
"The home’s floor and furnishings were allegedly covered in feces, fur and urine. Rescue workers stepping inside the dwelling, were overwhelmed by the smell of ammonia and had to wear respirators to breathe, as well as protective clothing," Brown said. "No person or animal should live in such wretched conditions."
Grant was arraigned on a 138-count indictment charging her with four counts of aggravated cruelty to animals, 66 counts of overdriving, torturing or injuring an animal and 66 counts of failure to provide proper food and drink to an impounded animal.
If convicted, she faces up to two years on each of the four felony counts.
Information on an attorney who could comment on the allegations against Grant was not immediately available. She's due back in court in January.