A Jackson Heights woman was charged with four counts of aggravated cruelty to animals and and additional 132 related charges after investigators found dozens of neglected cats and dogs in her home earlier this year.
According to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown., Elizabeth Grant, 48, of 82nd Street kept the animals locked up in her home where veterinary professionals found them suffering from a variety of health problems.
The animals suffered malnutrition, respiratory infections and many other painful conditions. At least one dog had to be euthanized.
A crime prevention officer went to her home on Jan. 6 to check up on Grant’s mother, who was the victim of a crime. No one answered when the officer knocked on the door but the door was open and the officer noticed “numerous animals inside the home and that the interior of the residence was filthy,” according to the criminal complaint.
The officer showed up again on Jan. 28 with the ASPCA and Grant’s mother let them in. Investigators found “excessive amounts of feces, fur and the smell of urine throughout the main floor, along with numerous flies.”
Officers also found trash on the floor and said the home’s ceiling was rotting and peeling. Many of the animals had patches of fur missing, crusted eyes and one cat could not walk.
“The defendant is accused of permitting her numerous pets to live in deplorable conditions,” Brown said. “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. No person or animal should live in such wretched conditions.”
The ASPCA rescued 55 cats, 12 dogs and two turtles. The ASPCA’s Forensic Sciences unit examined the 67 cats and dogs and determined that many had dental diseases, ear mites, respiratory infections, as well as pain and discomfort from other ailments.
A dog named Dorothy was allegedly vomiting and had diarrhea related to chronic kidney and liver disease. A large part of her coat was matted with feces and she had severe dental disease and a chronic illness associated with her digestive system. Due to Dorothy’s extremely poor health, she was euthanized.
“Providing medical and behavioral care for these animals over the past year has been a priority for the ASPCA,” said Howard Lawrence, Vice President, ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement. “Our staff, partners and network of dedicated foster volunteers are grateful for the opportunity to give them the treatment they deserve. We commend the NYPD for their investigation and the Queens District Attorney’s Office for its pursuit of this case.”
Grant was charged 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. Grant was ordered back to court on Jan. 10, 2017.