A Jackson Heights woman will pay the price after being found guilty of failing to care for the 67 cats and dogs she housed in her urine- and feces-filled home that investigators uncovered more than two years ago, prosecutors announced on Wednesday.
Elizabeth Grant, 50, was convicted on 108 counts of animal cruelty, failure to provide proper sustenance and failure to provide proper food and drink to impounded animals. She is due to return to court on April 29 and faces up to two years in prison and a ban from owning animals, Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said.
According to trial testimony, on Jan. 6, 2016, a crime prevention officer went to Grant’s home to visit Grant’s mother, who had been a victim of a crime. No one answered when the officer knocked on the door, but the officer discovered that it was open — and saw animals inside the home living in apparent filth.
The officer left the home, then returned on Jan. 28 with with members of the ASPCA. Upon their arrival, Grant’s mother answered the door; police and ASPCA members saw excessive amounts of feces and fur throughout the living area, and were greeted with an overpowering stench of urine. There was also trash strewn amid the clutter.
Law enforcement sources said the animals living inside the home had patches of fur missing and crusted eyes, and one cat appeared to not be able to walk. A court-authorized search warrant was executed that same day, and members of the ASPCA rescued 55 cats, 12 dogs and two turtles.
Many of the animals, which were examined by a licensed veterinarian and supervisor of the ASPCA’s Forensic Sciences unit, had severe dental diseases, severe ear infections, ear mites, as well as pain and discomfort and a host of other ailments.
One dog, named Dorothy, was vomiting and had diarrhea related to chronic kidney and liver disease. Most of Dorothy’s fur 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 had to be euthanized.
A total of 12 animals had to be euthanized due to Grant’s neglect; however, 50 animals have since been adopted and placed in good homes.
“Taking in a dog or cat is a huge responsibility. In addition to hugs and love, pets need food, a clean home and meticulous care. The defendant in this case collected cats and dogs and did little else to maintain a safe living environment for them,” Brown said. “The animals lived in deplorable conditions — where the floors and furnishings were covered in feces, fur and urine. When rescue workers went in to retrieve the animals, they had to wear respirators and protective clothing. The defendant has now been found guilty and faces possible jail time for her depraved actions.”