By Bill Parry
A Jackson Heights woman was convicted of 108 counts of animal cruelty and other charges for failing to provide adequate care for the 67 cats and dogs she housed in her urine and feces-filled home in January 2016, according to the Queens district attorney’s office.
Elizabeth Grant, 50, faces up to two years in prison and a ban on owning animals after being found guilty by Queens Supreme Court Justice Stephanie Zaro following a six-day, non-jury trial.
According to trial testimony, a crime prevention officer went to Grant’s home on 82nd Street on Jan. 6, 2016, to visit Grant’s mother, who had been the victim of a crime. No one answered when the officer knocked on the door, but it was open and animals could be seen inside and the interior appeared to be filthy. The officer departed, but returned to the home on Jan. 28 with members of the ASPCA. At that time, Grant’s mother did answer the door and excessive amounts of feces and fur were seen throughout the living area and the stench of urine was overpowering. There was also trash strewn amid the clutter. The animals living inside had patches of fur missing, crusted eyes and one cat appeared unable to walk.
“Taking in a dog or a cat is a huge responsibility. In addition to hugs and love, pets need food, a clean home and meticulous care,” DA Richard Brown said. “The defendant in this case collected cats and dogs and did little else to maintain a safe living environment for them. The animals lived in deplorable conditions — where the floors and furnishings were covered in feces, fur and urine. When rescue workers went 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.”
A court-authorized search warrant was executed the same day and members of the ASPCA rescued 55 cats, 12 dogs and two turtles, according to trial records. A licensed veterinarian and supervisor of the ASPCA’s Forensic Sciences unit examined the cats and dogs and found many had severe dental diseases, ear infections, ear mites, as well as pain, discomfort and a host of other ailments. All told, 12 of the animals had to be euthanized, but more than 50 have since been adopted and placed in good homes, Brown said.
Grant will be sentenced April 29.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr