Previously convicted of animal cruelty and hoarding, a Jackson Heights woman now finds herself in jail once again, this time for assaulting a probation officer visiting her home — and again keeping numerous pets in squalor.
Elizabeth Grant, 50, was convicted in March of this year on 108 counts of animal cruelty and ordered to serve three years’ probation; she was also prohibited from owning any pets for 10 years. Law enforcement officials had found dozens of neglected cats and dogs in her 82nd Street home back in 2016.
On Aug. 29 of this year, according to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, a probation officer made a routine visit to Grant’s home for an inspection. Grant’s mother opened the door for the agent, who immediately noticed a foul odor emanating from inside.
Prosecutors said that Grant immediately confronted the officer and berated the agent, claiming that the officer didn’t have a warrant and that the case was on appeal. She allegedly used derogatory and racially-charged slurs at the officer.
The probation officer then spotted numerous cats on the ground floor, several of which appeared to be underweight, authorities said. When the agent took out her cellphone to take pictures of the animals, Grant allegedly tried to grab the officer’s phone, then stood extremely close to her and challenged the officer by saying, “Go ahead, punch me, push me, slap me.”
Eventually, the officer was able to make her way to the second floor of the home, and found inside of a bedroom numerous dogs that appeared to be underweight. As the officer turned to walk back down the stairs, authorities said, Grant allegedly shoved the officer from behind, causing the agent to trip and twist her back while barely hanging on to the railing.
The probation officer wound up seeking treatment at a local hospital for substantial pain.
Soon thereafter, the NYPD and ASPCA officers executed a court-authorized search of Grant’s home and found filthy conditions — including a strong odor of ammonia; an indicator of animal waste; a lack of air circulation amid a summer heatwave; and excessive number of flies.
Police also found numerous dogs kept in a cramped kitchen area along with two turtles found in a dirty aquarium kept in a bathtub; one cat; two rabbits; two guinea pigs; and two beta fish.
“The defendant is accused of showing contempt for the law by hoarding animals in violation of the terms of her court-ordered probation and contempt for human life by assaulting and attempting to push her probation officer down a flight of stairs,” Brown said. “Such behavior cannot — and will not — be condoned.”
Grant now remains locked up on $100,000 bail after being arraigned on charges including attempted assault of a peace or police officer; attempted assault as a hate crime; assault; attempted assault; 16 counts of failure to provide proper food and drink to an impounded animal; 16 counts of criminal contempt; and 16 counts of overdriving, torturing and injuring animals.
If convicted of all charges, she faces up to seven years behind bars.