ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. — A Rowan County woman is facing several animal cruelty charges after investigators found three dead cats behind a couch in her home and the skull of another cat under a bed.
Animal Control say they received a report from the public about possible animal cruelty or neglect that was happening at a home on Lincolnton Road in Salisbury.
Once they arrived on the scene, officials say they immediately could smell urine, feces and dead animal smells coming from the property.
The homeowner, Barbara Hart, was not home at the time. Officers went to the back of the home where they located five dogs in the backyard. It did not appear that any of the animals had food or water and one of the dogs was missing fur, was covered in bugs and had a strong odor coming from it’s body, according to a news release.
A search warrant was then obtained for the property. Investigators say they requested the fire department to provide self-contained breathing apparatus for officers who were entering the home due to the strong smell.
Once inside, officers say animal feces covered the floors and was so thick that some doors inside the home could not be opened due to the amount of feces on the floor.
Officers say they found three dead and decaying cats behind the couch in the living room of the house and a cat skull was also under a bed.
Hart was taken into custody and charged with 9 counts of cruelty to animals. All the animals were taken into custody by Animal Control.