Dozens of cats seized

By Sherry Matthews Editor

April 3, 2014

Another citizen complaint about sickly animals — and lots of them — housed at a Powell Street residence has led to the discovery of 45 felines and five dogs, many of them with major health issues.

No charges have been filed, but Clinton Police Chief Jay Tilley confirmed Thursday morning that an investigation was under way.

Officers, dressed in their environmental gear because of the conditions inside the house, spent all day Wednesday at the 502 E. Powell St. residence, recovering cats and dogs and turning many of them over to a local veterinarian, the Sampson Animal Shelter or staff with the Humane Society of Wake County.

“Based on a complaint we received about a large number of cats being stored in the house, we were able to obtain a search warrant,” Tilley said Thursday. “The complaint indicated that there were a lot of cats and that there were health concerns created because of the animals.”

When officers went to the rental home, what they found, sources said, was a mess, including a strong and repugnant odor emanating from the residence.

“There was a very bad odor,” the chief said. “It’s why we had to use our environmental suits.”

Ten of the cats recovered from the residence were sent to the local vet’s office; one of those, Tilley said, was in extremely bad health and had to be euthanized.

The remaining cats were sent to Sampson’s animal shelter while the dogs were taken by the Humane Society and will be adopted out.

Tilley thanked those with the Humane Society for their assistance in sheltering some of the animals. “It was a big help to us,” the chief stressed.

Officers were on scene throughout the day, processing the animals and conducting a thorough investigation of the home.

“It was definitely an all-day process. Each animal had to be assessed and we had to assure they were cared for,” Tilley said.

This is the second Clinton residence in just over a month that has come under investigation for harboring large numbers of animals.

Last week, a 67-year-old Clinton woman was charged with 13 cruelty to animals charges after an investigation uncovered the carcasses of 10 cats inside a 406 Park Ave. home where she once lived. That residence, officers said, was covered in animal waste and has since been demolished.