March 15, 2018 By Tara Law
A Jackson Heights woman has been convicted of 108 counts of animal cruelty for neglecting 67 dogs and cats in her care.
Elizabeth Grant, 50, faces up to two years in prison and a ban on owning animals. The pets had developed severe heath problems, including malnutrition and severe infections, after being kept in “deplorable” conditions, according Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
A crime prevention officer discovered the animals on Jan. 6, 2016 after going to Grant’s home to visit her mother, who had been the victim of a crime. The officer knocked on the door, but no one answered. The officer found that the door was open and spotted animals inside the house living in filthy conditions.
The officer came back on Jan. 28 with ASPCA members. When Grant’s mother answered the door, the investigator saw that the house was covered in feces, fur and trash and reeked of urine. The animals inside the house had patches of missing fur and crusty eyes. One of the cats appeared to be unable to walk.
A search warrant was executed the same day. ASPCA members rescued 55 cats, 12 dogs and two turtles. The workers who rescued the animals needed to wear respirators and protective clothing, said Brown.
A veterinarian and supervisor from the ASPCA’s Forensic Services unit examined the dogs and cats and discovered that many of the pets had severe dental diseases, ear infections, ear mites and many other ailments.
Of these pets, 12 were ultimately euthanized and more than 50 were adopted and placed in homes.
Brown described the defendant’s actions as “depraved.”
“Taking in a dog or cat is a huge responsibility,” said Brown. “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.”
Stacy Wolf, the senior vice president of the ASPCA’s Anti-Cruelty Group, thanked the NYPD and the DA’s office for taking action on the animals’ neglect.
“Keeping numerous animals without the ability to provide basic care can result in animal suffering,” said Wolf. “Fortunately, in this case, the ASPCA’s team was able to provide the medical and behavioral treatment necessary to nurse the majority of these animals back to health and find them loving, safe homes.”
Grant will be sentenced on April 29.