Skip to comments.200 Dead Cats Found in N.J. Woman's Home
Posted on 05/23/2005 3:38:11 PM PDT by Clemenza
A woman who founded a "no-kill" animal shelter was charged with health code and animal welfare violations after 200 dead cats were discovered rotting in garbage bags in her backyard.
Marlene Kess, who has built a reputation in Manhattan as a caretaker of homeless and dying cats, had 48 cats inside her house, including 38 in one room, authorities said.
Out back, 200 vermin-infested cat corpses were stuffed into garbage bags and apparently were going to be buried in a large hole that had recently been dug, said Sgt. Joseph Bierman of the state's Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The cats were discovered after neighbors complained about the stench.
"Oh my God, it was awful," said Michael Fowler of the Associated Humane Societies. "The smell was horrible."
Kess, 56, is the founder and executive director of Kitty-Kind, which runs one of New York City's few no-kill shelters.
She said the cats died of natural causes. State SPCA spokesman Matt Stanton told The Star-Ledger of Newark an investigation into the death of the cats is "ongoing."
A longtime resident of Greenwich Village, Kess moved to East Orange in July.
"I take very good care of them," Kess told reporters Friday. "People who know me know there's no cruelty involved."
Kess was cited for health code violations, including keeping an unlawful number of animals, harboring dead animals and causing an environmental hazard with the corpses. The SPCA, which enforces the state's animal cruelty laws, charged Kess with 38 counts of failing to properly shelter cats.
Authorities are allowing Kess to keep the 48 cats in her home because she promised to separate the sick animals from the healthy ones, Bierman said.
Doesn't look like a "no-kill" shelter to me....
Good grief. What is it with aging American women and dead cats?
I believe someone else posted this or a similar story last week.
Animal hoarders or collectors, which is what this woman appears to me, have an actual mental illness. So I feel for this woman. She thinks she is doing the right thing with these cats, but it's excessive. She is trying to save the world, and it's not possible for one person to do.
I wonder what her Freeper name is?
If they starved to death,
then she technically didn't
really "kill" the cats . . .
A: A good start.
I agree with you, it's like they've got to save the world by collecting huge numbers of dogs or cats. They can't possibly take care of all of them, but they're crazy and they think they're doing good because they're humanitarian animal lovers. Meanwhile most of the animals have a terrible short life, but that doesn't register.
In that house, you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a...well...you know.
I like your way of thinking!
Although the majority of animal hoarders are older women, men are also hoarders when it comes to just about everything else. It is a mental illness and is said to have started at childhood. Besides animals, people wll hoard newspapers, magazines, MacDonalds bags, styrofoam, things they pick up in the trash, etc. until it fills their homes, garages, and basements. They are very similar to the bag people on the streets. The only difference is they have a home.
I hope my loved ones and myself are never struck with such a mental illness. (So far, so good.. :-)
A lot of Freepers
have tangled with posters who
seemingly want to
who are terminally ill.
Freepers have wondered
at the deep fury
such posters respond with if
their goals are questioned.
Is it possible
"actual mental illness"
might be at work that
in hopeless imperatives
to "save" what you can't?
Very funny, Mister.