NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — The woman who the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RISPCA) said had cats living in squalid conditions and 26 dead cats in her freezer was arraigned on animal cruelty charges Wednesday.
The RISPCA executed a search warrant at the Kay Street home in July after the building inspector received several complaints of a foul odor coming from the home. RISPCA officers found 18 cats living in squalid conditions as well as 26 dead cats inside a freezer.
The homeowner, Linda Strahan, was arraigned at the Newport County Courthouse and charged with 18 counts of unnecessary cruelty, 14 counts of compulsory rabies vaccination and 2 counts of breeding cats without a permit.
The RISPCA said Strahan was also ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation.
The living cats were taken to the RISPCA and Potter League for Animals after being removed from the home. Strahan refused to relinquish any of the cats, meaning the RISPCA will continue to hold them until the case is concluded.
The RISPCA said this isn’t the first time animals were seized from the home. Back in 2010, investigators seized more than 40 cats, one dog and one snake while responding to a small fire.