TORRINGTON, Conn. (WTNH)– A disturbing call to Torrington police lead to the discovery of dozens of animals living in deplorable conditions.
“We always knew she was kind of off, and kind of to her self but we never knew exactly why,” said neighbor Nathan Clark. “We knew she had at least one dog.”
59-year old Robin Betz was arrested and charged with animal cruelty and not vaccinating animals. Detectives said her house was overrun with cats and dogs.
“They were everywhere in the house. the basement, attic, first floor. Every room you could find, they were in there,” said Detective Kevin Tieman.
Inside this house, investigators found 21 cats, 3 dogs and 3 dead dogs.
Detective Tiemen said there were also three animals found in the freezer. They were believed to be miniature poodles.
Police said the animals did have food and water.
“The majority of them were in cages, and it did seem the woman was making a good effort at trying to take care of them,” Tieman said.
“It’s sad. We don’t think she had any cruel intentions,” said neighbor Madison Jacovino.
“One of our thoughts is maybe she was taking in strays, or if she found cats wandering around her property she would catch them and try to take care of them,” Tieman said.
Nathan Clark added, “I have noticed actually a lot of the cats that used to be running around the neighborhood are actually gone.”
Police said not only was the woman hoarding cats, but the home was filled with trash and feces.
“Daily activities…when it comes to cooking or cleaning dishes or going to the sink or the bathroom area, it was all cluttered with items,” said Detective Tieman. “You could not use those appliances.”
“It’s awful and it is sad and I feel bad for the lady and the animals. It is awful because no animal should go through that,” Jacovino said.
The surviving animals are being cared for at an animal shelter and will be up for adoption.
Betz was released on a $10,000 bond. She is due in court December 18.