Chambers County: Cat apparently chews off women's toes in animal hoarding case

Nearly 80 cats and dogs rescued

CHAMBERS CO., Ala.  (WRBL) - Investigators say a grisly injury to a woman's foot leads to the discovery of a horrific case of animal hoarding.

The future is uncertain for nearly 80 cats and dogs, rescued from a trailer along Chambers County Road 105. Many are malnourished, extremely ill and not used to human contact.

"I think we pulled around 70 yesterday and I don't know how many are still here, they keep popping up. The cats have severe upper respiratory infections, conjunctivitis. It's just a sad situation," explained Melissa Applebee, with Valley Animal Control.

Investigators say what led them to an elderly couple's trailer is as alarming as their living conditions.

"About eight days ago, the lady who lived here was admitted to East Alabama Medical Center, and she had some injuries to her feet. Apparently, one of the cats had chewed her toes off and had eaten part of her foot.  She is a paraplegic, so she didn't feel or know what the cat was doing," explained Teddy Morris, an investigator with the Chambers County Sheriff's Office.

DHR was called because of the woman's injury, leading investigators to the elderly couple's trailer along County Road 105. The animals were discovered living in cages or tied up in their waste with little food or water. The smell coming from the property was overwhelming.

"It's bad; it's even worse when you get in. It makes you want to go home and burn your clothes," explained Applebee.   

Investigators say it's too early to tell if charges will be filed. At this point, they don't think the elderly couple realized how dire their situation was. The case is ongoing.  

"Animal hoarding is a sickness people have. Ultimately, they don't think they are doing anything wrong.  They are trying to help the pets, but they are harming pets." said Applebee.

Investigators say the couple has surrendered all of the animals. They are now at the Chattahoochee Humane Society in Valley.  Many of you have reached out, wondering how you can help the rescued animals. The Chattahoochee Humane Society asks you contact them by messaging them on the Chattahoochee Humane Society Facebook Page for more information on fostering or adopting.

Finally, animal groups are urging you to get your pets spayed and neutered to help control the pet population. Also, if you see a situation that may be the case of animal hoarding you are asked to call local law enforcement.


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