Bradley Beach resident Lorraine R. Smith faces 36 counts of animal cruelty after local firemen were called to her vacant house on 511 La Reine Avenue early Sunday morning and found dead cats on all three floors of the home. Even though there was no fire, Bradley Beach Police Chief Leonard A. Guida stated the alarm could have been set off because of the odor of decaying animals.
Accompanying the fire department was Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Chief Victor "Buddy" Amato, who stated the house will likely be condemned as a result of the filth and health dangers.
"When I went into the house it was just a nightmare,” Amato said. “It looked like a lot of the animals were cannibalizing one another.”
According to the Asbury Park Press, Smith, 65 moved to nearby Neptune to care for an elderly relative and was likely overwhelmed with the expense and commitment of so many cats as well as other demands on her time.People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) state that hoarders are now recognized as having a mental illness or compulsion. Once viewed as "collectors," the consequences of animal hoarding are devastating to the animals, hoarders, families, and communities. These people fail to provide the most basic physical and social needs for animals - among them water, food, shelter, veterinarian care, and sanitary living conditions..." More