Updated 10/31/12 – 1:50 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — A woman being investigated for allegedly neglecting dozens of animals in a house in McHenry County was involved in a similar situation nearly two years ago.
WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports McHenry County Sheriff’s police found 55 birds, 19 dogs, 11 cats, and three rabbits in a home in the 8600 block of Bull Run Trail in unincorporated McHenry County near Woodstock. They also found a dead bird, cat, and dog.
Police said the live animals were neglected, dehydrated, and hungry. Debra Quackenbush, spokeswoman for the McHenry County Health Department said the animals had gone “quite some time” without food and water, possibly longer than a week.
“We were fortunate to get there when we did,” she said.
McHenry County Undersheriff Andy Zinke said, “The conditions were deplorable. There was feces all over the ground, there was maggots, there was the smell of urine and dead animals inside the house.”
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya Reports
Investigators said they located the owner of the home, a 54-year-old woman, at an apartment in Park Ridge. Zinke said the woman “lives in Park Ridge but just stuffs all these animals in the house” and visits them every so often.
Police said it wasn’t the first time the woman’s animal hoarding has prompted an investigation. In November 2010, police found 44 malnourished animals in the woman’s apartment in Park Ridge, after neighbors complained of an unpleasant odor.
Seven dogs, 17 cats and more than 20 birds were found inside the apartment, and a police report indicated animal feces and urine were found all over the apartment. There did not appear to be adequate food or water for the animals.
The woman was not allowed to move back into that Park Ridge apartment until it was cleaned up.
She has not yet been charged in the most recent case. But Zinke said the investigation was still ongoing.
Park Ridge Deputy Chief Lou Jogmen said no charges were filed against the woman for the animal hoarding incident in November 2010.
Quackenbush said the county might have to go to court if the woman doesn’t voluntarily give up ownership of the animals.