Chicago (CBS) — Police found 47 cats and six dogs in varying states of health in a home in Griffith, Ind. Thursday. The building was being illegally run as the nonprofit “Bella’s House Animal Rescue”.
The animals were located throughout the home and garage, both caged and uncaged, with limited to no food or water. Police said the unoccupied home reportedly exhibited “extremely foul odors, urine-soiled interior and fecal matter in almost every room as well as the electric oven being on and open at the time of the officers’ entrance”. Personnel entering the home required protective clothing and facemasks to operate in the conditions.
The animals were removed from the property and will be housed by Griffith Animal Control, Humane Indiana and the Hobart Humane Society.
The Griffith building inspector declared the home “unfit for human habitation”. The home’s owner and the operator of Bella’s House Animal Rescue, Deborah Gizynski, was not present when the home was searched.
Earlier in the day, Griffith police served a search warrant on another property owned by Gizynski in Wheatfield, Ind. Gizynski was not present there either.
Police charged 60-year-old Gizynski, of Griffith, Friday with two misdemeanor counts of animal abandonment or neglect, one count for the cats and one for the dogs. Gyzinski is not in custody at this time.
The seizure of these animals has created a demand for supplies to tend to the animals. Griffith Animal Control is asking for donations of cat food, kitty litter and larger animal crates/cages. These items may be dropped off at Griffith Animal Control at 121 N. Wood St. in Griffith, and any questions can be answered by calling Griffith Animal Control at 219-922-1766.