It was a situation that got extremely out of hand. Barbara Munroe, an Illinois woman, had too many pets and was not able to take care of all of them.
Munroe had an estimated 280 dogs, cats, and birds at her home, and on Friday, animal rescuers moved the pets from Munroe’s property and into an animal shelter.
Neglected animals were sitting inside small pens filled with feces, with no light or fresh air. The animals were also not receiving adequate food and water.
Another 200 animals were also found dead at her property.
“She was way out of her league with this. So it’s very possible they died of upper respiratory infections or old age or starvation is certainly a possibility,” said Beth Drake, Executive Director of Tails Humane Society in Dekalb.
It is believed that Munroe did not want to hurt her pets and tried to care for them, but she didn’t have enough resources to do it by herself.
Munroe faces 10 counts related to animal cruelty and not caring for her pets. If convicted, she could face up to a year in jail for each charge. There will also be legal proceedings to decide if Munroe can have her animals back. If not, the animals will be adopted out.
The State’s Attorney said that authorities had passed by the house previously, but never had gone inside. Animal Control searched the home after Munroe failed to take 35 of her dogs in for a rabies vaccination. The attorney said that from the condition of her house, Munroe could be possibly mentally ill.
The animals seized from Munroe’s property will be in the care of the animal shelter until Munroe’s legal issues are resolved.