Case Snapshot
Case ID: 18995
Classification: Hoarding
Animal: cat
More cases in Harrison County, IN
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Person(s) in animal care
Child or elder neglect
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Tuesday, Nov 1, 2011

County: Harrison

Charges: Misdemeanor, Felony Non-CTA
Disposition: Alleged

Alleged:
» Samantha Sue Lee
» Randall Lee

The owner of a no-kill cat shelter is facing charges of animal cruelty and endangering her children.

Samantha Sue Lee, 44, and her husband 45-year-old Randall Lee turned themselves into police this week after animal control searched their home in rural Harrison County and issued arrest warrants for both of them.

"It's very, very sad," said neighbor Adelma Baize.

Baize said what animal control found inside her neighbors' home on Milltown-Frenchtown Road confirmed what she has known for years.

"They don't care," she said. "They don't treat them right."

Samantha and Randall Lee each face four counts of cruelty to an animal and one count of neglect of a dependent after authorities searched the home in November.

"As soon as you walked in the home, the smell from my understanding was just absolutely disgusting," said Otto Schalk, Harrison County prosecutor.

Schalk said animal control acted on a woman's tip after she dropped some cats off at their home.

According to Samantha Lee's website, their home is used as the "Frisky Felines Foundation," a no-kill shelter tending to cats that need help.

"They saw fecal matter all over the floor and black mold covering the walls," Schalk said.

According to Schalk and a probable cause affidavit, 34 cats lived inside the home without adequate food and water.

Schalk said many cats were sick and so far, four of them have died.

What's worse, he said, is the couple's two kids, both teens, were living there too.

"There's several pictures we have of fecal matter on top of beds, fecal matter on the floor next to the beds," he said. "It's certainly no way for a child to have to live."

In the affidavit, cops said outside the home, dogs and chickens were found without food.

Some of the animals were also in cages that were too small and they were covered in feces.

Neighbors said they hoped the charges would shut the home shelter down.

"They should never be allowed to have another animal," Baize said. "never."

The couple did bond out of jail, according to Schalk.

He said their home then had to meet health codes from the Department of Children and Family Services and the Health Department before the kids could stay there again.

WLKY tried reaching the Lees both by phone and at their home for comment on this story, but were unsuccessful.

Schalk said animals taken from the home are currently in the care of Harrison County Animal Control.

The neglect of a dependent charge is a class D felony.

The animal cruelty charges are class A misdemeanors.

References


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