Case Snapshot
Case ID: 19148
Classification: Hoarding
Animal: cat, dog (non pit-bull)
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Thursday, Jan 19, 2012

County: Bernalillo

Disposition: Not Charged

Abuser names unreleased

A welfare check uncovered a horrific mess, according to deputies who found a small baby living in a home with nearly two dozen dogs and cats along with the foul odor of urine and feces.

Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department deputies said they were called out to a home on Poco Loco SW off Rio Bravo Boulevard near Second Street around 10a.m. Thursday. They said a concerned citizen told them a cat had bitten the 3-month-old baby girl's nose.

When deputies arrived the baby appeared to be in good health. However, Lt. Andi Taylor said deputies knew something was not right inside that home.

"The baby came out; nothing wrong with the face," Taylor said. "However the deputies were immediately overcome by the nauseous fumes."

Bernalillo County firefighters were called in to check the ammonia levels inside the home. The levels tested as extremely high, and that is when they called in county Animal Care Services.

Animal Care Director Matt Pepper said crews removed a total of 20 animals, all of which were living inside the home. The round-up included 10 kittens, five cats and five dogs.

"There was a small dog and a number of cats loose in the main room," he said. "There were three rooms that were closed, that had multiple dogs in two of the rooms and multiple cats in another room."

Pepper said with the living conditions inside the home there was only one explanation for the elevated ammonia levels.

"Which were extremely high," Pepper said. "In a situation like this that is due to an accumulation of feces and urine in the home."

He said living in that type of environment could lead to health problems for animals and people.

"From being inside of there my throat is a little rough," Pepper said.

Detective said the baby's mother and grandmother lived inside the home and were taken in for questioning. The baby's grandmother, Cathi Newman, was charged with child abuse.

The kittens are said to be very sick. The baby was taken to the hospital to be checked for respiratory problems.

Detectives are still trying to figure out how long the baby was living in filth.

"There was just an abundance of trash and items, and not to throw the word hoarder around, but things were just stacked on each other," Taylor said.


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