UPDATE (June 13, 2017) -- Richard and Cynthia Kellermeyer pleaded guilty to one count each of neglect of a dependent and animal cruelty. Other charges against them were dismissed. The judge suspended their jail time and ordered them to go on probation. They'll also have to meet several conditions, including maintaining steady employment, getting a high school diploma or GED and avoiding any new arrests, among other benchmarks.
MADISON COUNTY, Ind. - Authorities in Madison County have quite a mess to clean up after they rescued 100 animals from three different homes this week.
The animals were found living in filth; some were covered in feces and fleas.
On Monday, Elwood police and animal control workers visited a home in the 1000 block of Independence Drive. They found 39 cats, two dogs, three snakes, two guinea pigs, a bearded dragon, a parrot, and a spider. There were feces all over the walls and feces piling up in litter boxes.
Denise Ackley, 60, was arrested but not taken into custody. She was cited and will face misdemeanor charges.
Then authorities raided another home on the 2300 block of North F. Street. Numerous cats and dogs were found covered in feces and fleas.
Police arrested Richard and Cynthia Kellermeyer on neglect of a dependent and abandon or neglect of a vertebrate animal charges.
Madison County Sheriff's deputies seized 26 animals at a home north of Chesterfield. They found dogs, cats, exotic birds, chickens, and ducks living in terrible conditions.
The owner, Patricia McGee, had received multiple warnings from the department since 2014. However, Lt. John Owen said she didn't make progress and the animals were found living among feces.
"The animals were walking through, either sleeping in, or having contact with on a regular basis," he recalled. "If the animal could talk, do you think he would say he would like to live like this?"
Owen said often times in these situations, the owners' intense love for their animals blinds them. He said McGee would've rather the animals stay with her, even in filthy conditions, than be moved to an animal control agency.
"I think a lot of it is loneliness. Maybe they feel abandoned. Maybe they feel the animals feel it. That they’re abandoned as well and together they’re a team," said Owen. "If they could speak for themselves would they say they could be living better? And I think that the answer would be yes."
Owen said charges could be coming down for McGee.