ROCHELLE, Ill. – More than 230 dogs, cats and birds, some in cars and many dehydrated and malnourished, were seized by authorities at a rural house, police said. Their owner was charged with animal cruelty.
Several carcasses were also found on the property Saturday, animal welfare officials said.
"From the animals we've seen, they appear to have been given minimal amount of care," said Regina Harris of the Tails Human Society. "Many appear to have been forgotten."
Barbara C. Munroe, 65, of Rochelle, was in the Lee County jail Sunday after being charged Friday with several misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty and failure of owner's duty. She was being held in lieu of $35,000 bond.
The Lee County sheriff's office on Sunday didn't know whether Munroe had an attorney yet.
Authorities searched the home about 80 miles west of Chicago on Thursday after Munroe failed to take 35 of her dogs in for a rabies vaccination.
Animal control official Jack Nicklaus said he believes Munroe meant to care for the animals.
"I think she had good intentions, but it just got out of control," he said.
Many of the dogs are purebreds, including bloodhounds, huskies and basset hounds, said prosecutor Andrew Bollman, who estimated the animals were easily worth about $100,000.
The animals have been taken to a shelter in DeKalb.