Officials had to wear breathing apparatus and protective gear to search a Lake Ronkonkoma home that contained 47 cats, a turtle and a parrot, officials said Wednesday.
“There wasn’t a place in the house you could walk without stepping in feces,” Chief Roy Gross of the Suffolk County SPCA said.
“There were empty cans of cat food strewn around. It was absolutely deplorable. These conditions had to be years in the making,” he said.
Homeowner Marilyn Brischler, 62, was charged with 49 counts of animal cruelty, a misdemeanor, and ordered to appear in First District Court in Central Islip on Aug. 22, Gross said.
He said the house on Arlington Road has been condemned as uninhabitable by the Town of Brookhaven and that the town animal shelter took the animals.
After a complaint, SPCA detectives went to the house about 8 a.m. Tuesday, he said. The fumes required they work in shift, and they did not finish until after 10 p.m., he said.
Gross said that anyone who knows of a situation where animals are mistreated should call the Suffolk County SPCA confidentially at 631-382-7722.
“Make the call,” he said. “An animal can’t pick up the phone and call.”