AUBURN (CBS) — Protective suits were needed to go inside a home on Buron Terrace in Auburn Wednesday.
“I am in shock. I can’t believe that many animals were in that house,” said neighbor Dolores Withers.
A tip led officers to get a warrant. They found 61 cats and small dogs in a less than 1,000 square foot house.
“It was a filthy unsanitary environment,” said Lt. Scott Mills of the Auburn Police Department.
The Animal Rescue League of Boston provided photos of some of the animals. The dogs were kept on the first floor, puppies in cages and the older dogs free. Cats and kittens were confined in wire enclosures in the basement.
It’s not the first time police have dealt with 65-year-old Jean Ann Anger who owns the house.
“She came over once to my husband, showed him a dog asked him if he was interested,” said Withers.
Since 1993, officers have received 11 complaints about the home or Jean Ann. Most of the complaints were about her selling sick animals. Police say they were suspicious she was running an illegal kennel.
“He used a large church van to move the animals, so it wouldn’t show the large amount of animals she had,” said Mills.
Her husband, Richard, runs a house of worship in Worcester. He did not show up for bible study Wednesday night. His fellow pastor was in disbelief.
“I don’t know about the animals. It’s one story after another,” said Roger Frost of the House of Prayer.
Neighbors don’t want to believe it either- but they saw officers removing the animals.
“Makes me sick,” said Withers.
Jean Ann Anger faces animal cruelty charges and operating a kennel without a license.
Investigators are determining what charges her husband will face. Officers say the animals show signs of long-term neglect.