Woman lived with 50 cats
and dogs in mobile home
Animal rescue workers seek volunteers, donations and new homes for the animals
September 6, 2013
Lucy, who was not rescued from the Glidden mobile home, is one of several cats at the Animal Rescue of Carroll’s cat shelter that opened in January.
How to Help
Contact Animal Rescue League of Carroll at (712) 790-9116 or firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer or make donations. Money can also be sent to: Animal Rescue of Carroll, P.O. Box 393, Carroll, Iowa 51401.
Sheriff's deputies put on gas masks when they walked into a 47-year-old Glidden woman's mobile home two weeks ago to search for drugs.
Cats were everywhere.
Litter boxes sat beneath a counter, on the counter and in a back room, where a box brimmed with feces that spilled onto the floor.
A mother cat and her kittens lay in a dresser drawer.
"You walk in there, and all the cats' eyes are staring at you," Carroll County Sheriff Doug Bass said today. "It was like a haunted house."
An informant reported that the woman, Tami L. Devore, and her friend, Donald G. Venteicher, 51, had been dealing marijuana in the home, and that Devore might die because of her living conditions, according to a search warrant application. The informant said there were three dead cats in the home.
Deputies found a plastic bag and tub that contained unspecified amounts of marijuana, a digital scale and $300 cash during their Aug. 23 search of the home at 129 E. Carroll St.
Perhaps their most surprising find: nearly all the animals were healthy.
"It's so strange," said Niccole Johnson, president of Animal Rescue of Carroll, who took six cats from the mobile home for medical tests. "Even though there's 50-some cats in there and three dogs, there were no fleas. We had one cat we thought was pregnant, but it turns out she was well-fed."
Officials persuaded Devore to give away all but six cats, Bass said. Johnson took six to start, to test for feline leukemia, which would likely have spread to all the cats and would have forced their euthanasia.
But tests revealed no disease, which clears the way for adoption of the rest, Johnson said.
Devore could not be reached to comment for this article.
Animal Rescue typically keeps up to 10 cats in its shelter, but it plans to double that capacity. It seeks volunteers to help with cleaning cages and exercising and feeding the cats until they find new homes.
The Rescue also seeks foster homes and donations to help care for the animals.
"This happened at a bad time because this is the time of the year when everybody has free farm cats," Johnson said.
Devore and Venteicher have not been charged for the drugs allegedly found in the mobile home, online court records show. Bass said Devore does not face any animal-neglect charges because the cats and dogs were healthy.
"She told us they're a part of her family," Bass said of Devore.
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