Sixty-five cats were removed from a home this week on Martha's Vineyard, and a breeder will be charged with two counts of felony animal cruelty in the case, according to the Animal Rescue League of Boston.
A search warrant was executed at the Edgartown home of Jennifer Winsper, 48, on Wednesday, the animal rescue said.
The more than five dozen cats were removed from the property with the help of Edgartown police and animal control, according to the ARL. The building where the cats were kept was hot, had poor air quality and "an overwhelming odor of animal waste," the ARL said in a statement.
The cats are now in the custody of the animal rescue, which said they will likely need "weeks of treatment."
An investigation by the rescue's law enforcement division first began in 2019 after complaints that sick cats were being sold at Winsper's property, the ARL said. After a similar complaint in late June 2020, the agents returned to the home with Edgartown animal control, and it was determined the conditions were "detrimental and dangerous for the animals."
After that inspection, the Animal Rescue League law enforcement officials obtained a search warrant and returned to the property Wednesday to get custody of the cats, the group said.
In the ARL statement Edgartown Police Chief Bruce McNamee said he appreciated their partnership: “Their resources and expertise are invaluable to a small police department, especially one out here on Martha's Vineyard, in cases like these.”
Winsper is being charged with two counts of felony animal cruelty, the ARL said. It's unclear when she will face the charges or if she has an attorney to represent her.