TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A Tallahassee woman is facing a felony animal cruelty charge after an odor complaint led investigators to find four dead kittens and a malnourished cat trapped inside her flea-infested apartment.
Ann Combs, 53, was booked into the Leon County Detention Facility on Friday for a single count of animal cruelty.
According to a complaint document, animal control responded to an apartment in the 2100 block of Pasco Street back in June 2018 in reference to an animal cruelty investigation. When officers arrived, they spoke with the owner of the property who said he received a phone call from a resident complaining about an odor coming from the apartment.
The day before calling animal control, the property owner said he went to the apartment with a locksmith. Upon entering the apartment, the owner heard a cat crying in distress and later found the "barely alive" cat stuck inside a drawer at bottom of the stove.
While checking the apartment, the property owner told investigators that he discovered four dead kittens strewn about the "flea-infested" apartment. Documents say the owner also provided video of what he saw when he first came inside the apartment and identified the owner of the apartment as Ann Combs.
Investigators say the inside of the home was in "disarray" and wrote that the house lacked airflow and had the power shut off. They also noted that the blinds appeared to be have been clawed as if the cats were trying to escape from the home.
Animal control then took custody of the surviving cat as well as the kitten carcasses for an evaluation by a veterinarian.
According to court documents, the vet determined that the cat was found to be flea-infested, emaciated, and severely dehydrated. The adult cat only weighed just over four pounds at the time of the examination and appeared too weak to eat. Investigators say the vet indicated that the cat was likely a victim of abuse/neglect.
Documents say the veterinarian also examined the kitten carcasses and determined that they were 3 months old at the time of their death and likely died 1 - 2 weeks before they were discovered inside the apartment. The vet indicated that the kittens may have ate or drank something greasy, possibly developed pancreatitis, and died from dehydration and/or an electrolyte imbalance.
When Tallahassee Police officers managed to speak with Combs in August 2018, documents say she cried and said that the cats were hers and that she loved them. In mid-May, she stated that she went to Miami and left a tray of food and water for the cats.
She said that she was gone for about three weeks but didn't have anyone to check on the cats while she was away. Combs also stated that the apartment's power was shut off while she was gone and thought that could have contributed to the death of the cats.
Based on the evidence, officers found probable cause to charge Combs with felony animal cruelty. A warrant for her arrest was issued in September 2018. She was taken into custody on Friday and released the same day on a $2,500 bond.