Burlington woman accused of animal neglect

BURLINGTON, Iowa -- A 53-year-old Burlington woman was arrested and charged with animal neglect causing death or serious injury following an investigation into the remains of several cats and a dog found on her property earlier in March.

Lisa K. Morrison faces the charges after police discovered the partially decomposed carcasses of three cats and one dog in a property seized from Morrison due to a tax lien.

Initially, Morrison told deputies she'd buried the dog in the backyard and gave the cats away. However, when informed the remains were found inside the home, she said she couldn't bury them due to the ground being frozen. Morrison also told the investigating officers that the dog had died in April or May of 2014. She also said the cats had died sometime in 2014 as well.

According to the arrest affidavit, the house was sealed up with no way for an animal to get in our out of the upstairs section of the house. Deputies brought in a veterinarian to assist in the investigation. The veterinarian said that based on the scattering of some of the skeletal bones, it was likely that some of the animals fed on the bodies of the deceased. The veterinarian stated that another logical explanation is that they were consumed slowly by a communicable flea or worm infestation.

"Based on the lack of care of these animals and their needless deaths, these animals suffered at the hands of this owner," the veterinarian wrote in an investigative report. "This constitutes abuse."