Iowa man charged with animal neglect after nearly 200 cats are found dead at central Iowa property

MADRID, Iowa -- An Iowa man has been charged with animal neglect after early 200 cats were found dead in a home in Madrid.

Polk County court records say 65-year-old Dennis Carlson is charged with three counts of failure to dispose of a dead animal and five counts of animal neglect. The records don't list the name of an attorney who could comment for him.

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa says in a news release that the cats and carcasses were discovered Tuesday, June 4 in several buildings at the property, which sits a little more than a mile southeast of Madrid.  Rescuers had to wear respirators and protective suits because of the garbage, cat feces, urine and carcasses inside the buildings.

After completing their rescue efforts, the ARL said of the 380 total cats at the central Iowa property, 186 were alive and 194 were dead.

League CEO Tom Colvin says it's by far the worst hoarding case the Iowa organization has seen in more than 10 years.

“We are so grateful for the outpouring of support from the public. Everyone who has donated towards medical care, donated supplies, adopted, fostered, or volunteered have all made it possible to save these cats’ lives,” said Tom Colvin, CEO for the ARL, “Even though the active rescue has concluded, the need for the public’s help will continue for weeks and months to come until each cat is healthy enough for adoption.”

If you're interested in volunteering with the ARL, helping with supplies, fostering or adopting animals, click here. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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