GRANITE FALLS — A mother and son were arrested Monday after police found nearly three dozen dead animals inside their Granite Falls home over the weekend.
The woman, 65, and her son, 36, were booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of animal cruelty. Investigators believe that they allowed 29 cats and two dogs to starve to death.
The case is expected to be forwarded to the prosecutor’s office Tuesday, Granite Falls Police Chief Dennis Taylor said.
Taylor and his officers were called to the house Friday by a locksmith who went there to change the locks. The house is under foreclosure. That’s when police made what Taylor called a “surreal” discovery.
Taylor said there were animal bodies scattered throughout the house along with four inches of dried feces covering nearly every surface. The animals were in various stages of decomposition.
“It was very apparent that those animals had laid and died, either from malnutrition or dehydration,” Taylor said.
The woman and man haven’t been living in the home since sometime in December. Evidence suggests, however, they lived there when some of the animals died, Taylor said. He estimated that some of the animals died more than six months ago.
“They had to have been stepping over dead bodies,” Taylor said.
The woman and man spoke with police Friday. They indicated that they didn’t have the money to feed the animals, the chief said.
“That is not a reasonable explanation,” Taylor said.
Three emaciated cats were removed from the house and are under the care of Pasado’s Safe Haven in Monroe.
Taylor said he hadn’t received any complaints from neighbors prior to Friday’s discovery. Later, however, when crews were removing the animals neighbors indicated that they’d detected a bad odor in the area but didn’t know where the smell was coming from.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; email@example.com.