If you live in the Maryland area, you might have already heard of the name Laura Prince. Otherwise, the name might not be so familiar to you. Unfortunately, it’s attached to a 62 year old woman who was recently brought up on 125 charges of animal cruelty. That’s right, she has more than 100 charges pending against her, and it all comes from the fact that she decided to use not one, but two homes to house more than 100 Siamese cats and three rabbits.
The animal cruelty charges don’t necessarily stem from the fact that she had all of these animals, although that is an astronomical number of animals to have at any given time. You might think that she was running an animal rescue and trying to adopt them out, but that’s not the case, either. Instead, she was renting two houses from towns in Montgomery County, Maryland. One was a townhouse and the other was an apartment. Unbeknownst to the people that own these properties, she was putting various animals in these facilities and allowing them to run amok.
As you might imagine, when you have that many animals in one place and they’re not being properly cared for, things get out of hand very quickly. It’s virtually impossible to provide facilities that are suitable for that many animals unless you’re running a professional shelter. These animals were allowed to roam throughout the entire property and they didn’t have any suitable litter boxes anywhere on the premises, not that that necessarily would have helped when you’re talking about more than 120 cats at a time. The end result was two houses that are virtually uninhabitable, thanks to urine and feces all over everything, not to mention thousands upon thousands of fleas that have infested not only the animals, but both properties.
Just a couple months ago, the entire investigation begin when someone called and said there was a cat in distress at one of her properties. As it turns out, that wasn’t necessarily the case, but it very well may have been a way for a neighbor or other concerned citizen to get authorities on to the property. When an officer arrived, no one answered the door but the smell of ammonia was so strong that he could smell it outside of the property. He also noted that fleas were literally coming out of the house and filtering onto the lawn. He left a note and eventually, Prince was tracked down. She claimed to have only eight cats in the house but obviously, that wasn’t the case at all.
Conditions were even worse at the other home she maintained. There, there were so many fleas that they were crawling out of the house and moving into the neighbor’s houses. Children that played in the front lawn of their own homes on either side of her house were being bitten by them on a routine basis. When investigators finally entered the home, they found animals that were so infested with fleas they had scratched and bitten until almost all of their hair was gone. That fact, coupled with the urine and feces that was present inside both homes, made the conditions untenable for any animal, much less human beings. When it was all said and done, Prince was removed from the home and both homes were condemned because they were deemed too unsafe for anyone to ever live in again, even if everything was basically stripped down to the supports and rebuilt.
So far, Prince hasn’t gone to trial, nor has she made any effort to explain how all of this happened. As a matter of fact, she’s been extremely tight-lipped about the entire situation. There have been times where she’s not only been uncooperative, but where she has flat out lied to investigators, as previously mentioned. Right now, she’s out on bond but it might help her situation if she were to explain how she came to have so many animals in the first place.
For the time being, the county animal shelter is caring for the animals until they’re healthy enough to be sent to other rescue centers and eventually adopted out. They say that their resources have been taxed to the limit, thanks to the high number of animals that were rescued from this one individual. At the end of the day, both the animals and every person that is connected to this event in any way have suffered because of the actions of one person. Hopefully, she will get the help she needs and will eventually explain how all of this came to pass in the first place.