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200 Dead Cats Found in N.J. Woman's Home

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

My opinion? This lady is sick.
post #2 of 15
They are allowing her to keep the 48 cats she has because she promises to separate the sick ones????
I wonder if the others did die of natural causes? I can't imagine the stench!
How did she even live there with the smell????
post #3 of 15
I am speechless. I couldn't even finsh reading that
post #4 of 15
WHAT??? 200 cats??? If they died from natural causes, what did her vet say happened? Hmmm... the article didn't mention a vet, did it? What is going on? Please keep us updated.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
I find it also horrible that this person is directory of a no-kill shelter "Kitty-Kind" in NY!

In this article:


Marlene Kess, "Kitty Kind" Director: "It just seemed easier to put them in the back and dispose of them later and I just never got around to it, and I feel really stupid and ridiculous to have done that but I don't feel like I did anything wrong."
Nothing wrong?
post #6 of 15
[quote=Talon]I find it also horrible that this person is directory of a no-kill shelter "Kitty-Kind" in NY!

Wow, this is distressing news. Kitty-Kind, is one of the biggest and well known shelters in NYC. Petco, uses them in all their stores here. The cat/kittens are in the stores daily. Hopefully this is only a "lone person" incident, the cats I see at the Petco in there Union Square store (in the village) are always well cared for and look healthy. They probably have at least 30-40 cats/kittens there for adoption all the time.
post #7 of 15
WHY WHY WHY WHYYYY DO PEOPLE DO THAT!!!! *cries* I ..Ugh..and...well I am speechless! My dutchess lost one of her kittens...(first one born we have four healthy of 5 ) and I wasted no time in prepareing a small box..and proper burial! UGH..WHY
post #8 of 15
Originally Posted by Talon
I find it also horrible that this person is directory of a no-kill shelter "Kitty-Kind" in NY!

In this article:


Nothing wrong?
I wonder how long they were out there. Did it occur to her that the bodies of those poor dead kitties could be spreading disease?
post #9 of 15
In what kind of a desolate condition were those cats for them to have died of "natural causes"? This really sounds like a case of hoarding.
post #10 of 15
I can't image that they let her keep the other ones if she separates the sick ones from the well ones. Under normal circumstances, she'd have been in jail and/or fiined. What is this? By the way, what about the well being of the cats she is keeping?
post #11 of 15
I really don't have enough details to make a snap judgement, given that the article was short and she runs a shelter.
Was she using her home as the base for her shelter operation?? I've heard of Kitty Kind, and it would seem that an operation that large would need more space than one home....
Sounds like she might need some staffers to help her out....
Maybe the reason they allowed her to keep 48 of the cats was that she DOES operate a shelter and the conditions weren't that bad...38 cats in one room really is relative...if it's a large room and they are in stacked cages, it might not be that terrible.

But yeah, 200 dead cats? :censor::censor::censor:? Certainly she noticed the smell.
post #12 of 15
It is hard to pass judgement without knowing all the details, but my gut tells me she's a collector. I wonder about the condition of the house. I think that knowing the state of the cats sheltered in her home and the condition of her home would help make things more clear. That is a lot of cats for one house!
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Yeah, lot of cats - but they could be kept cleaning - it is the 200 cats in the back yard that have passed on that have me worried.
post #14 of 15
Her actions (or lack of) are sickening enough.
Add to that the fact that she is being allowed to KEEP some???
Unbelieveable. Unfriggingbelieveable.
post #15 of 15
As Cats Died - Her Kindness Turned To Panic

By: Kevin C. Dilworth - Newark Star Ledger, NJ

East Orange woman apologizes for keeping 200 carcasses - Marlene Kess admits that her love for abandoned, sick and dying cats got a bit out of hand.

"It was really my mistake," said Kess, of East Orange as workers removed about 21 plastic trash bags filled with the bodies of more than 200 cats from her property.

"I really didn't know what to do. I apologize to the community and to my neighbours," said Kess.

Kess is the founder and executive director of KittyKind Inc. in Manhattan, New York. Calls to the agency were not returned.

KittyKind's website describes it as a nonprofit, no-kill, all-volunteer cat rescue and adoption group.

"All of us at KittyKind have opened our hearts and homes - and emptied our pockets - to save thousands of cats from neglect or abuse," the website says. "Every cat we rescue is given food, shelter, medical care, a safe place to lay his or her head and most importantly of all, a reason to purr."

Kess said she was doing just that - opening her home to hundreds of sick and neglected cats to nurse them back to health. In addition to the dead cats, authorities found at least 38 cats living inside Kess' State Street house.

"People bring me cats on death's door. I take them in to care for them," she said.

But as the cats began to die, Kess said, she became overwhelmed. She said she asked around about what to do, but no one seemed to know. Instead of disposing of the cats legally, she began to pack them in bags.

"I just didn't deal with it, and I'm suffering the consequences of it now," she said. "It was very, very wrong on my part, and I know that."

The New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has slapped Kess with 38 criminal and civil complaints, all for failure to provide proper shelter for the felines she so far has been allowed to keep, said Matt Stanton, a spokesman for the agency in New Brunswick.

Stanton said the SPCA's investigation into the death of the cats is "ongoing."

"Unfortunately, a number of them died three to four weeks ago, and they were severely decomposed and covered by maggots," Stanton said.

If Kess is found guilty of the SPCA complaints, she faces a maximum six months in jail and a $1,000 fine on each of the 38 charges, Stanton said.

All of the complaints are answerable in East Orange Municipal Court. Kess also was hit with three municipal summonses for bringing diseased animals into the city without notifying health officials and for creating a public nuisance because of the odors and unsanitary conditions of her property.

The stench of the decaying cats has permeated the neighbourhood for months.

Kess' property abuts the rear parking lots of the East Orange Board of Education headquarters and the East Orange Community Charter School.

Joyce Brodie, the executive secretary of the school board, said everyone who parked in the rear lot had been smelling foul odors for quite some time.

A woman security guard at the school district's headquarters finally called up city health officials to investigate.

After the discovery of the dead cats, city officials moved quickly to remove the bags.

City health and sanitation officials, as well as private contractors hired by the city have removing the bags.

"It was one of the worst things I've smelled since I've been working for the city," said John Miles, one of several city sanitation workers lifting the bags into a front-end loader.

The removal of the bags took less than a half-hour. The bags were taken away in a Roselle Disposal 10-yard container to the Essex County incinerator and transfer station in Newark.

East Orange spokesman Darryl Jeffries said it cost about $500 to get the property quickly cleaned up.

"The city is bearing the cost up front," Jeffries said, "but she's (Kess) going to ultimately bear the brunt of it."

Kess said all the cats died of natural causes, and there are still 38 healthy cats living in her three-story, wood-frame home. She also said the media attention she was getting now was misguided.

"It's very interesting that people care more about these cats after they've died," Kess said. "People should be focusing on the causes that care for sick and aging animals."

Moggies comment: Marlene Kess's actions were at the worst misguided, she is not guilty and should not go to court. I would like to know how many dead cats and dogs are sent to Rendering centers by SPCA centers all over America? Maybe we should be taking the SPCA to court instead!

I disagree with them saying at the worst she was misguided. At the worst, she was everwhelmed and hastened the deaths of ill cats by taking on more than she could handle. At the best, she was misguided!-Becky aka Beckiboo
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