A 65-year-old Muscatine woman faces felony and misdemeanor charges after authorities found dozens of animals in bad shape.
Susan Purcell-Varnell is charged with six counts of animal neglect causing serious injury or death. Investigators found dogs, cats, rabbits and birds.
The Muscatine Humane Society is now taking care of over 50 animals after they were taken away from the owner for neglect. Humane Society Director Chris McGinnis’ staff did their best to save all of the animals but sadly some didn’t make it.
“I believe we lost three kittens, one bird. The bird actually passed away in transport. The rabbit was in very poor condition and did have to be euthanized — and there was also one dog that was in very poor condition,” said McGinnis.
McGinnis said housing was the biggest problem for the animals and believes animal hoarding was the issue at hand.
“They are the person that loves them and they’re the only person that can care for them in a good way so mental counseling is really helpful to these people,” said McGinnis.
The animals will be ready for adoption during the summer once they have be spayed and neutered.
Purcell-Varnell is scheduled to appear in Muscatine County Court on June 3.