Dozens of cats, carcasses found in abandoned home

August 20, 2010 (CHICAGO) According to press release from Sheriff Tom Dart, the man -- identified as 56-year-old David Heim -- was charged Thursday with 53 misdemeanor counts of cruel treatment. Detectives say they have been searching for Heim since he and his roommate abandoned their mobile home after threats of eviction last month.

Investigators say a Cook County Sheriff's Police officer responded July 29th to a neighbor's call about an "animal problem" at the home. When police arrived, they say a strong smell of ammonia was coming from the trailer home, and an officer observed cats at the windows, roaming around the yard and underneath the residence. When the investigating officer entered, ABC7 is told he discovered approximately fifty cats, including newborn kittens, inside every room of the home.

Cats reportedly were also found within the walls and ceiling of the residence, and one was trapped inside a closed dresser drawer. Authorities say rotting cat carcasses were also found inside the home and that feces was also prevalent.

Authorities say no food or water had been provided for any of the animals.

The sheriff's office says officers were able to secure 28 cats and one rabbit with animal crates. Authorities say a snake was also removed from the house, along with a number of dead turtles. The animals and reptiles reportedly were transported to the Animal Welfare League in Chicago Ridge.

ABC7 is told two rescued cats later died

Police say Heim turned himself this past Wednesday. They also say the investigation into others who may be involved continues.

Heim is scheduled to appear in court September 3.

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