Almost 50 cats and three dogs were rescued from one of the “worst scenes” that Pell City Police Chief Paul Irwin said he has ever witnessed.
On October 4 at approximately 2 p.m., the Pell City Police Department Animal Control Officer responded to the Shady Dale Mobile Home Park on an Animal Cruelty Complaint. The caller reported over 30 animals living inside in poor health.
Once on the scene, officers could smell dead animals, feces and urine coming from the residence. Upon entering, they discovered over 47 live cats and three live dogs inside of a small trailer. According to a release from the PCPD, there were multiple dead animals and carcasses inside the trailer, under the trailer and around the property.
Three adults were inside the residence, including the homeowner Donna Mullins, and two adult children. Officers also stated there was an area behind the trailer and an 8 foot drainage pipe where it appeared someone had turned it into a home. There was a mattress, refrigerator, and TV inside with an extension cord ran from the mobile home.
“This home was covered in roaches and did not have water,” said PCPD Chief Paul Irwin. “There was feces covering the floors and it was difficult to breath. Officers had to use masks and received assistance from the City of Lincoln's Animal Control Officer.”
Donna Mullins, 51, was arrested and charged with Obstruction of Governmental Operations. She was also charged with five counts of cruelty to animals, five charges of failure to bury livestock, five counts of Failure to Immunize Dog/Cat for Rabies, and one count of criminal littering.
After further investigation, Mullins' husband, James Mullins, 50, was also arrested and charged with five counts of cruelty to animals, five charges of failure to bury livestock, five counts of Failure to Immunize Dog/Cat for Rabies, and one count of criminal littering.
Both have a $20,000 bond.
Mullins voluntarily surrendered the animals to the City of Pell City. The animals were taken into custody to the Pell City Animal Control Center. The animals are reported to be malnourished, infested with fleas and some are missing eyes and showing signs of abuse. There are still multiple cats on top of the home and in trees that animal control was unable to capture, but they are continuing the rescue effort.
The Pell City Fire Department came to the scene to treat the people who reside in the home. Officers contacted the Alabama Department of Human Resources, which also responded to the scene.
“This was the worst scene where people were living that I have seen in my entire career in law enforcement or in the Marine Corp,” said Irwin. “I cannot believe someone would live in this mess, not even to imagine allowing their family to reside there as well.”
The police chief stated the “mobile home is toxic for death, feces from animals and humans, roaches, spiders and utility dangers.” The Pell City building inspector is taking steps to condemn the property.
“Our Animal Shelter is caring for these animals now and any assistance would be greatly appreciated,” Irwin said. “Hopefully, we can find these animals a safe home and they will be treated with love. “
The 47 cats and three dogs are being tested and treated before they will be available for foster or adoption, according to Pell City Animal Control manager Shannon Van Scoy.
Any donations can be made to the Pell City Animal Control Center or Friends of the Pell City Animal Control Center, which is a nonprofit that supports the shelter through PayPal.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.