52 cats seized from Chaparral home

Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department

Doña Ana County Sheriff’s investigators with the Animal Cruelty Task Force obtained two warrants and seized 52 cats Thursday after a tip led them to a hoard of cats inside a Chaparral home.

The first warrant to search the property in the 500 block of Amparo Road was served Thursday morning at 10 a.m. Investigators saw a lethargic, disoriented kitten on the porch of the house. It had a large amount of discharge seeping from its eyes and nose.

A second warrant allowed investigators to enter the home, where 52 cats were located and seized.

Dr. Patricia Norris, a full-time veterinarian on staff with the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department, euthanized 9 of the 52 cats due to their amount of pain and suffering associated with their extremely poor health.

Norris’ examination of the cats determined all suffered from a combination of skin diseases, upper respiratory infections and/or ulcerated mouths.

“All of the cats were suffering quite a bit,” Norris said. “These conditions are hard to treat, and most would likely not recover at this stage of illness.”

The owner of the house, Charles Gonnell, 62, was not home at the time the warrants were served.

Investigators said Gonnell faces charges of extreme animal cruelty and codes violations.

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