Eau Claire (WQOW) - An Eau Claire woman who had more than a dozen cats removed from her home, now faces criminal charges for their care.
Eau Claire Police said they seized 13 cats from the home of Diane Steinke on Peebles Street.
According to the criminal complaint, police said the smell in the home was unbearable due to fecal matter and urine, and the home was cluttered with piles of garbage, which blocked the windows. They said the home was not well ventilated, and there appeared to be a haze inside. Police weren't able to catch all of the cats. Of the thirteen they did catch, they said most were infested with fleas and mites, and some were underweight and dehydrated. Some also had rotted teeth, loss of fur, scabs and other problems.
Steinke, who is 74, faces 13 misdemeanor charges. Police said she was uncooperative, and accused the officers of stealing her cats. Her home was placarded as unfit for human habitation. Steinke will be in court next week.