People often have the best of intentions when taking in numerous Animals that may otherwise be homeless and abandoned. Samantha Bell and her husband Paul Lauze of 116 Howe Street, 4th-floor apartment in Lewiston, Maine seemed to open their hearts and home to dozens of animals of all types. Several of the creatures were injured, sick or neglected when taken in by the woman. After numerous complaints against her, animal welfare got involved and began an investigation.

Result of the investigation by the animal welfare group

Animal welfare officials have been investigating Samantha Bell for the past three and a half years, trying to work with her regarding the many animals she claimed to be providing care.

Among the animals, Ms. Bell had five pigeons, twenty-five cats, four chinchillas, four snakes, three gerbils, five turtles, four dogs, two hamsters, four parakeets, a ferret and two lizards. All the critters were kept in the woman and her husband’s fourth-floor apartment. Many of the animals were sick or injured, needing immediate medical attention. One of the animals was found deceased. Although the woman was arrested and released on $110 bail the same day, she was not facing any charges regarding the animals. An Animal Welfare Program spokesperson stated that further charges of animal cruelty and neglect might be pending once all the animals are evaluated.

Ms. Young of the animal welfare says that the investigation began in August of 2013 when resident complaints came in that Ms.

Bell harbored abandoned dogs, cats and a large boa constrictor, 4 feet in length in her camper. She then found people to take the dogs and cats, but she left the snake outside. Another grievance came in January 2014 when Bell had multiple animals living in deplorable, filthy conditions. She claimed that two of her dogs were service animals plus she had five cats, one that was pregnant.

There are more lengthy details to her investigation that involved her husband and the death of several of the animals in her care.

The condition of the animals and animal welfare rescue efforts

Through past investigations and rescues of the animals in the care of Ms. Bell, the woman was reluctant to give up her cats. For a while, Ms.

Young and animal welfare made attempts to help her with pet food, litter for the litter boxes, and a means to ensure they get spayed or neutered. Several animals died over the past three years, and a kitten was euthanized due to an untreated ulcerated eye issue, severe emaciation, and dehydration. Bell and her husband allegedly let a friend move in with them at their current apartment and claim the friend killed some of their cats. Other dead animals were found at the property when seizing the surviving.

There was no proof as to who killed the cats and other animals, but authorities felt it abusive and unsanitary to let dead animals lie around. Most were sent to the University of New Hampshire for an examination.

Some of the carcasses were too decomposed, but others showed signs of dying from blunt force trauma. Due to an ongoing investigation with no cooperation from the couple, 64 animals were seized, according to court records, and further charges are pending.