FARMINGTON, Minn. (KMSP) - Fox 9 is getting its first look inside the Farmington, Minnesota, home where investigators found 60 dead cats and about 40 other animals still alive.
So far, no charges have been filed against the woman who ran Minnesota Animal Rescue, which for now is no longer operational. The woman at the heart of this investigation was arrested and released.
While some of the dead cats appeared to be tossed in the woods in plastic bags or just left out in the open, there were plenty to rescue. Keri Bedeaux was one of the animal responders who arrived last week at the Farmington center to help with the desperate situation.
“Very hungry,” said Bedeaux. “They were missing fur. They were... you could see every bone in their body. Some of them were missing some body parts.”
While 60 cats were dead, there were dozens of cats, some dogs, a guinea pig and a rabbit that needed help fast.
“There were animals everywhere,” said Bedeaux. “There was feces everywhere. It was the most horrendous smell I’ve ever smelled in my life.”
Bedeaux said she believed that the renters running the rescue – hadn’t actually lived in the home since November and simply left the animals to fend for themselves.
“It was sickening,” she said. “I mean, we all went in there and we came out bawling. I don’t understand why anybody could do this.”
Bedeaux runs a reputable rescue called Protecting Paws Animal Rescue. It’s a foster-based rescue and recommends those who are interested in adopting or donating should do their research. She also advises rescues to learn when to hold back before getting overwhelmed.
“You have to know your limit for sure,” said Bedeaux. “Ya know, whether it’s funds or foster homes, everyone has their limit and you can only help who you can help.”
Overwhelmed or not, Bedeaux says there’s simply no excuse for the nightmare she witnessed firsthand.
“We’re all in this to save lives and she wasn’t saving lives, she was killing them,” she said. “In my opinion, she was killing the animals and definitely not taking care of them.”
Fox 9 has learned a veterinarian staff has been assigned to work on this case. There is no timeline on possible charges. The decision will come once the necropsies are completed, which could take some time as the necropsies will take longer for the cats in an accelerated form of decomposition.