Two Arrested After Authorities Rescue 30 Cats From Mitchell Sanctuary

MITCHELL, S.D. – Authorities arrested a Mitchell woman and her son for animal abuse after finding 30 cats in various states of sickness in two trailer homes.

On Thursday, Mitchell police and humane officers from the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society executed a search warrant at a residence at 1401 South Main Street and at 200 East 15th Avenue regarding an animal welfare investigation.

Police seized 2o cats in various degrees of sickness at the Main Street residence. One cat that appeared to be ill was seized from the 15th Street residence. Police say they found cat feces and garbage throughout the residences.

On Friday, nine more cats and one dead cat were recovered from the Main Street residence. Police say in total, 30 cats and one dead cat were seized. Police believe more cats are hiding in the walls and in other areas of the Main Street residence.

44-year-old Brandy Lee Smith and her son, 19-year-old Michael Lee-David Smith were each arrested on 10 counts of cruelty to animals.

Authorities say Smith allegedly ran the Heart and Soul Kitty Sanctuary Facebook page where she apparently solicited money for the care of elderly, disabled and abused cats.

This investigation began after neighbors complained about several stray cats in the area.

Police say it took several hours to remove the cats from the residences. They say the investigation and rescue operation is still ongoing. The Davison County Emergency Management Office and the Mitchell Fire Division also assisted with this investigation.

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