LAKE STEVENS, Wash. – A woman and her son, accused of animal cruelty, appeared before a judge on Tuesdya.
Diane and Michael Cowling are under investigation of 34 counts of animal cruelty in the first degree after 31 animals were found dead in a foreclosed and abandoned Granite Falls home over the weekend.
According to probable cause documents, when Granite Falls Chief of Police Dennis Taylor and another officer entered the home on Friday they found the floors covered with animal feces a couple inches deep and they could see dead dogs and cats in several locations. There was furniture scattered thorughout the house, all covered with feces and urine.
In an initial sweep of the house they found a dozen dead animals.
Documents say Michael Cowling told Taylor he was aware there were dead animals in the house and that the animals had "started dying" and he had not known what to do.
He said he buried the first couple of animals that died in the back yard and had been dumping animal waste in the back yard as well, until neighbors began complaining about the smell.
Documents say Michael Cowling said he and his mother continued to live in the house, without seeking assistance with the animals or cleaning up the deceased animals and waste, until Dec. 1.
Neighbors told police that Michael Cowling had been seen coming and going from the house recently.
Taylor called Pasado's Safe Haven to assist. In all, 31 animals were found dead in the house. Only three cats were brought out of the home alive.