Monmouth County Animal Volunteer Indicted on Cruelty Charges
A long-time Monmouth County SPCA volunteer accused of hoarding more than 300 dead birds in her mother's Little Silver home has been indicted on two counts of animal cruelty, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office.
A grand jury Monday handed up a two-count indictment charging 56-year-old Gretchen Rell of Ocean Township with third-degree Animal Cruelty.
Little Silver Police and investigators from the Monmouth County SPCA discovered various types of decomposed birds, turtles, rabbits, mice, opossums and other mammals in a Mitchell Place home Rell shared with her 95-year-old mother.
Authorities determined Rell had taken in various animals between January 2013 and March 2014 with the purpose of temporarily rehabilitating them, but instead allegedly ended up starving and dehydrating them. Many of the animals were discovered in their original sealed crates or boxes.
Rell is free pending a future court appearance. Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Anthony J. Mellaci imposed certain conditions upon Rell's release, including banning her from the SPCA and never being allowed to care for or live with any animals or creatures.
If Rell is convicted of Animal Cruelty, she could face three to five years in prison.