Monmouth County SPCA Volunteer is Sentenced in Deadly Hoarding Case
A former SPCA volunteer escapes prison time after hoarding over 300 frail animals in her Little Silver home that were later found dead. 56-year-old Gretchen Rell of the Wanamassa section of Ocean Township was sentenced to five years probation, required to undergo psychological counseling and 30 days community service.
According to a written statement from the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office, "On March 9, 2014, Little Silver Police were dispatched to 15 Mitchell Place in Little Silver where, in conjunction with investigators from the Monmouth SPCA, over 300 dead animals were discovered - including various types of birds, turtles, rabbits, mice, opossums and other mammals that could not be identified due to the extent of decomposition."
"A joint investigation by Little Silver Police and SPCA investigators revealed that between January 2013 and March 2014, Rell took numerous animals for purposes of temporary rehabilitation, but instead of rehabilitating the animals, the animals in her care died of starvation and dehydration. Many of the animals were discovered still in their original sealed crates and boxes."
Rell is also prohibited from owning, residing with, or taking into her care or custody any animals during her probationary term. She also barred from having any contact with the Monmouth County SPCA. A violation of any of the requirements of the probationary term could result in up to a five-year prison term.