2018-09-12 / Front Page

Convicted Animal Hoarder Busted In Parole Officer Assault

By Liz Goff
A convicted pet hoarder who avoided jail time for more than 100 animal abuse convictions was arrested on August 29th after she attacked her parole officer during a surprise inspection at her 82nd Street home, prosecutors said.

Elizabeth Grant was charged with failing to care for 55 cats, 12 dogs and two turtles who prosecutors said were living in “deplorable conditions” when police visited the home in January 2016.

The 50-year-old Jackson Heights woman, convicted on 108 counts of animal cruelty, avoided jail time at her sentencing, but was slapped with three years probation, ordered to undergo mental health counseling and was banned from owning any animals for 10 years.

Almost four months after her sentencing, Grant’s probation officer caught her hoarding 16 animals in filthy conditions, prosecutors said.

Following the terms of her probation, the parole officer visited Grant’s home for a surprise inspection on August 29th, where she noticed a foul odor in the home when Grant’s mother opened the front door and she proceeded to conduct the search, court papers say.

Grant protested the search, mumbled racist slurs and derogatory remarks at the female probation officer saying, “You can’t come in here. You don’t have a warrant. My case is on appeal. You can’t do this to me,” according to a criminal complaint.

Grant’s rant turned violent when the probation officer tried to snap several photos of a group of cats on the first floor of the home that appeared to be malnourished, prosecutors said. Grant allegedly tried to grab the officer’s phone saying, “Go ahead, punch me, push me, slap me,” prosecutors said.

The officer then found several underweight dogs in a second-floor bedroom, and as the offoicer approached a staircase, Grant allegedly shoved hr with both hands, the complaint states. The officer managed to grab a railing to keep from falling, but twisted her back so badly that she was forced, later that day, to seek treatment at a hospital, prosecutors said.

The inspection prompted police and animal cruelty officers to visit the home, where they found seven dogs, including three puppies, one cat, two guinea pigs and two rabbits living in cramped, fly-infested quarters with no air conditioning, while outdoor temperatures soared into the mid-90s, prosecutors said.

The visit also turned up two turtles and two Beta fish, living inside a filthy tank in a bathroom, the complaint states.

Grant was charged with attempted assault of a police/peace officer, attempted assault as a hate crime, two counts of first-degree assault, attempted assault, violating a court-ordered ban against possessing pets, 26 counts of failure to provide proper food and drink to an impounded animal and multiple counts of injuring animals at her arraignment at Queens Criminal Court, where she was held in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Grant is facing up to seven years in prison, if convicted.

“The defendant is accused of showing contempt for the law by hoarding animals in violation of her court-ordered probation, and contempt for human life by assaulting and attempting to push her probation officer down a flight of stairs,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. “Such behavior cannot – and will not – be condoned.”

Police and ASPCA officials are urging Queens residents to utilize an NYPD lifeline when the observe cases of animal abuse. Officials said anyone wanting to report animal abuse in their neighborhood should call the CrimeStoppers HOTLINE at 1-800-577-TIPS or click on  www.nypdcrimestoppers.com to report the condition.

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