SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. -- A 74-year-old woman is facing charges of animal cruelty after Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service rescued 15 cats from her home.

Carolyn Pickett, 74, has been charged with 16 counts of confinement unsafe, two counts of second degree animal cruelty, and operating an unlicensed commercial kennel. The charges stem from a search warrant issued for a home on East 14th in Spokane Valley on October 6.

SCRAPS received a complaint from the Spokane Fire Department about possible abandoned animals in the home. Officials said the owner had been hospitalized and animals were left unattended at the location.
SCRAPS got a search warrant and entered the home. Authorities said they found unsanitary conditions due to significant accumulation of feces and urine. SCRAPS officers wore Tyvek suits and respirators while in the home for safety purposes.

SCRAPS Animal Protection Officers removed 16 cats, some of which were taken to a local veterinarian for evaluation. All of the cats are currently at SCRAPS in their holding period pending the outcome of the charges and are not available for adoption.