The stench of decaying flesh alerted a Metter landlord to a disturbing situation that landed a woman in jail Thursday on animal cruelty charges.
Leith Moore Canty, 52, of North Kennedy Street, was charged with cruelty to animals after Metter police officers found dead animals in her home, as well as living ones in emaciated condition with no food or water, Metter Police Chief Dennis Nelson said.
After the property owner noticed a foul odor emanating from the home, he was concerned that the tenant, Canty, might have died, Nelson said.
The landlord called police, and officers responded to the North Kennedy Street home Wednesday and “met with the landlord in reference to foul smells and a possible animal cruelty or human death incident,” Nelson said.
The landlord told investigators “the house appeared abandoned and a foul odor was emanating from the home. The landlord stated he also observed what appeared to be dead animals in the residence when he looked through a window and was concerned about the renter possibly being deceased inside,” the police chief said.
The complainant allowed officers inside to investigate, and they were met with a grisly scene.
“The investigator immediately noticed an overpowering odor of feces, urine and decay,” Nelson said. “He observed several dogs and cats within the home, as well. As he walked inside, he noted feces and urine scattered throughout the structure and could not locate any food or water supplies for the animals. The renter was not in the home and appeared to have not been there for some time.”
During the search, the investigator found the decaying bodies of a cat and puppy inside the home.
Investigators called Metter-Candler County Animal Control to the scene to remove and impound the surviving animals -- four dogs and two cats, he said.
After an arrest warrant was issued, Canty turned herself in to the Candler County Jail.
“She has been cooperating with investigators,” Nelson said. “At this time, we don’t know exactly why Ms. Canty abandoned the animals at the home. The condition of the home was deplorable and it appears the deceased animals had been decaying for quite some time.”
Anyone with additional information on this case is asked to contact Metter police Investigator Tim Platt at (912) 685-5437 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.