Woman charged with animal cruelty after dozens of cats are removed from Cordova home

Booking photo for Charlotte Creasy (Source: Shelby County Jail)
Booking photo for Charlotte Creasy (Source: Shelby County Jail)
Updated: Mar. 29, 2019 at 3:40 PM CDT
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CORDOVA, TN (WMC) - A former police officer is facing dozens of charges after Memphis Animal Services responded to a hoarding situation Thursday night.

Police and MAS workers removed more than two dozen animals from the Cordova home of Charlotte Creasy, 72. Neighbors said they could smell urine when they walked by her home on Cairn Creek Drive near Timber Creek Drive.

According to the affidavit, officers found one dog, 16 live cats and a dead cat inside Creasy’s home. Another eight cats were found outside in a shed.

Police say the inside of the home was covered in animal feces and urine. While inside, officers reported difficulty breathing and burning skin and eyes.

The affidavit says many of the animals appeared to be suffering from respiratory, skin, and eye infections, and the outdoor animals had no heat, air or ventilation.

Katie Pemberton with Memphis Animal Services says that’s likely because of the conditions inside the Cordova home.

“Pretty much every surface was covered in feces or urine," Pemberton said. "In some places the feces was up to about an inch thick.”

Creasy is charged with 26 counts of aggravated animal cruelty.

“They’re not collectibles," said Cynthia Graeter, whose father lives nearby. "You don’t just collect them. You have to take care of them.”

This isn’t the first time Creasy has had a run-in with the law.

In 2014, WMC Action News 5 reported that Creasy was cited for animal abuse and neglect after Tipton County animal control seized nearly 100 cats from inside a former deli on Highway 70. Investigators said she claimed to be running a rescue organization.

WMC5 uncovered court documents that show she plead guilty and was found guilty on three counts of cruelty to animals in the case. The charges were suspended under special conditions - Creasy could not manage or supervise any animal rescue, but she could volunteer and own pets.

“The only time you’d really see her is if she was out cutting her yard," said neighbor Joe Richardson. "She did that herself or maybe going to the store or something.”

An MPD spokesperson says Creasy was once an officer but left the department almost three decades ago.

Several years ago her driver’s license testing business was raided by federal agents. Creasy was convicted and sentenced for providing fake driving certificates to undocumented immigrants.

As for this most recent arrest, people are just trying to understand how it got so bad.

“There’s nothing wrong with being a pet owner, but be a responsible pet owner," Graeter said. "Nobody should have two or three dozen cats in a home.”

MAS says taking in and treating these animals has put a strain on their resources. These cats are not available for adoption at this time, but officials want to remind everyone that other dogs and cats at the shelter are.

If you’d like to adopt a pet from MAS to help them clear up space, visit their website for more information.

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