A Cornelius, North Carolina woman is facing animal cruelty charges after someone discovered a suitcase containing 14 dead cats, Fox 46 reported yesterday. According to the Cornelius Police Department, a suitcase containing the cats was discovered next to a dumpster at the One Norman Square Apartments.
Aimee Cook, 41, was questioned about the cats and stated that she had tried to place them at area shelters. According to Cook, she was unable to place them at a no-kill shelter, so she killed them instead. The Cornelius Police Department refutes Cook’s story, however, stating that she never even contacted the Cornelius Animal Shelter.
TWC News reported yesterday that Cook, who was reportedly “overwhelmed” by her cats’ unplanned litters, faces 14 counts of animal cruelty for their deaths. The cats were reportedly poisoned. While the police report states that she never visited the local animal shelter, Cook claims that the shelter refused to take her animals – so she chose to kill them herself.
The cats were found after one of the One Norman Square Apartment complex employees saw the suitcase next to the dumpster. After recognizing the suitcase – and realizing that it belonged to Cook – the employee discovered its gruesome contents.
Neighbor Lila Skropeta was horrified by the incident. “You worry that someone who does those kind of things may hurt your animals,” Skropeta said. “I mean, it’s completely horrifying, makes me nervous that something like that could be going on, and you have no idea.”
Cornelius resident Mike Johansen was surprised that Cook owned so many cats – and then chose to kill them so brutally. “The fact that somebody has 14 cats would imply they love cats and then to all of a sudden one day decide to kill them. Sounds like she went off the deep end,” he stated.
Neighbor Cindy Johanson doesn’t understand why Cook didn’t take the cats to the shelter. “At least they had a chance at the shelter, they had no chance in a suitcase, and what a way to die,” she stated.
Skropeta agreed, adding: “There certainly were other options for her.” The Cornelius Police Department cannot comment further on the case, which remains an open investigation.
WCNC reported yesterday that Cook was released from jail after posting a $14,000 bond. According to court documents, this isn’t Cook’s first brush with the law. Cook has also been arrested recently for driving with a revoked license and for drunk driving. Updates to this story will be posted as they occur.