Linda Giaccio is charged with five counts of animal neglect, said Howard Futrell, supervising officer for Charleston police animal services.
Giaccio was apparently returning to her new home in Florida after a road trip to Philadelphia for a court appearance, Futrell said. She took the cats because she didn't trust anyone to take care of them while she was gone.
Authorities have not yet determined what killed the three dead cats and another is not expected to live (common sense tells you they boiled to death inside the hot vehicle).
Stench Inside Van 'Overpowering'
Futrell said he didn't see any food or water and the van was like a rolling litter box.
"The stench was overpowering," he said.
Giaccio was accompanied by an elderly man who has been hospitalized for chest and respiratory problems, Futrell said. The live cats and a poodle were being cared for late Monday at the John Ancrum Society for the Protection of Animals.
Most appeared to be in reasonably good shape, except for an extreme need for bathing, said Dr. Robert Carlson, SPCA executive director.
Carlson said the woman's veterinarian in Philadelphia told him Monday that Giaccio had adequately cared for the cats in the past.
(ABC News - Aug 25, 2003)