Saturday, July 31, 1993

Connecticut: Elizabeth Schultz says she does not understand why police are concerned about her treatment of the animals

CONNECTICUT -- Elizabeth Schultz can't understand why such a fuss is being made over her "family" -- scores of dogs and puppies packed into filthy cages at her two houses in Enfield and Windsor Locks.

Schultz, who was found by police this week with 49 dogs in her Enfield home -- six of them dead in the freezer and refrigerator -- said in an interview Friday she does not understand why police are concerned about her treatment of the animals.

She has a mental condition and needed mandatory mental health counseling. Clearly, she does not understand the pain and torture she is inflicting on these animals, which suffer and die at her hands.

"They're my family," Schultz said as she sat in the front yard of her Enfield home at 11 Lox Lane. "I don't have a husband and I don't have any kids, so they're my kids. There is no way in the world I would hurt my kids."

Schultz said she has owned dogs for many years, but has been breeding them for only three years. She said conditions at her house began to deteriorate about six months ago, though officials said they received complaints as long ago as January 1991.

"Things creep up on you," she said. "The cages are hard to clean, and there's so many of them. I keep papers in there, but what can I say? I do the best I can."

Police say they expect to obtain arrest warrants for Schultz next week charging her with multiple counts of cruelty to animals.

Police were called to Schultz's Enfield house Wednesday night by a neighbor complaining about barking dogs. They found Schultz's 88-year-old mother, Mary Schultz, along with 43 live dogs -- police initially said 45 live dogs, but revised the number Friday. The dogs were stacked in cages soiled with feces and urine. Four dead dogs were found in the freezer and two more dead ones were in the refrigerator, police said.

A neighbor then told police that the Schultzes own a house in Windsor Locks. In the Windsor Locks house, at 5 West St., police found three dead dogs and a dead bird in the freezer, as well as 13 live dogs and two live cats in stacked cages soiled with feces.

Schultz said she kept the dead dogs in the freezer to preserve them while she saved money to buy coffins. "I had to put some in the refrigerator because the freezer was full," she said.

Schultz said she had planned to start a dog cemetery in the back yard of her Enfield house, but a friend told her it was illegal to bury dogs on the property. The puppies were stillborn, Schultz said. One of the adult dogs, named Hansel, died of a heart attack, she said.

A University of Connecticut pathologist who conducted autopsies on the dogs Thursday could not determine the cause of death, a university spokesman said. The results of further tests are expected in several weeks.

Meanwhile, the North Central District Health Department condemned both houses Friday, certifying that they are not fit for humans to live in. But Schultz, who is still staying in the Enfield house, said she plans to clean them.

Mary Schultz had lived in Windsor Locks, but she moved in with Elizabeth Schultz in Enfield about three years ago. Mary Schultz was taken to Johnson Memorial Hospital Wednesday, suffering from dehydration. She was listed in good condition there Friday.

A 54-year-old taxi dispatcher at Bradley International Airport, Elizabeth Schultz said she never meant to own so many dogs, but she was having trouble finding good homes for them.

Schultz runs a dog breeding business called Love's Puppy Inn, but she said she has sold only 10 dogs in three years. The dogs were well fed, she said, but there were so many that she could not keep the cages clean.

Police said the dogs were living in cages stacked throughout both houses, with as many as seven dogs to a cage. The windows in both houses were shut, forcing police to wear air masks to enter them.

"I can smell it, but it's like anything. You get used to it," Schultz said. "I would air out the place but then the neighbors would complain."

Schultz presented herself to Enfield police for questioning Friday morning. She was not accompanied by a lawyer and was interviewed for about three hours.

Enfield Dog Warden Fred Provencher said Schultz has cooperated, providing police with licensing and vaccination documents.

Enfield Police Sgt. Michael McMullen said the department would apply for an arrest warrant next week charging Schultz with multiple counts of cruelty to animals, a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of as much as $1,000 and a year in jail for each count.

Windsor Locks police Det. Rick Rachele said police there also expect to obtain an arrest warrant for Schultz by early next week.

More than 100 people have called the Enfield police station, wanting to adopt the dogs. But McMullen said the dogs, which are in pounds in Enfield, Suffield, Windsor Locks and Somers, cannot be adopted until arrangements are made with a Superior Court judge.

Schultz said she wants the dogs returned to her so she can screen prospective owners.

"I don't want my kids to go to just anybody," Schultz said.

(Hartford Courant - July 31, 1993)


Friday, July 30, 1993

Connecticut: 51 Dogs, 6 Dead, Found In Elizabeth Schultz's House, Police Say

CONNECTICUT --  A reclusive woman was found Wednesday with 51 dogs in her Lox Lane home -- including six dead ones in her refrigerator and freezer next to the food, police said.

Of the 45 small terriers that were alive, many were restrained in cages and appeared unhealthy before they were removed to kennels, police Sgt. Michael McMullen said.

The stench of dog feces in the house was so strong that Enfield firefighters donned air packs to open windows before police and dog officials could enter, police said. The temperature in the sealed-up house exceeded 100 degrees, police said.

"Why would you put a [dead] dog in the refrigerator?" police Lt. Carl Sferrazza asked. "It's kind of an incredible type of thing."

Police identified the woman who had the dogs as Elizabeth Schultz, 54, of 11 Lox Lane. Police said she lived with her mother, Mary Schultz, who was was taken to an area hospital and treated for dehydration. Elizabeth Schultz could not be reached for comment Wednesday night.

McMullen said the case is under investigation and no charges have been filed. Police said many of the dogs were puppies.

Neighbors described Schultz as a reclusive woman who breeded dogs. They said she works at Bradley International Airport, but spent the rest of her time inside with the dogs, never letting them outside.

Neighbors said they could smell the dog stench on the street when Schultz opened her windows -- which they said rarely happened.

Police said the house was sealed when they arrived after town Dog Warden Fred Provencher received a complaint about a barking dog. Officials from the Connecticut Humane Society, who arrived on the scene, could not be reached late Wednesday for comment.

The dead dogs were brought to a University of Connecticut veterinary school for examination, police said. The live ones were taken to dog pounds and by the humane society, police said

(Hartford Courant - July 29, 1993)