Seems like, if you're going to try and send someone to prison for animal abuse, that you'd need to present the abused animals as evidence.
That's what prosecutors in Appleton assumed when they hauled 42-year-old Lorie Kuehl into court after charging her with nine criminal counts for mistreatment of animals causing death.
And they thought they had the evidence -- 20 cat carcasses.
Kuehl was in court because the insides of the home she owned in Appleton had turned into a fetid pile of animal crap and decomposed animals.
The inspector and landlord entered the home, and found piles of animal feces, clumps of fur and the skeletal remains of several cats. The inspector summoned police. Investigators entered and discovered the remains of other dead cats, including a garbage bag found with the skeletal remains of multiple animals.
One problem, judge Nancy Krueger said: There was no warrant. And no warrant meant no evidence from the home could be used in court.
She hasn't ruled yet in whether to dismiss the charges due to lack of evidence --
Kuehl said she hadn't lived in the house, which she turned into a home for stray cats, since April: The male cats, she said, had scared her away.
The live ones, anyway.