Animal-Cruelty Convict Suspected of Hoarding Cats in Venice Beach

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From Miriam Hernandez at ABCNews:

A woman who spent more than two years in jail for animal cruelty is now being investigated again for hoarding animals in terrible living conditions.

Pet owners are on edge after learning what was living behind locked windows and drawn shades of a low-income Venice rental apartment.

“The smell was overwhelming. It smelled like animal urine, feces, dead animals, sick — it just smelled like horror,” said neighbor Nancy Hancock.

Her neighbor in this low-income rental is Cynthia Gudger, a felon convicted in a notorious 2008 case of animal cruelty in Kern County. Investigators found 50 animals at her home living in filth. One had been chained to a cabinet. Five in the freezer were dead.

Gudger’s record shows a life on the lam. Charged in Riverside with animal cruelty, she fled to Ventura County, then Kern County. She used aliases.

At one point she was found incompetent to stand trial and was placed in Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino. Two years later she was placed on probation for animal abuse. Neighbors say she relocated to Venice in 2011. They recall seeing her chasing feral kittens.

Then came the stench.

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