A photo from inside the home. (Auburn Police Department)
BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Auburn Police have recovered dozens of animals from a small home where they believe the owner was operating an illegal kennel.
Acting on a complaint to the Board of Health about the residence at Buron Terrace, Auburn Police and the Animal Rescue League of Boston discovered 61 cats and dogs.
Police said the woman who owns the property was apparently selling the "rag doll" cats and Maltese mix dogs on Facebook and eBay, where the kittens were going for up to $2,000.
"They'll be charged with animal cruelty and operating a kennel without a license," Auburn Police Detective Lt. Scott Mills told WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Lana Jones.
Her name has not yet been released.
"Based on the environment that the animals were found in, each animal would be a separate count of animal cruelty," Det. Lt. Mills explained.
He said the animals seemed "okay," but the conditions were unsanitary.
The cats were kept in chicken wire pens throughout the main floor of the 1,000-square-foot home.
Mills said many of the kittens raised concerns.
"There were some kittens that did appear extremely weak, like they hadn't eaten or they hadn't been fed," he said. "It was hard to determine which mother cat belonged with which litter of kittens, and whether they were separated from them."
Mills said the home is well-known to police and the Board of Health, and that there have been 11 actions against the home since 1993.
"There's been eleven, at least eleven prior complaints from either people that purchased animals from her that were sickly, or didn't live very long after they were purchased," he said. "As well as there were some complaints regarding the cleanliness of the property, and smells coming from the property."
The animals have been taken to various shelters around Eastern Massachusetts.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Lana Jones reports