The homeowner, 60-year-old William Tinkler, was taken in for questioning, and later charged with four misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty, and five other misdemeanor violations of Elgin city codes. He bonded out of the Elgin City Jail Wednesday night, and is due back in court at 9 a.m. Nov. 2.
Police said, as the landscaping crew was removing brush on the block, workers noticed piles of cat carcasses inside a van parked in the home’s driveway.
Elgin Police Lt. Dan O’Shea said officers were called in to speak with Tinkler after the dead animals were found.
“He told them that he put what he thought was approximately 60 cat carcasses in his van, and possibly a dog or two, over the last couple months,” O’Shea said. “He also stated he currently had another dozen or so live cats.”
Neighbors said the stench alone was unbearable.
“Oh, the smell is just terrible. See all of our kids are out here trying to play, and we can’t even have our kids out here in this area, because the smell was just terrible,” Janette Levy said.
Narweata Flowers said neighbors couldn’t even leave their windows open, because some of Tinkler’s cats might wander in.
“They comes in our window. We have to let our window down, because they comes and they pushed the screen out, and be in our house. So I used to have to just get them out every day,” she said.
Several of the live cats were captured and taken to an animal shelter for a wellness check. Officials hope to capture the other cats to have them checked out.
Neighbors believe Tinkler’s arrest might have been the only way to stop him from hoarding animals.
“I’m just glad they got rid of the cats, because it was just ridiculous,” neighbor Shavon Patrick said.
Tinkler has been given 24 hours to clean up his home before it gets tagged as unlivable.