LAKE WORTH, Fla. - A Lake Worth woman accused of keeping 137 sick cats in her home was arrested Tuesday.
A judge set the bond for Diane Carle at $309,000; $3,000 for each of the 103 cruelty to animal charges.
"It is a sad situation. You feel bad. You feel angry...I believe it is a mental illness. She started off with good intentions and it got out of control," Lt. Misti Scaggs with Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control said.
According to police reports, investigators had to wear special suits and breathing machines to go in the home.
They say they found 137 cats, a turtle, a dog, and a bird.
Investigators say all the cats had to be put down because of health problems. They say they tried to work with Carle for years to remove the cats, but she wouldn't cooperate.
"They don't like to ask for help and it just gets out of control," Lt. Scaggs said.
Carle's friends and neighbors are questioning the judge's decision to keep the bond so high.
"It is a problem with the mind. It is not criminal...She's not going anywhere. It is ridiculous," neighbor Rey Rua said.
Other neighbors say Carle realized she had too many cats and that she wanted help.
"I don't think she should have been arrested in the first place. And the bond is ridiculous," one neighbor said.
According to police reports, Carle was a bus driver for Palm Beach County Schools.
She remains behind bars at the Palm Beach County Jail.
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